Are French school lunches more nutritious, more appetizing or more varied than American school lunches? Over the next month you can either judge for yourself or hear my personal comments. For the next 30 days, excluding weekends and Wednesdays, I will post two school lunch menus, one from a typical elementary school in Toms River, NJ and one from a typical public school in Pau, France (where I live now). Both of these towns have a similar population. Welcome to Day 1, September 13, 2010 for this fun comparison!
Toms River, New Jersey
Choice of 1 main dish, 2 sides and served with a half pint of milk
Chicken Nuggets or Ham and Cheese Wrap
R/F Doritos, Glazed Carrots, Baked Apples
Served with slices of baguette and water to drink
Gourmet Salad with Blue Cheese
Cod Filet with Spanish Sauce, Steamed Potatoes
Pear Compote (like Applesauce, but with Pears)
See the webpages for both menus, Toms River, and Pau. Note that in Pau there is no choice for the main dish, unlike in Toms River. You eat what is served, although if a child is allergic to fish there is an alternative; in today’s case it is: Lemon Ground Veal Patties. Note also that if a child eats in school in France, you cannot bring a packed lunch, the child must eat what is served on the menu. See my previous post last week concerning how school cafeterias work in France.
So, what do you think? Let me know by commenting…and for sure, tune in tomorrow for DAY 2!