School lunch in France

The author of “French Kids Eat Everything” has posted real menus from different schools in France. It all sounds so delicious, I want to eat their school lunch! Haha! Reading the menus made me realize my kids probably need more variety and more vegetables! In France, ALL schoolchildren are served a 4 course meal every day for lunch (and they get a 2 hour lunch break!) A vegetable starter, a main dish (meat) with a vegetable side, a cheese course, and dessert (usually fruit).

Here is an actual menu from Saint-Julien-de-Genevois (population 5000), a small town in the Alps in south-eastern France:

Monday
Salad: Savory olive bread
Main: Sautéed chicken with green peas à la barigoule (a traditional sauce made with artichoke hearts)
Cheese/Dairy:Fromage blanc (a light, creamy cheese that is somewhat like a thick yogurt in consistency)
Dessert: Seasonal fruit

Tuesday
Salad: Cucumber with balkan yogurt sauce
Main: Roast pork with gravy and lentil stew
Cheese/Dairy:Reblochon de Savoie A traditional unpasteurized cheese from the Alps: richm creamy yellow, nutty-tasting, and a little stinky!
Dessert: Apple compote (sauce)

Wednesday
Salad: Green bean salad
Main: Sautéed veal with bulghur wheat
Cheese/Dairy: A mild, very light cheese (made with skim milk), also from the Rhône-Alpes region
Dessert: Seasonal fruit

Thursday
Salad: Grated carrot salad (a French kids’ favorite)
Main: Filet of fish with lemon; ratatouille and rice
Cheese/Dairy:Mimolette
Dessert: Liégeois au chocolat The treat of the week! A rich chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream, served in a tall glass. Say no more.

Friday
Salad: Cabbage salad with mayonnaise (sort of like cole slaw)
Main: Sautéed beef with sweet and sour sauce, and pasta
Cheese/Dairy: Organic yogurt with organic sugar
Dessert: Fresh fruit cocktail

WOW!! Isn’t it amazing what children get to eat in France? Besides making me very hungry, reading their school lunch menus made me want to move to France so my kids could get such delicious and healthy foods! Until we move to France, I guess the next best thing is to make a few meals ourselves.  Please don’t misunderstand that I make this for my kids everyday…I WISH!!  Maybe a bunch of moms can get together and make this happen, each mom can make a course and meet together for lunch with their kids! Any takers?

We tried making the grated carrot salad that is supposed to be a favorite with the kids in France. It is also a great activity to do with kids!

The recipe said 8 carrots! I thought that would be too much for us, so we just used 4, but when grated, it doesn’t seem like a lot.  Pretty simple recipe, just carrots, parsley, olive oil, salt, lemon and orange.

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First, pick the parsley off the stems. Kids love this job! Well, my kids anyways!rainbow-3We halved the recipe, so we just used half of a bunch of parsley.
rainbow-4Peel, then grate the carrots, we used the side of the grater with the smaller holes.
rainbow-5Finely chop up the parsley leaves.  We used this nifty chopping machine that kind of works like a salad spinner, but with a blade!
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Mix the grated carrot and chopped parsley.rainbow-7 Juice the lemon & orange.rainbow-8 Mix in 1 Tablespoon olive oil, & a pinch of salt.rainbow-10 Whisk up the dressing.rainbow-11 Just before serving mix it together!  Violet loves carrots, so she liked this salad, I think the trick is to chop up the parsley very finely otherwise I think she would have tried to pick it out!rainbow-12

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