this article about school lunches is interesting (via daxaing). growing up in nz and australia, school lunches were always brought from home, so the notion of mass-produced and consumed school food is pretty alien to me. it seems like a good idea, if the food is good and healthy. here in switzerland most kids come home from school for lunch (there is a 2 hour lunch break). often it is the main meal of the day. i actually like this, as it seems more sensible to eat a large meal in the middle of the day when you are busy and active as opposed ot eating a big main meal just before you go to bed.
the difficulty with the swiss school lunch system is that, obviously, someone needs to be home to make the kiddies lunch. usually this is mummy. increasingly, however, many mothers are returning to the workforce, and while the 2 hour lunch is the norm for many industries/professions, it does then entail working close to home and being able to get home in time for lunch. talk about restrictions! i've said it before and i'll say it again, the swiss school system is NOT kind to mothers/primary carers.
it is only very recently (the one at our local school was built last year)that mittagstisch (lunchtable) clubs have been set up for kids whose parents both work and cannot be home to provide them with lunch. i have no idea what they serve the kiddies though. presumably it is something healthy, as fast foods like chips and burgers are barely even available from commercial outlets (there is one mcdonalds in zürich, and a burger king somewhere on the outskirts of zürich, but that's about it).
having said that, i do think it is a nice tradition for everyone to sit down together at lunch, if possible, and eat a good hearty meal. i know that i survive the latter part of the day better if i make an effort and cook lunch. if i only have a yoghurt or bread roll with something i find i just nibble the afternoon away. the kiddies are also less likely to pester me for snacks if we have a cooked lunch.
i'm not sure what i will be doing when max goes to school. we are just beginning to plan for when he enters kindergarten in august. he will go every morning but be home in time for lunch. so my return to the workforce will have to be squeezed in around that and lola, who will be attending max's kinderkrippe (childcare) for 2 days a week. in all, i may have around 2 mornings a week to go back to work. hmmm. that's not much. some careful scheduling will have to happen here, or else a major career adjustment.