When it comes to school lunches, there are a lot of different options out there. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain bizarre. Here's a look at the best (and worst) school lunches from around the world.

In America, school lunches are often unhealthy and unappetizing

American school lunches have become too oft disregarded in terms of their unhealthiness in recent years. Lunches which consist of overly-processed foods and nearly nonexistent fresh produce are becoming the norm for many students, making them consistently less inclined to eat meals provided by the school and more prone to other unhealthy dietary habits. Recent studies have revealed that American school lunches are among the worst in the world in terms of nutrition and health. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that only 13% of students at U.S. schools receive a meal that meets all required nutrition guidelines, compared to a global average of 54%. Change needs to be made—an effort must be made to form a healthier environment in our schools. This may mean a substantially greater investment in such changes, including grade-specific menus based on appropriateness and nutritional value; offering colorful produce; more access to diets that eliminate processed food altogether; or exploring different funding initiatives. By making an effort now, we can create a lasting legacy of healthy eating habits among the younger generations that will extend beyond their days at school.

Other countries have much healthier and more delicious school lunches

School lunches in many other countries demonstrate how meals can be nutritious, flavorful and enjoyable for students. But unfortunately, the United States lags behind these countries in providing balanced, delicious and healthy options. By emphasizing fresh ingredients and varied options, these countries provide students access to an important component of a healthful life – delicious food they love! In order to contribute towards their well-being and growth, schools should be taking measures to create more delicious lunches rich in essential nutrients. If the US wants to compete with the other countries’ healthy meal options, families must start advocating for the nutritional needs of their children. Only then can all children have access to yummy, wholesome crafted lunches without sacrificing flavor.

France has gourmet school lunches with fresh ingredients

France is leading the way when it comes to nutrition and healthy school lunches! Instead of processed foods that are loaded with preservatives, French schools offer gourmet meals full of fresh, flavorful ingredients. Kids in France get to enjoy delectable dishes like vegetarian ratatouille with fresh zucchini and tomatoes or pan-seared trout with a side of quinoa or roasted potatoes. Not only are these delicious ingredients nutritious enough to fuel young bodies throughout the day, but they also make for an enjoyable educational experience about culinary traditions. Eating together at school is a time for children both to nurture their minds and their bodies. It's no wonder that France has become an inspiration for countries all around the world who are trying to improve their own school lunch programs!

Japan has sushi and other traditional Japanese dishes for school lunch

Japan is unique in its approach to school lunch, offering sushi and other traditional Japanese dishes such as miso soup or curry with rice. This isn't only convenient - it provides a level of engagement and appreciation for the culture. Students not only benefit from the fuel that helps their minds grow, but also have the opportunity to invest in the culture around them. Providing a diverse selection of food teaches students to embrace different types of cultures, customs, and cooking styles. Not only does this give them exposure to something they may not experience otherwise, but it gives them access to variety in a safe environment. By connecting all cultures through food, Japan demonstrates an incredible effort to enrich its youth's lives both intellectually and culturally in every aspect!

Italy has pasta, bread, and other Italian favorites

Italy is a haven for anyone with an appreciation for great food. Not only does the country have some of the most delicious pasta and bread in the world, but also succulent pastries, scrumptious sauces and exquisite handmade cheeses. These Italian favorites have kept people coming back time and again as they explore the varied culinary traditions throughout the region. And while classic recipes are certainly worth trying out, don't be afraid to experiment with new flavors as well - after all, Italians are some of the most innovative and progressive food producers in history. From Tuscany to Sicily to Calabria, Italy will delight even the pickiest of eaters with unexpected flavor combinations that competes favorably with other cuisines around the globe!

Spain has a variety of tapas and other small dishes

When kids in Spain go to school, they get the best of both worlds: not only do they receive an excellent education but also delicious, nutritious meals. Not all kids around the world can say the same, but in Spain kids are treated to small plates such as tapas and other dishes like empanadas and pulpo. Eating a variety of these small plates rather than one large meal keeps kids energized throughout the day. Tapas exemplify Spain's incredible cuisine, provide kids with necessary nutrients for growing bodies, and leave them full enough to concentrate on their studies without feeling weighed down. From kids to adults, everyone should be able to experience the Variety of tapas offered in Spain!


There are so many delicious and healthy school lunch options in other countries that it is hard to understand why American schools often serve such unhealthy food. It is important for children to have nutritious meals in order to learn and grow, but unfortunately the current state of school lunches in America falls short. If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve your child's health and fitness, join YFN Academy today. Together we can build a healthier future for our children!


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Nutrition Standards for School Meals.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 15 Jan. 2021,