Thursday 17 May 2012

My Dad met the council today and its official that we are allowed unlimited salads, fruit and bread! I'm really happy that all of my friends can help themselves to good stuff. This is the message that Jamie Oliver wrote in his Jamie's Great Britain book which he kindly sent to me,

Thanks Jamie, I do intend to keep it up!

Today my lunch was baked potato and cheese. I was given an overload of salad and with the potato it really filled me up and it was hard to finish. The brownie is definitely better than Dads as it has sticky chocolate icing on it. It is crumbs in the photo by the cake, not flies.

Food-o-meter- 6/10
Mouthfuls- 48 (didn't quite finish the salad)
Courses- main/dessert
Health Rating- 9/10
Price- £2
Pieces of hair- 0

Today my blog has become massive in Taiwan and here is a picture sent in by Annie from Taiwan.

She says it is a normal lunch. I don't recognise all the foods but it looks very colourful and tasty!

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to dipping lots of bread in my soup if its on the menu.



  1. what a lovely blog! your lunches certainly look better than the school lunches i remember growing up in chicago :)

  2. Bok Coy, hot & sour soup, pork and tofu,and last one is fried egg with onions and carrots.

    it seems become better than years ago,at least not too greasy for children!

  3. Annie's lunch certainly looks appetising but, like you, I don't recognise most of it and don't know where the protein is.
    Veg, your lunch looks like quite an improvement on what you have been having.
    I see that cheese forms your protein for the third day running. Do you ever get proper meat (not sausages) or fish?

    1. The animal protein comes from the fried egg, and the vegetable Protein comes from the tofu :)

    2. There is protein in the bok choy, in the rice, the mushrooms and carrots ... HEY WAIT! there is protein in ALL whole foods!

    3. There is protein in most food including bread and rice. If you eat a balanced and varied diet you will get more than enough of the full range of amino acids that the body needs to grow and stay healthy.

      Just eating beans on toast will give you a complete source of protein i.e. all the 10 essential amino acids you need.

      Eggs and milk are both complete sources of protein. :)

  4. The Annie's food is to much for me :P It's a lot of food! And your lunch, Veg, seems good :)

    You are doing a good work, and your blog is so interesting! :P

  5. If anyone is interested in the recipe for Annie's fried eggs with onions & carrot, it's here ......................

    1. Neesargon :good job!! this recipe is really heathy and good tasty.

      To VEG ,Here are two recipe which are good for children,
      May you and your father can recommend to your school if
      you like them.

      *Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry:

      *Green Onion Fried Eggs:

      And both of them are very fresh, with portein, not graesy.

    2. Thank you for the recipes.


  6. Veg: It's lovely that you've been given a chance to fill up a bit more on salad, bread and fruit. But for the third day running, I am concerned that the expensive stuff - protein - is in shockingly short supply. You are growing, and what you get to eat now will determine much of your health in years and decades to come. Your work is not finished - and neither is that of your local council.

    To Veg's Dad: I think you have a remarkable child there, particularly her ability to write well.

    To the local council: Please give these children some meat or fish or egg - these tiny scrapings of cheese are not a healthy amount of protein.

    1. Animal protein IS costly, not only to hard pressed school catering budgets, but to the environment as well.
      Many Scottish schools participate enthusiastically in eco-schools projects, but seem not to include school meals in the equation! Much more use could be made of vegetable sources of protein, thus leaving scope for more subtantial portions.

      This site is worth checking out:

      Veg: I hope there are many more as talented as you, because your generation face a huge challenge in sustainably feeding an already hungry, and increasing world population.

    2. WOTTS: I understand and empathize with your concerns, but what I'm getting at here is that this lunch costs £2, and does not appear to have the amount of protein found in a 99p McDonald's hamburger. It is absolutely true that vegetable sources of protein are available and valuable, but I don't know if it's reasonable to expect wise use of those sources from catering staff who clearly don't understand basic nutritional needs - they recently gave Veg macaroni cheese and mashed potato at the same meal.

