If you’re tired of the same lunch routine day after day, travel around the world for inspiration. In several countries, lunch is the main meal of the day where families gather around and spend time catching up with one another. Take some tips from a few countries below and your kids will get a lesson in geography as well as a full stomach.
What Does Lunch Look Like in France?
- A typical lunch is three or four courses!
- A typical meal may include hake (a white fish) with lemon sauce, fresh bread, salad, cheese, fruit and yogurt for dessert.
- The French word for lunchroom? Restaurant scolaire. Fancy, right?
What Does Lunch Look Like in Mexico?
- Lunch is the biggest meal of the day.
- A traditional large lunch is served at home in the late afternoon, not at school.
- A typical lunch may be two courses: a soup and a main dish, like picadillo (a meat and vegetable hash) with rice and cooked vegetables, served with a glass of fresh-squeezed fruit juice.
- What do they call “lunch” in Mexico? Almuerzo.
What Does Lunch Look Like in China?
- Common lunch items are fish, scrambled egg with tomato sauce, rice, spinach, cauliflower and soup.
- Children seldom bring lunch to school in Beijing.
- Kids eat boxed lunches—usually rice, meat and vegetables.
What Does Lunch Look Like in India?
- Kids in the north may eat a fried flatbread called parathas with yogurt and pickles.
- Roti (a flatbread) and curry are also common lunch staples in much of India.
- Like their counterparts in the Western hemisphere, Indian children eat sandwiches. How about cucumber or butter with jam and eggs?
So think about branching out from the classics. Could cucumber and butter be the new PB&J? We leave it to you and your kids to figure that one out. Ask them how they’d like to incorporate the flavors of other cultures into their next meal…you might be surprised!
Jamie Phillips, M.S., RD is a Food & Nutrition Specialist at Kraft Foods Group in Glenview, IL.