School Lunches around the World

School Lunches around the World

Take a peek at kids’ midday meals in different countries

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Foodie  Foodie Your Guide to Good Taste  on 23 Jan '15


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Aaliyah Busstra is four years old and attends a private school on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. She’s got a Vegemite sandwich made with continental dark rye bread and butter, as well as Tasmanian cheese slices, Jatz crackers, strawberries and a chocolate chia-seed cake (see the recipe below for this healthy gluten- and dairy-free cake).


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  • Bruna Castellanos is 10 years old and attends a private school in São Paulo. She goes home for lunch but brings in a snack box – it’s very common in Brazil to share with the other kids at school. The kids then come home and tell their parents about what they’ve eaten and shared. Commonly, there is a mixture of sweet and salty foods. Today, there are wheat crackers, chocolate biscuits and grape juice.

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    Margaret Yoner is the mother of six girls between the ages of 2–20 and prides herself on creating wholesome, nourishing lunches each day. Every bit of the meal (except the crackers) is homemade, from the moose sausage and corn soup, to the dill pickles, to the banana chocolate chip muffin, to the home-grown garden carrots.


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    Sara Mohamed is five years old. She’s diabetic, so her mother, Naheeda, takes extra care to make a healthy lunch for her every day. She has a cheese and butter sandwich on brown bread with mixed fruit and veg for lunch.

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    Hong Kong

    Wesley Wong is 13 years old and attends Year 9 at an international school in Hong Kong. His lunch box is very typical amongst his classmates, with steamed broccoli and cauliflower alongside wok-fried pork slices and white rice.


    Mythri Nhalur is eight years old and attends Grade 3 at a private school in Hyderabad. Pictured above is a tiffin tin with her morning snack, which she eats at school at 10:15am. It includes puri (round pieces of of wheat dough, fried in oil) and fried potatoes. Her 12:30pm lunch meal is rice mixed with a curry made of cooked dhal (lentils) and green leaves, mixed with some ghee (clarified butter). The bottom has rice mixed with fried bell peppers and ghee.


    Hiro Takafuku from Tokyo is five years old and the eldest of two sons. Every day he requests from his mother, Sayuki, what kind of character he would like crafted into his lunch box. Today, he has Japanese Tokusatsu warrior Ultraman shaped in his seaweed atop his tomato-flavoured rice with cheese, vegetable egg roll, steamed veggies and grilled salmon.

    New Zealand

    David is the youngest of seven brothers and sisters and the last child remaining in the household. He’s 15 and makes his own lunch; his mum laments his use of white bread rather than wholemeal but says you’ve got to choose your battles on the parent-field. David has a honey sandwich, orange muffin, Shapes crackers and, as it’s citrus season in New Zealand, a mandarin orange.


    Su-Chen Seng is six years old and an only child. She attends an international school and has fried rice with chicken and vegetables for her lunch.

    South Africa

    Rachel and Hannah de Lange are eight and nine years old respectively and attend a private primary school. Their lunch is sushi sandwich rolls, biltong, raw vegetables and fruit as well as chocolate chip cookies. Their mother also happens to be the author of children’s cookbooks and has helpfully shared a few recipes at the bottom of this article.


    José Luis Ocon is 12 years old and attends a state school in the town of Campo de Criptana in La Mancha. In Spain, many of the schools finish at 2pm, the beginning of the Spanish lunchtime, which takes place over two hours and generally consists of a two- or three-course meal. Most children have breakfast at home and then take in a merienda (snack) for break time and eat lunch at home. José has peeled fruit and milk biscuits called tosta rica along with a probiotic drink


    Aroon is eight years old and one of three children in his family. It’s common for him and other kids in Thailand to buy their lunch from a local street stall on the way in to school. He has a Thai omelette, rice and vegetables as well as some fruit for his lunch.

    United Kingdom

    Will Laird is 10 years old and has two younger brothers. They all walk or cycle to their school in Oxford, England. Their lunch box contains a salami bap, Pink Lady apple, crisps and an oat and chocolate cereal bar.

    United States

    Megan Breetzke lives in Boulder, just outside Denver, Colorado. She is 11 years old and has a younger brother. Her lunch is a green salad with dressing on the side, along with a smaller chicken salad with grapes. She also has berries and kiwi and a squeezable yoghurt. For a snack, she has Cheddar cheese, rice crackers and sugar snap peas and baby carrots to keep her going throughout the day.

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