  7. Well done! certainly brings back memories, keep it up!
    It seems school dinners have slipped since I was a kid.

  8. It certainly looks better today!

  9. Wow,,,your lunch looks like Diet meals for me...
    I'm from Taiwan ,too
    I saw the news talks about your blog !!
    interesting!! :D

  10. Hi VEG, I am Michael from Taiwan, allow me to have some explains for Annie's lunch...

    Left Upper: Chinese cabbage, Chinese style fried.
    Left Rear: Egg, Sliced onion, Carrot, Chinese style fried.
    Right Upper: Tofu, Mushrooms, Green Onion, Carrot, Soy sauce well cooked.
    Right Rear: errr.. Tomato.. :)
    The Soup: Spice and sour soup, check this one here:
    The white stuff: Steamed Rice.

    I think Annie's lunch is much more like for student at the age between 12 to 15, thou indeed you have way to less of stuff for your lunch, especially for vegetables and meat!

    Veg's Dad: You have a talented kid ! :)

    Looking forward for your future post!

  11. Hi Veg, thanks for posting the picture from Taiwan. In Taiwan, we called that "nutritious lunch". When I was in school, every half year, they held a bid for companies. Whichever had the best price and menus got the bid. School did poll as well to let students share what they like about the current company. I have no idea how things work in your country, but hope my comment will help you :)

  12. The detail of Taiwan Elementary School Lunch:
    1. Upper left was Chinese cabbage light fried.
    2. Upper middle was tofu, bamboo shoot, Jew's ear and carrot strips hot and sour soup.
    3. Upper right was fresh tofu, fried tofu, Shiitake and Welsh onion light fried.
    4. Lower left was onion and carrot omelette.
    5. Lower middle was steam rice.
    6. Lower right was fresh baby cherry tomato.

    The most protein comes from tofu, egg and few mushroom. Some children in Taiwan did not like carrot's flavor. So chop carrot into strip and hide it in soup or omelette with other vegetable was common solution.

    Denny Tsao from Taiwan

  13. Martha,左上方的叫做"青江菜",吃起脆脆的很好吃,中間上方是"酸辣湯",喝起來一點點酸和辣,右上方的應該是"炒三蔬"有紅蘿蔔,香菇,筍片,配上炸豆腐切片。左下方是"洋蔥炒蛋",洋蔥切絲後炒軟後再和蛋炒再一起,中間下面是中國人常吃的"白米飯",右下方是小番茄。

    1. Your writing is beautiful!


    2. Wish you can read Chinese! 樓上的,最好她看得懂中文啦 :P

  14. You are on the news in Taiwan!
    There is Tofu in Annie's food. Tofu is an alternative source of protein.

  15. Again no protein.
    Do you get to choose what you have for lunch from different items on the Hot counter or is it a set Menu so you can only have what is on offer ??

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Annie's lunch box contains with(from up right to below left):
    Stir-fried Pak choi, Sour and spicy soup(pork, carrot+bamboo shoots+ tofu stripes), Stir-fried tofu+pork with Chinese mushroom, scramble egg with oinion, white rice and baby tomatoes.

  18. I guess the one in the picture from Taiwan is for vegetarian students. In Taiwan a general student's lunch should contain meat.

  19. you should live in Taiwan. haha

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Use the keyword "營養午餐" paste to Google and search pictures, you can find out more about our lunch :D

    And if you're interesting with lunch from other Asian country, see this:
    It's from Japan.

  22. Look so good!! but it doesn't mean also tasty as outward...TAT

    It echos my heart in childhood. From Taiwan ^^

  23. The Taiwan meal looks amazing, healthy, filling, not greasy, flavourful and not stodgy. Yours looks better than before, but still has baked potato with pasta salad loaded with mayo. It looks so bland compared with the Taiwanese meal. Your doing a great job - you have already made lunches for you and your school mates better - unlimited salad, bread and fruit - fantastic. In Stirling they have cut the free fruit for kids this year.

  24. What a difference between the lunches! And they don't have an obesity problem in Taiwan, either.

    That can be your next project!

    One person can make a difference if they are only willing to speak out. I predict a great career in political activism for you :)

    1. actually there are many children overweight in Taiwan. (due to the lack of exercise)

  25. Hi Veg, there are some pictures in the web below.
    The menus are designed by dieticians, although not everyone likes their lunch. Students can refill plates if they still feel hungry.

  26. this is the free lunch in taiwan

  27. Hi Veg,the lunch as the pic you post from Annie which costs about £0.9 or £1 in Taiwan.I think you should object to the school.

  28. Hi Veg,

    Great work! You've inspired me to start a blog because, as it stands, it doesn't get any better when you get to Secondary. At least, here in England. I think it get worse.

