What’s For Lunch? School Lunches in Italy Compared to the USA

About 32 million children in America eat cafeteria food every day of the week. Most of these kids consume more than half of their daily calories at school. That said, it’s pretty clear that cafeterias are becoming a major factor in the fight against childhood obesity.

Children Helping Mother To Make School Lunches

Source: 123rf.com

A chain of salad restaurants called Sweetgreen started a program to educate children about healthy eating. As part of their mission, they decided to show what constitutes a “quality lunch” by looking at typical school lunches worldwide.

Lunch in Italy

In this photo series, we can see how our country compares to others regarding nutrition and school lunches. In Italy, lunch trays are loaded with colorful food.

Local fish on a bed of arugula, pasta with tomato sauce, Caprese salad, baguette, and some grapes.

Local fish on a bed of arugula, pasta with tomato sauce, Caprese salad, baguette, and some grapes. Source: mymodernmet.com

The trays include fresh fruit, veggies, and tasty-looking entrees. At school in Italy, kids get a healthy dose of grapes, pasta, fish, tomato salad, and a proportional piece of bread.

Lunch in America

In contrast, the typical meal in the US is processed. By drawing attention to school lunches, Sweetgreen hopes to spark a dialogue among Americans. The goal is to make an impact and connect kids to “real food.”

Fried ‘popcorn' chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, fruit cup, and a chocolate chip cookie

Fried ‘popcorn’ chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, fruit cup, and a chocolate chip cookie. Source: mymodernmet.com

As you can see, a typical American school lunch consists of mashed potatoes, peas, a cookie, pineapple, and what looks like chicken nuggets – all frozen and heated in the microwave.