Call me Pisces. I'm mother of two daughters and we live in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
My younger daughter will turn 8 soon and is in 3rd grade of primary school, the older one is almost 11 and in 6th grade of Gymnasium. They both started school early so they are the youngest pupils in their classes.
In Germany, there are 16 federal states of different sizes – some states actually are just one city, such as Bremen - and each has its own general education system which makes things hard to explain. Every child attends primary school (grade 1 – 4, approx. from age 6 – 10, in some states grade 1 – 6, age 6 – 12). Afterwards, they go to secondary school. The traditional school system after primary school is the tripartite system: Hauptschule -secondary modern school-, Realschule -middle school- and Gymnasium -an academic secondary high school- but there are Gesamtschulen (comprehensive schools), too. I took the translations from an Internet dictionary, not sure if they’re really correct.
In some states, teachers recommend a certain kind of secondary school for a child but in the end the parents decide whether they’re going to send their son / daughter there or choose another kind. In some states, the teachers’ commendation is mandatory. In some areas, first and second graders are educated together, in others not.
Both of my daughters’ schools have canteens. Meals are sponsored by the municipal administration to keep the prices low and make school dinners attractive. We pay € 3,00 (£ 2,39) per meal, some students are eligible to reduce-fare and pay € 1,00 (£ 0,80) per meal. The meals usually consist of one main course (vegetarian choice available), salad, dessert and fruit. Since pupils are not allowed to use electronic devices on school premises my girls can’t take pictures of their school dinners.
Not to mention that they don’t eat there too often since they don’t like the food (unless there’s something like pizza on the menu). “Your good cooking spoiled us, Mum”, they say. I would feel flattered but if I didn't think they just try to make me pack their favorite lunches. Last week was a week of packed lunches because the school menus had many meals my daughters loath. Semolina pudding, for example, or vegetarian bratwurst.
I took a guess at the costs of each lunch. The pomegranate for example was 0,99 € but was divided in several servings and so was the box of cherry tomatoes and the bag of clementines.
Rye-wheat bread with butter, a clementine, pomegranate seeds, homemade turkey meatballs (leftovers from dinner the day before), a mini-babybel and some candy as a treat. Both children said they liked it a lot but would have liked it even better if there had been some ketchup for the meatballs.
Bites: Both girls forgot to count all week because they were busy chatting with their friends.
Food-o-meter: 8/10 (the missing ketchup…)
Health meter: 7 /10 (-3 for the candy)
Price: about 1,50 € (£ 1,20)
Rye-wheat bread with butter and gouda bunny, mini-cabanossi, cherry tomatoes and grape-and-cheese-sticks. I gave them extra sticks because they like to share them with their friends. My younger daughter doesn’t like the cabanossi so she had pretzel snacks instead.
Food-o-meter: 9/10 (my older daughter rated it 10/10, the younger one 8/10)
Health meter: 7/10 because the sausages contain lots of salt and fat
Price: about 1,30 € (£ 1,04)
Here we’ve got leftovers from supper the day before: a bagel with tuna salad (canned tuna mixed with a little bit of Miracle Whip, sour cream, chopped cornichons and grated cheese), cherry tomatoes, grapes, a piece of sweet red pepper. There’s also a homemade cookie and a small piece of chocolate for a treat. My younger daughter didn’t finish the bagel, it was too much for her but she ate about half of it.
Health meter: 7/10 (- 3 for the mayo in the tuna salad and the chocolate)
Price: about 1,80 € (£1,28)
This one’s a picture of my snack box. I was in a hurry that morning so I forgot to take pictures of my children’s boxes.
It’s whole-wheat bread with cream cheese and tomato puree, bits of wieners, red pepper and cherry tomatoes. In the small box there’s a dip made of quark (curd?), yoghurt, lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices. My daughters also had half an apple and some raisins.
Health meter: 10/10 – no candy today and all food groups covered
Price: about 1 € (£ 0,80)
This is today’s lunch: whole-wheat bread with butter, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, some walnuts, a clementine and a couple of homemade cookies.
Food-o-meter: 6/10 (They don’t like whole-wheat bread unless it comes in bitesized pieces.).
Health meter: 9/10 because of the cookies although they’re homemade (spelt flour, little sugar, no preservatives)
Price: about 1,50 € (£ 1,20)