    I want secondary school parents to start paying as much attention to school lunch as they did when their children were in primary.

    Have a look at my blog and see what you'd get, if you lived where I do.

    Thank you so much. I look forward to more of your posts, and to see what everyone else is eating. It is really interesting.

    1. The situation is dire nationwide. Our council say food fine and blamed Veg, and us, for her choices on national radio ( )

      Very upsetting.

      Veg's Dad

    2. Wait - WHAT happened? I am so sorry that people are blaming you guys for speaking out.
      That's when you know you're doing good work.
      I am following this blog with great interest, and am wishing my son were a little older so he could imitate this project!
      Congratualtions on all of your hard work.

  29. Hi Veg
    Take a look at todays Menu


  30. Here are some pictures of the lunch for primary school students in Taiwan. You may like to have a look.

  31. what you can have for your lunch with £2 in Taiwan. Here are some pics of the lunch box.

  32. I usually send my twin 10 year old sons to school with a packed lunch although the menu they get home for the term usually looks quite tasty I have more of an issue with the prison trays they use to serve them with.

    I don't understand why those who chose the menu have such unappealing serving ideas. More kids would eat veg if it were mixed in to the food, pasta salad, hearty stews. Sitting pathetically at the side of the plate (sorry tray), I feel quite sorry for the wee bits of veg scattered and lonely looking.

    That Taiwan dish looks lovely. Again, I would bet they daren't serve prisoners what they give to our school children, and for some children it'll be the only meal they get. I know in Finland school meals are free and healthy!

    Good on you VEG for bringing this to attention, your dad must be very proud of you!

  33. Hi VEG!
    This is Ken from Taiwan, and I am so amazed to find out that there is also someone (YOU!) doing the similar thing as I do every day!

    Well, I must admit that your purpose is much gracious than mine!

    I just photo what I ate for lunch (or dinner) and post it onto my facebook album. I regard it as a method to record my life through remembering what I ate :P

    If you are interested in Taiwan style food, just hit the link below!

    BTW, be sure to visit Taiwan in the near future, we got decent food with cheap price!!

    Cheers! With all my admiration and respect to your purpose.
    Ken from Taiwan

  34. Congrats VEG ... It´s nice to get Jamie´s attention on it ...
    Kisses from Brazil !! :D

  35. Job well done! We live in Utah in the US. The school my daughters go to has a local restaurant prepare their meals. The food is quite good but it is expensive costing $3.75 per meal. The school they went to in Maryland before moving here served really gross food. Almost everything on the tray was a shade of brown. The price there was only $2.40 but still not worth the money. I always pack a sac lunch for them.

  36. Hi Veg,

    Just to say well done. I'm glad your blog has had an effect, I saw it posted on g+ so came for a look. You should be very proud of yourself.

    Impressed with all your visitors and page views too, I've had my blog for over a year and have nothing like that, but I have an idea for you if you would like to see where all your visitors are from ? I have a little globe on mine to show me - you can get one here...

    Keep up the good work :)

  37. Cool blog! I saw the link to your blog on
    Keep up the great work & hello from Ontario, Canada :)

  38. This is terrific! Thank you for sharing. It would be very interesting to see different school lunches from all around the world.

    Love, Roseann
    San Francisco, California, USA

  39. Oh this is adorable! Excellent idea for a blog... my mom always packed my lunches but once in awhile I'd get lunch there. Pizza was the best. Don't ever remember having soups available though, lucky! What do you drink with lunch?

  40. I love what you're doing here with this blog. It's really putting it into perspective for the general public and the parents about what kids are eating for lunch. I do remember the school lunches being terrible and opting for a cup-o-noodle or a stack of french fries with ranch dressing. High school was another story all together where we were allowed to leave the premises for lunch. Most days I would have a bag of skittles or starbursts chewy candy and a pink lemonade from the vending machines if I didn't head down the street to the nearest Wendy's or McDonalds. It's really about making good healthy food available. I can honestly say I don't miss the sloppy joe Monday's, pizza Tuesdays etc etc. Keep up the great work of making the truth visible to those that are blind.

  41. Annie from Taiwan's food looks wonderful! I'd like her lunch!

    You might be interested in a website in the United States that talks about what types of foods should be in a healthy diet:

    Some suggestions for the lunch people would be:

    -Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
    -Make at least half your grains whole grains
    -Vary your veggies

    One thing I noticed about the lunches your school provides is that there is a lot of refined starch (for example, white bread and cake).

