Disclosure: As a Little Passports Ambassador, my kids receive monthly kits from “Around the World” to enjoy. The post may also contain affiliate links. Regardless, all opinions are 100% my own.

Inspired by the Little Passports kits the girls get each month, we have decided to study more about the continents of the world. Diving into countries and learning more about their culture and environment. We were thrilled to see this month’s newsletter that mentioned lunches from around the world.

Lunches From Around the World

Lunches From Around the World

As kids around the world have headed back to school, homework, new friends, and lunch time preparations are back on the agenda. It is interesting to learn about what children on the other side of the world eat for lunch. Do they eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or chicken nuggets you may find in American lunchboxes? The girls and I hope to learn more as we travel the globe through our studies, but are currently looking at 4 countries highlighted in this month’s newsletter: France, Japan, South Africa and Colombia.

French lunch


French children typically partake of a 3 or 4-course meal made from high-quality ingredients. Plus, it is mostly made from scratch. The children all sit in the same cafeteria as they enjoy their lunches. Unlike here in America, you will not find vending machines in schools in France. They are actually banned due to the high sugar and fat content of the treats they usually carry. The typical school lunch in for French children have a variety of dishes and ingredients, such as grilled fish, salad, red beans, seasonal vegetables, garlic sausage, fruit salads and chocolate flan (just to name a few). Another bonus for the French: food is served on plates and eaten with real silverware!

Japanese lunch


Japan’s school lunch ingredients are locally sourced and almost never frozen. That is awesome! Schools even go as far as employing nutrition experts that work with kids to teach them the importance of good eating habits. Like the French students, Japanese kids also eat in a community-like setting with their peers, as well as their teachers. The children also wear white hats and robes to serve their classmates. This service teaches them both teamwork and respect. Lots of rice, vegetables, fish, soup, and meat can be expected on a Japanese student’s lunch plate.

South Africa Potjiekos

South Africa

Meals in South African schools have natural ingredients that include corn, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams. You will also find rice, soft porridge, and meat sprinkled in with the vegetables. Potjiekos, a special stew named after a three-legged pot called potjie, originated from Dutch settlers and is now a South African favorite. The cook puts vegetables, meat, potatoes, and spices into the pot, which is then heated by small amounts of wood and twigs and served to the kids.

Colombian lunch


The children in Colombia often find that their school lunch ingredients can contain rice, potatoes, fruit, beans, meatballs, and vegetables such as corn and avocados. Their ingredients usually vary based on region. There is a special vegetarian menu also available for those children on a different diet. Plus, children from 2 to 5 years old are served their food cut and portioned into smaller sizes for easier chewing and swallowing.

Which country would you like to learn more about?

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little passport lunchbox