School Lunch in France

I'm pretty sure that we all agree with Jamie Olliver--America needs a food revolution.  And the unhealthy school lunches that are served to our children--our future--need to change. Food in France very different than food in America.  Making dinner every night is the norm. Eating together as a family is the norm.  One hour lunch breaks are the norm... even at schools.  I once told my students that we were given 30 minutes to eat lunch in high school. Their response? How do you finish your lunch in 30 minutes?  Well, if you factor in waiting in line, it was much less time than that. But I distinctly remember that chocolate milk in a pouch, and stabbing a straw in said pouch and squeezing as hard as I could and imbibing my 8 ounces of sugary chocolate milk in just seconds!

Also, it's much easier to eat fast when lunch is seldom more than a slice of pizza or a hamburger with fries.

But enough about lunch in America.

School lunches in France are actually healthy.  Almost all of the teachers and administrators choose to eat the school lunch--which is very telling.  No sugary beverages are served.  There are cups and pitchers of water on the table. Water!

Instead of getting calcium from milk, students choose between either yogurt or cheese.  Plain yogurt--with no added sugar--is an option.  There are always at least 3 fruits and vegetables, and sometimes more. For example, in addition to the regular servings of fruits and vegetables, you have the option to choose between a dessert and an additional piece of fruit.

This is just one picture from a school lunch.  The "entree" is often meat, but I'm not a big meat eater so I chose the pasta-ish dish in a sauce. It was very filling and very tasty.  Also on my platte you will see two size-able side dishes--sliced carrots and potatoes.  My "appetizer" was a tomato. A whole tomato, sliced (I added the salad dressing).  Behind the small spoon is a container of yogurt, and next to the knife is the standard piece of bread that accompanies all lunches.

Lastly, there is dessert. A delicious, homemade slice of some yumminess--I forgot what it was! But, I had the option between dessert and a piece of fruit. A whole piece of fruit--not fruit cocktail or browning apple wedges.