    It's great that the school is now providing more salad and veggies. But there's not much nutrition in lettuce, cucumbers, sweet corn, and potatoes. Those are ok as part of the diet, but the school needs to provide more dark green, dark yellow and red vegetables for more nutritional value.

    I think the soups are fine from time to time (especially carrot soup!), but the rolls should be whole grain. Not only is the whole grain more healthy, but it will sustain you longer.

    As someone else said, there should be lean protein with more of these meals. And not just cheese, which is high in saturated fat, and less red meat.

    Desserts are ok from time to time, but probably not every day. I noticed that the Taiwanese lunches in the pictures don't have desserts with them.

    This is a great project, though. It's nice to see the lunches improve over time, thanks to your efforts.

  42. Welcome to transfer to Taiwan

  43. Thank you for having this blog. :)
    It is lovely.
    Great way to see the real things happening in Great Britain instead of receiving them from mass media.
    Especially from you. :D

    No offense, personally, I think I will be totally upset if I have to eat what you currently take for lunch or dinner.

    ps. the lunch photo from taiwan is true :)

    I can remember when i was much younger, like almost 10 years ago(i am now 21), we had food like that, and there were always some leftovers if my memories served me right.

    The center kitchen in the school always prepared much more than what we actually consumed. Well, maybe it was just in my class?
    we always had cooked vegies instead of salad.
    Also, we had rice almost every day, sometimes it's noodles, fried rice or congee.
    The typical lunch are
    1. Main meal - rice
    2. 3 kinds of side dishes
    3. Soup, we had soup every day.
    4. Fruits, like soup, we had it every day.

    This is the menu from one of the elementary schools in Taiwan:

    Sorry I don't have English version of it.

    I hope this message well be helpful!

    Take care.


    Check this out. Annie's school dinner is for vegetarians. This official school blog has school dinners for non-vegetarian students. You can see fried fish, thinly sliced meat balls and chicken served with bones.

    蛋白質 (protein):32克(grams)
    脂肪 (fats):21克
    糖類 (carbohydrates): 81克
    熱量 (energy):638卡 (calories)

  45. Wow! Jamie sent you a message! Woah! It's amazing how your school gets more food all because of a child's blog! It proves adults listen to children.

    Taiwan children's school lunch list

    Date : 101-04-16 ~ 101-04-20
    (ROC year 101 = 2012)

    On the rice:

    Monday (left most): oat + rice
    Tue: red bean + rice
    Wed: cabbage + rice
    Thr: brown rice
    Fri: white rice (vegetarian day)

    They cook the rice with another ingredient to improve its taste and nutrition.


    This school also serve their students with rice, multi-grain rice, wild rice and brown rice. They usually serve one starch food (rice), three side dishes, usually one with meat and another green vegetable, a soup and some unnamed fruits.

    They serve mushroom or other fungi almost everyday. Otherwise, they may serve seaweed. Some schools may serve pasta from time to time. But this school serve rice almost exclusively.

  49. finally a lunch that looks appealing.....the salad looks good and the brownie too!....but the best has been your friends lunch from home...homemade bread and fresh fruit...a winner!

  50. Annie's lunch looks so delicious and very healthy. This is something that schools should serve to their students. Love it!

  51. I hope you all of you don't think your lunches are bad.
    You should see what America's public schools serve.

    haha, I'm just sitting here watching your number of page views go up non stop. Now THIS is called viral xD

  52. This is the lunch offered to the public elementary school in Chia-Yi, Taiwan. It only costs $32NTD which is equivalent to just under $1USD.

  53. The Taiwan meal looks good! I am in Kansas and have to say our school meals are awesome. We have great cooks who make cookies and breads from scratch. They also make great soups. ~Kansas Pricipal

  54. Keep up the great work when I went to school I was forced to eat the school lunches the lunch monitor would make me not eat my lunch my mom made and I had eat school's and pay for it too!

    I mean what's wrong with PBJ or turkey sandwich or soup, fruit, veggie, chips and juice or milk!?

    I wish I had computer at that time to write on it.

    Maybe if more kids blog about their lunches and review them change all over will happen.

    High school lunches were the worse luckily they had no issues with me bringing my own lunch, but what they served were not too healthy, fast food type stuff their salad had lots of cheese and deli meat on it no choice for salad with less of it.

