12/12/2013 12:42 pm ET Updated Feb 11, 2014

What School Lunches Look Like Around the World

Whatever your memories of high school, your lunches may stick out like a sore thumb -- for better or for worse. Whether your school served up "prison food" or heavenly junk food at the cafeteria, lunchtime was a time to gather with friends to gossip and wreak havoc over a plate of fries and shared ketchup, or if you were so unfortunate, it was a time to be forced into giving your lunch over to the class bully.

Click Here to see The Complete List of School Lunches Around the World

School lunches are a popular topic among state and national education and health boards in the United States, with schools often criticized for providing an imbalanced meal, and parents and the public continually promised changes to come. But despite the best efforts of people like British chef Jamie Oliver to highlight just how improperly fed students are and to attempt to change the system, most students in the U.S. are still living off unhealthy food that's somehow passed off as healthy, including shocking examples of fries and ketchup being considered as a daily serving of "vegetables."

Schools Lunch Around the World

However, school students in many nations around the world don't suffer from the same issues. Gone are the mac and cheese, creamy butter biscuits, pizza slices, chicken nuggets, and soda. Instead they're replaced by dishes like grilled fish (Japan), pickled kimchi (Korea), and green pea soup (Finland), all delicious enough to entice kids to eat .

But it's not all utopia: globalization has a lot to answer for, with the extremely delicious but plainly unhealthy Americanized foods such as pizzas and fries creeping their way into school lunches around the world.

-- Chinmoylad, The Daily Meal

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