Children enjoy lunch, including meat and vegetables, at the Kolno village school in Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. Experts say that eating well-balanced meals can benefit a child’s cognitive functioning and performance in school.
Students eat a free lunch, consisting of rice and traditional dishes, at Yuanbao school in Guizhou, a mountainous province in southwest China. Free lunch has been sponsored by the central government since 2011 to improve students’ nutrition. Previously, students in poor rural communities either didn’t eat or ate only small amounts of food. School feeding programs are ubiquitous across high-, middle- and low-income countries, experts say.
Children receive a hot meal provided by the humanitarian organization World Food Programme at a rural school in the city of Adama, also called Nazret or Nazareth, in central Ethiopia. Many of the students walk for an hour or two to school every morning, and in some cases, they attend school because of the free meals.
Two boys eat fish and chips for lunch in the canteen at Fettes College, a private boarding school in Edinburgh, Scotland. Across countries, how much time children have during their lunch periods can influence how much of a balanced meal they may consume.
Students enjoy lunch, including rice and beans, at Hanka Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya. The lunch was provided by the Chinese public welfare project Free Lunch for Children. About 1,100 students at five primary schools in the area benefit from the program.
Lunch involves traditional dishes at the Karachi Footpath School in the province of Sindh in Pakistan. The school provides lunch for free to all students before they leave at 1 p.m.
A woman serves food to children in a school canteen in Wales. Potatoes, pizza and other dishes are on the menu. Meanwhile, a spotlight has been turned on what children eat for lunch in wake of a rising obesity epidemic among the world’s youth. In the United Kingdom, obesity is estimated to affect about one in every five children aged 10 to 11.
Middle school students enjoy lunch outdoors in Lima, Peru. Many children pack lunches brought from home that include juice boxes, fruit and traditional dishes.
A school girl eats lunch, consisting of rice and stew, at Senzoku Elementary School in Tokyo, Japan. In Japan, many students serve each other lunch and enjoy their meals in relaxed environments in the classroom.
Students eat lunch at David Brink Primary School in Rustenburg, South Africa, where the number of students benefiting from the school’s feeding program jumped from 65 to 185 students within a four-month period in 2014. During that time, many local mine workers and their families were under a lot of financial strain.
A child eats lunch, including couscous, meat and vegetables, at a municipal school in the city of Bordeaux, France. Parents of pupils in the area are more worried about the plastic plates students are eating on than the actual lunch itself. Parents have asked for a return to traditional dishes as they are concerned about the presence of certain chemicals on the plates.