Around 32 million children in the US eat cafeteria food every weekday, and most of these students consume over half their daily calories at school. With this in mind, it’s clear that school cafeterias are becoming crucial in the fight against childhood obesity. Sweetgreen–a chain of salad restaurants that runs a Sweetgreen in Schools program to educate kids about healthy eating, fitness, and sustainability–decided to shed light on what constitutes a quality lunch by taking a look at typical school lunches around the world.
In this thought-provoking photo series, we can see how our own country stacks up to other nations when it comes to nutritious, delicious school meals. From Italy to Brazil to South Korea, trays are loaded with colorful foods that include fresh fruit, veggies, and yummy-looking entrees. In contrast, the typical, processed lunch for US students could stand to get a menu overhaul.
By drawing attention to school lunches through these eye-opening images, Sweetgreen hopes to spark a conversation that will make an impact, connect kids to “real food,” and change the way future generations eat.
Local fish on a bed of arugula, pasta with tomato sauce, caprese salad, baguette and some grapes.
Pea soup, beet salad, carrot salad, bread and pannakkau (dessert pancake) with fresh berries.
Steak, carrots, green beans, cheese and fresh fruit.
Pork with mixed veggies, black beans and rice, salad, bread and baked plantains.
Fish soup, tofu over rice, kimchi and fresh veggies.
Baked chicken over orzo, stuffed grape leaves, tomato and cucumber salad, fresh oranges, and greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds.
Mashed potatoes with sausage, borscht, cabbage and syrniki (a dessert pancake).
Sauted shrimp over brown rice and vegetables, gazpacho, fresh peppers, bread and an orange.
Fried ‘popcorn’ chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, fruit cup and a chocolate chip cookie.