From above of crop anonymous ethnic schoolkids with lunch boxes full of delicious food in classroom

What We Can Learn from French School Lunches – s2ep12

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In this week’s episode of the Life of a Bon Vivant podcast, Beeta opens up a discussion around school lunches in France. From the four-course meals served to elementary school kids to the intentional focus on socializing during mealtime, there’s a lot to unpack and learn from the French approach. Contrasting this with the typical American school lunch options, Beeta explores the impact of these culinary experiences on children’s health, habits, and cultural attitudes towards food. Whether you’re a parent, educator, or simply curious about international food culture, this episode offers insights and food for thought. 

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One Comment

  1. Hi Beeta, Your podcast about French school lunches was great! The European philosophy around food is so much better than that of the States, in my opinion.
    France is similar to Italy, which is something I know a bit about. School lunch in Italy is highly prescribed and an essential part of the day. They do not allow unhealthy foods or even enable school lunchrooms to serve deep-fried food, for example. I believe this is a healthy way to feed children and ensure they are getting proper nutrition. It teaches them about food, spending time to savor their meals, and interacting with friends.
    As a parent, my son is an adult now, but when he was in school in the 1990s/2000s, the lunches were awful; he hated them, and I hated them. One year, I started a petition to make a change, and many parents were interested, but it wasn’t enough to get the school district to fully consider it.
    I often prepared lunch for him, but that was still not the best method because, as you said, the lunch period was so short that he didn’t have time to eat. Culturally, some kids would think it was weird when he brought lunch, but others were very jealous.
    Over time, the lack of elevating the need for schools to provide healthy, nutritious lunches combined with the leisure to enjoy the meal and the communal experience of sitting together with friends has brought a kind of cultural decline, as well as poor nutrition and early onset of disease for many.
    Coming from a European-American household, we embrace mealtime and healthy food.
    I wish more for the States.

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