What French Kids are eating for School Lunch…this week in Lourdes!

Lourdes is the largest Catholic pilgrimage site in France (an increasingly multifaith country, with followers of Islam and Buddhism now making up nearly 10% of the population). It’s a surprisingly small town tucked into the hilly country just north of the Pyrenees (the mountains separating France and Spain). The pilgrims converge from all over the world — many arriving on foot along the many pathways through the surrounding mountains and countryside.

After the festive Christmas season, it’s perhaps normal to settle back into a ‘lighter’, healthier eating pattern for a while. Maybe that’s why this menu is so, well, healthy! With the exception of that yummy ‘Galette des Rois’ (the traditional frangipane and puff pastry cake served at Epiphany) on January 6th. Yum yum.

Tuesday, January 3rd
Corn salad
Roasted pork
Sauteed vegetables
Vanilla yogurt

Wednesday January 4th&
no school

Thursday, January 5th
Beet salad (a classic for French kids)
Garnished couscous
Galette des Rois (literally: ‘King Cake’)

Friday, January 6th
Rice salad
Breaded fish with lemon
Green beans
Yogurt with fruit

I don’t know what your kids are eating for school lunch this week, but mine definitely aren’t being served beet salad (which, by the way, they love) and green beans. However, when they were in school in France they quickly learned to eat just like those little French kids (it was amazing how quickly they adapted).

I’d love your thoughts. Would you serve these menus to your kids? And would they eat them?

This blog post is part of my French Kids School Lunch Project. Every week, I post the school lunch menus from a different village or town in France, where three-course, freshly-prepared hot lunches are provided to over 6 million children in the public school system every day. These meals cost, on average, $3 per child per day (and prices for low-income families are subsidised). My hope is that these menus (together with my other blog posts about the French approach to kid’s food) will spark a conversation about what children CAN eat, and how we can do better at educating them to eat well.

2 thoughts on “What French Kids are eating for School Lunch…this week in Lourdes!

  1. Amazing Bri! I can’t get my 8 year old to bring beet salad to school (peer pressure) although she loves eating it at home…and my kids don’t like mac & cheese either (although pasta with olive oil & parmesan is always a big hit). I think that kids get used to eating whatever is regularly served. In fact, when we started changing what we served at home when we moved to France, they adapted more quickly than I expected. 🙂


  2. My kids would definitely eat most of what’s on this menu. In fact, my 5-year-old is known for bringing beets to school in his lunches, and both of my kids are happiest with a lovely dinner of roast pork (or chicken, or beef) and vegetables. They’d rather eat lamb and cous cous than mac and cheese any day!


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