Debates and initiatives over school lunches in the United States have remained in the public dialogue over the years, and for a good reason. The National School Lunch Program (NPL), which provides low-cost or free kids meals, serves upwards of 31 million students at 92 percent of U.S. public and private schools.

This means the dietary restrictions and provisions of NPL should be of concern to most U.S. parents. Well, Sweetgreen, a chain of salad restaurants, that runs the Sweetgreen in Schools program meant to educate kids about healthy foods, fitness, and sustainability, created interesting photo series to show what kids around the world eat for lunch in school cafeterias – and compared to the U.S these schools are serving up gourmet healthy meals. Scroll down below to compare plates!


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


Pea soup, beet salad, carrot salad, bread and pannakkau (dessert pancake) with fresh berries


Steak, carrots, green beans, cheese and fresh fruit


Pork with mixed veggies, black beans and rice, salad, bread and baked plantains

South Korea

Fish soup, tofu over rice, kimchi and fresh veggies


Baked chicken over orzo, stuffed grape leaves, tomato and cucumber salad, fresh oranges, and greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds


Mashed potatoes with sausage, borscht, cabbage and syrniki (a dessert pancake)


Sautéed shrimp over brown rice and vegetables, gazpacho, fresh peppers, bread and an orange


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