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Lunch Trays from Around the World

Do you ever feel like your child only wants to eat chicken nuggets and pizza for lunch? Take a look at what children are eating for lunch all over the world - spicy food, seaweed soup, salad, borscht...

Use this as inspiration to expose children to new foods and flavors. And rest assured that they are capable of more than just chicken nuggets and pizza, day-in-and-day-out! As a kick-starter to get your child interested in new foods, try experimenting with some of these lunches from around the world:


In Japan, children eat a traditional lunch of rice, fish and vegetable or seaweed soup. The teachers eat the same food as the students and it is a sign of disrespect to not eat what you are served. The focus of the lunch is teaching the students to be mindful of portion size, to not waste food and to discourage picky eating. (Source)


Brazilian students eat a meal mostly comprised of rice and beans, and this meal is always mixed with various locally-sourced vegetables and often comes with an additional salad or fruit. (Source)


Lunch for Ukrainians focuses primarily on meat. Students start off with a soup such as borsch (mixture of beets, vegetables and meat), and this soup is typically served with some kind of sausage or red meat and children are served potatoes or another starch on the side. Ukrainian children are also fed dessert, which can consist of a typical Ukrainian dessert, syrki, made of chocolate covered cream cheese. (Source)


Swedish meals consist of cabbage most days, along with a variety of vegetables such as potatoes or salad, and beans as a protein. (Source)


In Italy, lunch is not only about feeding the children, but is about supporting local farms and farming communities. The meals are made of mostly organic items and usually consist of a pasta or risotto meal with salad served on the side. Most of the meals include a variety of vegetables, and meat is only served once or twice per week (Source)

Diversifying your lunch from the standard favorites not only helps your child to expand their horizons and try something new, but can help them understand that variety is a part of a healthy diet.

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