Why Spanish School Lunches Beat Ours By A Mile

Today I swiped something from my school in the name of being an informative blogger.  (See the things I do for you?)  I thought it would be fun to discuss...*dun dun dun*...a Spanish school lunch menu.
Things of immediate interest:
  • Eating at school is optional, because lunch is at 2:00 and is after the school day has officially ended.  About three quarters of the kids at my school stay for lunch, and the other quarter go home to a home-cooked meal. This probably fluctuates a bit depending on the school.
  • There is only one meal option every day, and nothing is a la carte like in most American schools. There is no option to bring your own lunch. Students who eat at the school eat whatever the school is serving that day.  I like this idea myself, being heavily in favor of non-picky eating.
Here we go:
(okay, I said I swiped it, I didn't say that I kept it pristine and nice in my bag)
(translation: sorry, it's really crumpled)
Each day has total calories listed, as well as carbohydrates and protein and all that jazz.  I shudder to think of what that would look like on an American menu (today your child had a corn dog, tater tots, canned peaches in heavy syrup, and topped it all off with sugary chocolate milk.  Total calories: THREE BAZILLION.) They serve vegetables everyday according to the guide on the back, and at least half of those vegetables every week must be raw (i.e. salad and fresh fruit).
Let's check out one day: Tuesday, the 15th.
We've got a green garden salad, followed by lentils with chorizo (a Spanish sausage), whole wheat bread and fresh fruit for dessert.  The children that eat at the comedor range in age from three years to eight years old, and they are having green salads as appetizers.  Being American, I'm naturally impressed by a three-year old that doesn't run screaming from anything that doesn't involve chicken nuggets.
Or this one:
Look at Tuesday the 8th: cream of zucchini and potato soup, followed by a stewed pork dish in tomato sauce, with whole wheat bread and fruit.
Monday the 14th: spiral pasta with tomato sauce, followed by fish in a garlic and olive oil sauce, vegetables, white bread, and yogurt for dessert.
All this begs the question: if you have a small child, would they eat this stuff?
Oh yes, they would.
If they were Spanish.

Boy meets girl. Girl goes to Spain.  Boy comes too.  Hilarity ensues.  Love & Paella


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