  55. I would have loved to have had a lunch like the Taiwanese girl had. I can't say your mac and cheese looked that appealing, as with most of the other meals to be honest.

    When I was at school the mainstay was beans, chips and burgers. The salads were usually pretty bad. I think the biggest problem was that kids had the choice of eating junk food, so they did. Not to mention all the sticky buns we had access to at morning break.

    Keep it up tough - you'll make a difference.

  56. Awesome progress, Martha. I see that you were served what we call in the States Macaroni Salad. The brownie and potato looks yummy, too. Congrats on getting recognized by Jamie Oliver. I must say, that Taiwanese school system goes all out on their lunches. I could have sworn that meal was served at an Asian restaurant.

    Keep up the great work!

  57. You're brilliant, Martha! Keep doing what you're doing!

  58. This is a brilliant blog! I'm so happy to have found it all the way in Canada. So jealous of your gift from Jamie!

  59. Great job... you are brilliant...
    is the page of that Taiwanese elementary school's lunch blog,where you can check pictures and details of lunches everyday....
    is the their( ChiaPei elementary school )(嘉義市嘉北國小) official website


  60. The menu is (from upper left to bottom right):
    1. Bok choy
    2. Hot-and-sour Soup (but usually it's not that spicy in kid's school lunches)
    3. Sauteed tofu with mixed vegetable (I see shiitake mushrooms, string beans and carrots, and probably some chicken meat inside)
    4. Scrambled egg with onion and carrot
    5. White rice
    6. Cherry tomatoes as fruits

    This menu has more vegetable than typical school lunches in Taiwan. Typically we have one meat entree such as braised pork, minced pork, chicken drumstick, etc. Of course, under limited budget we cannot afford all-you-can-eat style lunch, but most of the time we have something left for those kids who want to eat more.

  61. Veg just discovered you blog today and you are doing great! You have inspired me to take a picture of everything that I eat to help me be healthier. I can certainly say I know why Asian people are healthier by looking at their lunch (compared to Americans). I would prefer their lunch over yours. Fruits and Veggies should be the majority of any meal. Thanks!

  62. love your blog, keep up the great work :) Lots of love from Canada

  63. Taiwan's primary school lunch dishes is getting worse.
    Lunch twenty years ago, about three vegetables, a meat, a bowl of soup, a bowl of rice, plus drinks or fruit.
    The dishes are usually tofu or scrambled eggs, tomato, eggplant, spinach, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, fried sweet potatoes, fried seaweed.
    The meat is usually pork cutlet, fried chicken, fried white octopus, fried saury, fried with Scallions Beef.
    The soup is usually a bamboo shoot soup, broth, seaweed soup, pork soup, hot and sour soup.
    The drink is usually lactic acid drinks or orange juice or pomegranate juice or herbal tea, ice jelly, ice tea.
    The fruit is the fruit of Taiwan's local production.
    In addition to meat, can only pick one.
    The dish can pick and choose.
    Soup and drink are an unlimited supply of.
    Drink how many bowls of no problem.

    Conclusion:Survival in this age children in Taiwan, that is really pathetic. Eat too little.

  64. That looks like the trays they use in American prisons.

  65. That's what I ate when I was a little....
    a lot of memory

  66. I have enjoyed reading your blog ... you should be very proud of yourself.

    My little boy takes his lunch from home, as our school canteen leaves a lot to be desired.

    Keep it up.


  67. Ungrateful people in my city not feed us and you complain about that, so the world is like this for people like you

  68. Hi, my name is Alyssa and I am a 41-yr-old woman from America. I just found out about your blog and your struggles from another friend on Facebook. Let me tell you, you are a big inspiration to many people in my country! I don't have any children but I have seen photos of many of the lunches served at schools here and most of them are dismal, to say the least. I applaud your bravery and fortitude. Keep blogging and changing the world on mouthful at a time!

  69. I am currently in a high school, and looking at your pictures made me laugh with the memories of my school dinners. They were like yours sometimes good, sometimes terrible! My fiends used to sneak their leftovers into my pact lunch otherwise they couldn't leave the table I used to have the school dinners but changes to pact lunch because the food was either soggy or cold.I think you are an AMAZING girl and you have literally brought the council to their knees xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Lots of luv keep it up

  70. u did a good job!! u r so brave!!
    I'm from Taiwan.

  71. the taiwanese food looks so good! I love it