A glimpse right into a school lunchroom in france

When my spouse and i first gone to live in Paris, I spent a while substitute teaching as i determined things i would use the brand new existence I discovered myself in.

I’ll always remember the way i dreaded standing on lunchtime supervision since i saw that fish was around the menu on that day. I used to be an instructor for lengthy enough to understand there would be lots of grade school kids plugging their noses and saying they did not like fish. This would be considered a lengthy supervision period.

Individuals kids demonstrated me so wrong which i remained in disbelief. These were really requesting seconds, and that i was the only person scrunching up my nose.


Which was my first encounter with French kids eating whatever is defined before them.

Go forward to some couple of years later, and that i was residing in the south of France with two kids of my very own. My mother had traveled in propose when my second daughter was created because as being a mother to 2 kids under 2 was something which would take some becoming accustomed to.

"She will not eat any vegetables," I complained to my mother when i attempted with all of my might to obtain my nearly-2-year-old to consume her dinner. My daughter is French by birth, although not by bloodstream maybe this is exactly why the "French kids eat everything" gene had not quite kicked in yet.

My mother explained I must be firm and never offer her every other options. She would show me the way it ended — she had not yet recognized how determined her daughter might be. Having seen my mother, an expert grandmother right now, find it difficult to get her most headstrong grandchild to consume her vegetables, I gave her just a little incentive.

I had been so sure my daughter wouldn’t eat her veggies which i half-jokingly offered my mother €300 if she might get my daughter to consume eco-friendly beans through the finish of her month-lengthy visit. My mom’s smile and also the glimmer in her own eye tell me she was up for that challenge.

If only I possibly could tell you just how she left France having a beautiful new set of leather boots which i compensated for, but, sadly, there have been no beans eaten with that visit.

Annually later, when my daughter began school, I wondered how she’d ever survive. Unlike at schools in The United States, French children are not permitted to create a lunch at home. All kids eat anything they are offered within the canteen.

My child would starve, I had been certain of it.

Every week I’d mind to the bulletin board published outdoors the college and appearance the things they were eating for supper. There wasn’t a hamburger and fries or perhaps a chicken finger to appear out there. Recption menus always was similar to those of some excellent French restaurants that my spouse and i would frequent for date nights.

I’d find myself attempting to decode exactly what the kids were getting for supper through the week: epinard momay, roti de dinde sauce louisianne, poelee brocolis-champignons, julienne de chou fleur. Everything sounded so fancy. Was Julia Child working in the kitchen area? How were they serving this to three-year-olds? Did there is a magic wand to obtain these kids to consume this very grown-up listing of food?

Whenever I’d encounter the women who labored within the lunchroom, I’d stare in disbelief because they would let me know exactly what a good eater my daughter was. Were they sure they’d the best kid? Because mine would barely touch a vegetable in your own home. Yet, she wasn’t returning home hungry, so they must happen to be eating something.

Once the chance came about that i can go to the lunchroom, I leaped onto it. Partly since i was intrigued, but mostly since i desired to see my daughter eating veal along with a side of broccoli with my very own eyes.

I spent 1 week within the canteen of my daughter’s school during lunchtime, however i had recently been studying the weekly menu for several weeks. Every week there is a range of salads, periodic vegetables, meats, fish cooked in various sauces not to mention, desserts. Recption menus altered weekly, however the constant could be that the meals were always fresh, well-balanced, and, i believe, quite "developedInch for several-year-olds.


What exactly did I learn within my amount of time in the college lunchroom?

Every day the table is placed on their behalf, exactly like you would set a table should you be getting visitors for supper. There is no plastic utensils or non-breakable plates. These 3-year-olds use grown-up plates and utensils, much like their teachers. The children are offered their meal while dining, not buffet-style. This really is France, in the end, in which the gastronomic meal remains safe and secure like a UNESCO intangible world heritage item. There is no messing around with regards to in france they and eating.

All of the kids ate that which was offered there’s no food introduced at home. Every day at lunch there is a 3-course meal — no exceptions. The children arrived to the lunchroom and sitting nicely utilizing their manners, much like little adults. These were always offered seconds once they were completed with a training course, and never made to eat something they did not like, but always asked to check it out. Not liking something did not happen frequently, though. Given that they posess zero morning snack, their appetites were usually quite good by lunch, that was apparent from the way they removed their plates. However, if a person did not like something, there wasn’t a fuss made — their plate was removed, and subsequently course was offered.

Parents pay €2.60 for his or her child’s three-course lunch. I had been beginning to consider maybe I possibly could swing by for supper sometime, since i could not get anything nearly so good for €2.60 elsewhere!



Rôti de boeuf

Pureé crécy

Yaourt bifidus vanille

Loosely and unglamorously converted by me: Grapefruit, roast beef, puree of potato and carrots, pro-biotic yogurt


Blé en salade

Cordon bleu de dinde

Salsifis sauce poulette



Loosely and unglamorously converted by me: Wheat/grain salad, poultry Cordon bleu, oyster plant (salsify) with white-colored sauce, cantal cheese and apple


French kids only visit school for half your day on Wednesdays, so there’s no school lunch.



Sauté de porc aux pruneaux

Haricots verts


Tarte aux pommes

Loosely and unglamorously converted by me: Tabbouleh, sauteed pork with prunes, eco-friendly beans, Emmental cheese, apple tart



Courgettes à la niçoise

Omelette au fromage


Loosely and unglamorously converted by me: Soup, zucchini with tomato plants and olives, cheese omelet, blueberry


That’s it. My eyes happen to be opened up, and i’m astonished by exactly what the French public school system does daily at noon. It’s really no question French kids are visible in excellent restaurants on their own very best behavior, eating whatever is offered for them. It’s expected of these in a very young age, therefore it is just normal on their behalf.

Congratulations, France.

Now, if perhaps that French magic would mix to our dining room table in your own home.

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France's Gourmet School Lunches


JeanGuillaumeDB: meanwhile in the USA children get frozen meatballs and processed deformed food


fcbki cch: is it that bad in the us

Natalie B.: How come that they have money for plastic forks and plates but not for better food :o

LordoftheScience: damn it. why does feel like some other country always does things better than the U.S.

Joy Harrison: LordoftheScience The reason is that the wealthy people who control America look down upon the rest of us. They don't think we deserve good school lunches, healthcare, clean water etc. They tell us it's a privilege and not a right when we ask for the basics.

Paco Ramirez: "You don't want your child to have fish for lunch and fish for dinner."\nOh the horrors.

GarageDoorRapists: Paco Ramirez lmao when she said that I was like "why not hoe" I had 3 burgers yesterday I don't see what the problem is

Kayla Fitzwater: more like in America we eat on 50 Cent and get crappy pizza with hair on it

Emily McConnell: Stolen Bible I do actually