School Meals- less meat more veg - perhaps a good idea for adults too

@vero says "they need more stodge’ and she’s absolutely right. Nothing stodgy about Vėronique’s judgement IMO.

My favourite school dinner in the early 1940s was cheese pie. The cook always made two big tins of it. The ingredients were mashed potato and cheese. There was no brown or tomato sauce in those days. Just pie.

I used always be amongst the first to go forward when cook called “Seconds!”

At 81 I think that my still being big and strong and able to touch my toes is down to that cheese pie. And never putting sugar in my tea. :grin::muscle:

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Your Canteen sounds on a par with ours, although our school is for younger kids. High quality, local products and a dedicated “chef”, produces delicious meals - I can vouch for this as I sometimes get invited to taste the leftovers. :upside_down_face:

Lentils and beetroot are a great combination. If you think about it, beetroot is very similar to carrot and carrots and lentils are a classic dish.

OH is a non meat eater, and our meals are largely vegetable based. I thought that diabetics had to be careful about high calorie foods and saturated fats like cheese and stick to regular eating with lots of veg, fruit and grains.

You both seem to have enlightened schools. Our friends children struggle, and find that there is often a day when all they can eat is fruit.

Oh Jane, that does not seem right.

It is not rocket science to offer a varied selection every day, but it takes planning. Our folk organise menus in blocks of 2-weeks and endeavour not to repeat anything, although fruit/veg might reappear in a different form during a week.

They shop early Monday and Thursday as they do not use anything frozen (except icecream). (no school Wednesday).

This is an old article, but have attached as its in English. If you look you will find much more recent news in french news outlets.

Your students really are fortunate to have such good food. When my step-son attended the village école and, later, the collège in the neighbouring village the food was not at all good. It was delivered every day by a catering firm and consisted of the same meals supplied to the all the local maisons de retraite. You can imagine the consistency of most of it to enable it to be suitable for the elderly! My step-son used to mostly eat the bread, the salad and the dessert.

His Maman, who worked at the maison de retraite, at least knew what he had been offered for lunch every day and would know how hungry he would be when he got home!

I wonder who decides how meals are provided at schools etc?

There has been talk of school meals being provided from a Central Kitchen (who knows where). However, our Commune is totally against that and so long as we have the funds and the catering staff we will continue to do what we feel is right for the kids. We try not to raise the local taxes, so it is not an easy budget…

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Disgusting and stupid, old people shouldn’t get slop just because they are old. I’d have thought nutritional requirements for teenagers and geriatrics would be different too.
Delivered every day by a catering firm is the problem I think, catering firms are the devil. Our chef walks around the cantine getting reactions from the consumers.


Absolutely! I didn’t believe him about the meals until his Maman started working at the maison de retraite. This was in the Tarn, near Mazamet.

The budget they have for providing meals in most EHPADs is disgusting. And they go for lowest common denominator, so mushy food easy to feed to the more fragile residents. There was a main article in Nouvel Obs last month about them and it was shocking!

Terrible, old people just get shuffled off into some ghastly smelling of pee antechamber of death to wither away mentally and physically. UGH.

Even worse, some EHPADs are moving to give the older residents those sachets of food concentrate as it takes too long to feed them otherwise. Why in heaven’s name don’t they appeal for volunteers to do that - well I know the reason as it’s probably against labour laws. But what a dreadful state of affairs if not enough money to hire people to feed fragile elderly, and can’t use unpaid and willingly offered help!

She’s had type 1 diabetes for over 9 years and Yes she has to eat four times a day and sometimes snacks in between…she doesn’t eat any cakes biscuits or pastry either…

All food is allowed within moderation…

No meat once a week?
How the bandwagon has come round again! We had this when I was at primary school, every Friday: it was called being a Roman Catholic and was a religious abstinence! I daresay many french kids in the 60s had a similar experience . I learned to hate the concealed macaroni cheese, pilchard salad (with assorted wildlife), fish in cheese sauce which h came out of the mysterious cars delivered each day from the central kitchen. We were “encouraged” to eat up alternately to remember the starving children in Africa or alternatively, if we really didn’t like something , to clear our plates and offer it up for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. So praise the day w h an Pope Paul VI ended the obligatory Friday abstinence from meat- no wonder they made him a saint!

No fish either! Also the church hasn’t been allowed to say even one word about anything including food in state schools since 1905. Religion has no place in state schools.

Hello Vero
I wondered if your last sentence was a fact or an opinion? I know about the 1906 Church/State separation but I suppose I thought it only reasonable that, in the 60s when so many more children were RC, that schools would serve a meatless meal on “Fish Friday.” Suffice it go say that, growing up in Edinburgh, Friday lunch was the low point on a culinary map which had all of the contours of Norfolk!

I think it would be a great idea to reduce the consumption of meat…but I feel that, as with many other things, it’s a question of education.
Not just here but everywhere ; healthier “happier” animals would result in healthier happier people…but where to start?
Close the factory farms in the US ? (good for the planet)
Restrict the production of meat to so-many animals per farm ?
(good for the planet & animals…& eventually, people)
My own feeling is that it would take at least a generation to change this.
So, in the meantime, we should buy local; from little farms, that should not tied up in admin & forced to pay ridiculous costs to produce their stuff…& all could / would / should be right with the World…
If not, then we can stick to eradicating cotton buds from every day use.


I can assure you that Church/Religion has no place in School. Not by word or deed.

Of course, I am talking about here in France…

Hi Franz, fact, not opinion. Children may very well be catholic or whatever, but that has no bearing on school or lunch, religion doesn’t come into the public arena, it is private. We get fish fairly regularly but NEVER on a Friday, just in case someone might think it was for religious reasons. Even when my mother was at collège and lycée that was the case. Even for my grandfather! The law was passed in 1905 so everyone has had well over a century to get used to it.