Lunch break…the universal time to take a break from studies to enjoy time with friends and recharge for the rest of the school day.  School lunch for students can be very different throughout the world.  Take a trip with us to get a glimpse into a typical lunch day for students in Egypt, Taiwan, France, and the USA as shared by our Cooking Up Cultures Program Managers!


  • Lunch is usually 20 minutes long
  • Most students typically eat a butter or jam sandwich
  • Some kids buy their lunches from McDonalds or other local fast food restaurants


  • Students have full hour for lunch and are typically in school from morning to early evening
  • Kids bring their lunches in metal containers called Bento boxes
  • Meals usually consist of rice, soy sauce eggs, stew, & pork
  • A nap at their desk usually follows lunch time
  • Kids attend school 6 days a week & even continue through summer with shorter school days


  • School starts in September and ends in July
  • The schedule is usually 6 weeks in school & 2 weeks off
  • A typical school day begins at 8:30 and ends at 4:30
  • Students are given 1 1/2 hours for lunch & can either eat at school or go home for lunch
  • Most kids do not use any type of lunch box
  • The standard French lunch is a starter (salad, terrine, or pãté), the main dish (meat or fish with potatoes/pasta/rice or veggies), cheese, & a dessert (mousse au chocolat…chocolate mousse!)


  • School starts in August or September & ends May or June
  • A typical school day starts as early as 7:30 and ends as late as 4:00 depending on the student’s grade
  • Students are given 25-30 minutes for lunch
  • Lunches are brought in brown paper bags, plastic lunches boxes, or other insulated Bento style boxes
  • Meals can be as simple as peanut butter & jelly sandwiches or deli meat sandwiches with fruit & a snack or consist of hot lunch items like mac & cheese, tator tots, fruit, veggies, & milk.  Older students usually have access to vending machines where they can purchase snacks