If you were a Parisian kid, here's what you'd be eating for lunch today…

OK, we know our school lunches are seriously lacking. But at the same time we sort of get resigned to it. Like the head of the food services program at my daycare who told me (as I was timidly asking for fresher, healthier food to be served instead of the usual stuff on offer): “kids only eat pasta and fishy crackers anyway”.

Humph. Our year in France showed me otherwise.

Here’s an actual photo of a high school lunch starter course (French school lunches usually have three courses) from a high school in Bourgoin-Jallieu (population: 25,000). As in all French schools, the daily menu offers only one choice, and students can not bring their own lunches from home.

And this is what Parisian kids ate today for lunch (in the 17th arrondissement, which is one of the middle-income neighborhoods in the city):

Menu: A Tour of Asia (yes, the school menus do have fancy titles)

Cucumber Raita
Tandoori brochette
Organic lentils
Ice cream and dried fruit

Admittedly, this is slightly out of the ordinary, as it is the French ‘Tasting Week’ this week (more on this in a moment).

But just to make my point, here is today’s menu from the 18th arrondissement, one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in Paris:

Sliced Cucumbers
Coleslaw
Ricotta and spinach tortellini
Cheese: Emmental and ‘ash heart’ (this is a mystery to me, even when translated)
Fresh tropical fruit

All over France, this is how kids eat. And it isn’t more expensive than meals in North America.

I know what you’re thinking: where do we start? More on that in my next post.

If you were a Parisian kid, here’s what you’d be eating for lunch today…

OK, we know our school lunches are seriously lacking. But at the same time we sort of get resigned to it. Like the head of the food services program at my daycare who told me (as I was timidly asking for fresher, healthier food to be served instead of the usual stuff on offer): “kids only eat pasta and fishy crackers anyway”.

Humph. Our year in France showed me otherwise.

Here’s an actual photo of a high school lunch starter course (French school lunches usually have three courses) from a high school in Bourgoin-Jallieu (population: 25,000). As in all French schools, the daily menu offers only one choice, and students can not bring their own lunches from home.

And this is what Parisian kids ate today for lunch (in the 17th arrondissement, which is one of the middle-income neighborhoods in the city):

Menu: A Tour of Asia (yes, the school menus do have fancy titles)

Cucumber Raita
Tandoori brochette
Organic lentils
Ice cream and dried fruit

Admittedly, this is slightly out of the ordinary, as it is the French ‘Tasting Week’ this week (more on this in a moment).

But just to make my point, here is today’s menu from the 18th arrondissement, one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in Paris:

Sliced Cucumbers
Coleslaw
Ricotta and spinach tortellini
Cheese: Emmental and ‘ash heart’ (this is a mystery to me, even when translated)
Fresh tropical fruit

All over France, this is how kids eat. And it isn’t more expensive than meals in North America.

I know what you’re thinking: where do we start? More on that in my next post.

What Slow Food Can Do for Your Kids (One school's food revolution…)

The school district in the tiny community of San Juan Islands, off the Pacific Northwest coast (between Seattle and Vancouver), decided in 2008 to start their own ‘food revolution’. Tired of ‘ketchup being a vegetable and a pizza sauce’, they decided to reinvent healthy eating for kids.

The result is their amazing ‘Food for Thought’ program: an on-site chef, with students training alongside, produces healthy, home-cooked, and (where possibly) locally sourced meals for the school. Sustainability and healthy eating is the focus. It’s been an enormous boost to the community and kids alike.

Check out what they are having at their community dinner tonight (yum!): http://bit.ly/qwWOmc.
And, in case you’re curious, here are their menus this month: http://bit.ly/ntRYDt.

Just like the recent ban on ketchup in French schools (only once a week, and only on French fries), the San Juan islanders decided that they could feed their kids more healthily.

Now, if they can do it, why can’t we?

What Slow Food Can Do for Your Kids (One school’s food revolution…)

The school district in the tiny community of San Juan Islands, off the Pacific Northwest coast (between Seattle and Vancouver), decided in 2008 to start their own ‘food revolution’. Tired of ‘ketchup being a vegetable and a pizza sauce’, they decided to reinvent healthy eating for kids.

The result is their amazing ‘Food for Thought’ program: an on-site chef, with students training alongside, produces healthy, home-cooked, and (where possibly) locally sourced meals for the school. Sustainability and healthy eating is the focus. It’s been an enormous boost to the community and kids alike.

Check out what they are having at their community dinner tonight (yum!): http://bit.ly/qwWOmc.
And, in case you’re curious, here are their menus this month: http://bit.ly/ntRYDt.

Just like the recent ban on ketchup in French schools (only once a week, and only on French fries), the San Juan islanders decided that they could feed their kids more healthily.

Now, if they can do it, why can’t we?

What did your kids eat for lunch today? Here's what kids ate at school in Lyons…,

 

What did your children eat for lunch today? If you were living in France, they would have eaten a healthy four-course hot lunch, designed by nutritionists and prepared by in-school cooks.

 

Here’s today’s actual school lunch menu for the public schools in the French town of Lyons (no, I am not making this up):

~ Melon
~ Organic spinach-stuffed omelette, topped with croutons and bechamel sauce
~ Emmental Cheese
~ Organic applesauce

All over France, children sit down every day to delicious, inexpensive meals (low-income families pay as little as $1 per child). Learning how to eat well is a central part of their education.

Meanwhile, North American kids often end up filling up on sugary and salty snack foods, which have lots of negative effects on their health and learning ability.

What’s the healthiest lunch you could imagine sending your child to school with? And would they actually eat it?