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Monday, July 25, 2016

School lunches - German way



It has been a really interesting experience to compare lunches served at American (more specifically Avonworth near Pittsburgh) and German schools.  Full disclosure – most of the time that Andrei went to Avonworth he preferred to buy lunch and we didn’t mind because it was easier and fairly cheap.  We are fully aware that it is not healthy, good for you, and etc.

In German schools (and we have 3 different schools to compare it to) if you ARE at school during lunch time, you are required to pay for your lunch. It is actually not called lunch, it’s called Mittagsessen which literary means "middle of the day meal". If a child doesn’t want to eat it, well then you are wasting your money but you still have to pay it.  Bringing a lunch is not an option.  We do send snacks every day but that’s for a different time.   Also depending on the school, snacks might be required to be sugar free.  For example, Ilya is not allowed to have chips, cookies, juices and many other things.  Many days he eats pretzels and an apple for snack.

German lunch is more equivalent to American dinner.  Ilya does not get to choose what he eats since his entire school goes to a local restaurant where they are served whatever the school and the restaurant agreed to.  Anton has the same deal but his food is catered and we get a menu every week.  Andrei has a choice of 2 things every day, one choice always being lactose and gluten free.  For example, on Tuesday Andrei has an option of meatballs with dill sauce and potatoes or fish filet with tomato sauce and potatoes.  Included also is a fruit of the season.  Wednesday – pasta with zucchini sauce or chicken nuggets with rice and peppers.  From our experience, kids tend to eat and try a lot of new stuff when presented food this way and for our American kids, it’s also a great way to get some new and different tastes of German cuisine. 



P.S. At Anton's new kindergarten we will have to pack NO food - no snacks, no breakfast, nothing at all and I am super excited by that fact! It also minimizes the fact that somebody will bring food with nuts and accidentally cause an issue.

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