Salmon lasagna, lentil salad, organic spinach and more…what French kindergarden kids are eating this week in Paris!

Yay! My ‘French Kids’ School Lunch Project’ is back by popular demand! (For a full explanation of how school lunches are organized in France, click here.)

This week, we’re in Paris (well, virtually anyway), in the 17th arrondissement (Place de la Concorde!). School lunches are organized by neighborhood (arrondissement) in Paris, with all of the kids in a neighborhood eating the same menu (usually prepared in large ‘central kitchens’ before being shipped out to individual schools, although some schools still have cooks on the premises). As usual, the schools post the menu online for eager parents to check out what their progeny will be eating. This menu is for the children in kindergarten (maternelle), from 3 to 5 years olds. Check out the menu for the rest of the month. Impressive!

As usual, the meals follow a four course structure: vegetable starter; main dish with vegetable side; cheese course; dessert. All meals are served with fresh baguette (eaten plain, usually one piece per child!) and water. No flavoured milk, juice, sports drinks, or pop. No vending machines. No fast food or junk food. Food for thought!

Monday, September 30th
Salad: Lentil Salad with tomatoes
Main: Roast pork or turkey, with peas and carrots
Dessert: A kiwi

Tuesday, October 1st
Salad: Cucumber salad with vinaigrette
Main: Salmon lasagna and organic spinach
Cheese/Dairy: Cheese fondu with baguettefor dipping
Dessert: Organic fruit compote

Wednesday, October 2nd
Salad: Macedonian salad with vinaigrette
Main: Veal ‘marengo’ with rice
Cheese/Dairy: Petits suisses (akin to flavored yogurt)
Dessert: An organic orange

Thursday, October 3rd
Salad: Cauliflower with vinaigrette
Main: ‘Hachis Parmentier’ (sort of like Shepherd’s Pie) with organic beef
Cheese/Dairy: Pyrénées with organic baguette
Dessert: Fruit salad

Friday, October 4th
Salad: Red beans and corn
Main: Chicken skewer with ratatouille
Cheese/Dairy: Cheese fondu with bread for dipping
Dessert: Paris Brest’ (a wonderful dessert made of choux pastry and a praline flavoured cream – yum!)

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.

4 thoughts on “Salmon lasagna, lentil salad, organic spinach and more…what French kindergarden kids are eating this week in Paris!

  1. really? where was all this “healthy good food” when i was in school last year?, all we got where cardboard tasting stale wheat roles and cheeseburgers with synthetic meat, and the salads were wilty lettuce with a sprinke of cheese and sweated out vegtables, much rather be in france enjoying some veal


  2. As a school food service worker I am always dismayed that people still consider school lunches to be unhealthy. Great care is taken in planning your children’s menu to follow strict nutritional guidelines. Hot lunches in our district consist of only whole grain bread products, skim milk, hot vegetable without butter or sauce, low fat meats such as turkey ham, turkey burgers, grilled chicken, and vegetarian choices as well. Our fresh salads consist of spinach and romaine with cucumbers and sliced tomatoes and are served with low fat dressing. Fresh apples, pears and oranges are offered as well as fresh vegetables and low fat dip. Our only challenge can sometimes be getting the kids to enjoy healthy food after a lifetime of eating junk at home:)


  3. I heard some sixth grade girls in our carpool talking about school lunches in France – so I looked it up and found your site.

    This is amazing. We feed our kids canned and artificial foods from bags and pay more than $3 a day. All this in the name of cost. At reading the menu above I come away with three main thoughts: our kids are being duped into eating garbage, we pay as much for this glop as the French do for food I (and a lot of parents) would love to eat for luck everyday, and finally I no longer buy the line that it is too expensive to feed our children a fresh and healthy variety of food.

    Thank you for this site.


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