Joining the Model United Nations isn’t going to cut it. This year you really want them to get a lesson in world studies, so instead of the go-to turkey on wheat, try gyros, sushi and skewers. These 9 ideas will introduce their taste buds to meals from lunch rooms across the globe. From Israel to Japan and Spain— here’s to seeing the world in a whole new bite!

chickenskewers_worldlunches_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: Danielle Larkins

Chicken Shawarma Skewers – Lebanon
Don’t let this exotic Lebanese name intimidate you. All you need are a few spices and chicken thighs. As shown above, you can place the chicken on skewers with tomatoes and other Middle Eastern accents, like cucumbers and olives. Get the scoop from Sam Sifton at The New York Times Cooking.

gyro_worldlunches_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: Danielle Larkins

Chicken Gyro – Greece
The county fair isn’t the only place that can serve up gyros. This simple Greek pita sandwich only requires 1 lb of cooked chicken strips, tzatziki, tomato chunks and lettuce. Claire Robinson, from the Food Network provides instructions for her simple tzatziki recipe, grab it here.  Once the sauce is complete, add the chicken strips and marinade it in the fridge for an hour. Then fill pita bread with the chicken, tomatoes, and lettuce. If only solving the Greek debt crisis were this easy!

chickenparm_worldlunches_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: Danielle Larkins

Chicken (Nugget) Parmesan – Italy
If chicken nuggets are a staple in your home, then put them to use in this Italian-inspired chicken parmesan. Bake the nuggets as instructed on the package, then spoon on pasta sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. You can also chop up basil and add it to the sauce for extra flavor. Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, and ecco! Best part? These don’t have to be served warm to taste great.

lunchsushi_worldlunch_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: Jill Jarvis via Big Kids Small City

Sushi Rolls – Japan
Put that sushi kit to use while making these veggie rolls. Jill at Big Kids Small City reassures readers that it takes no more than 10 minutes with little skill and lots of seaweed paper. Add your child’s favorite vegetables and give it a go. Roll on over and grab the how-to here.

spain_worldlunches_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: The Dramatic Pancake

Tortilla Española – Spain
The Dramatic Pancake offers a delightful Spanish potato dish that only includes six ingredients. After one bite, you’ll be able to hear your child scream “Ole!” Take a peek by clicking here.

ChickenSatay1_worldlunch_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: Danielle Larkins

Chicken Satay – Thailand
This Williams Sonoma satay recipe is one your whole family will love. Make it the night before, and the marinated chicken will be even more flavorful for your child’s lunch. It’s also a lot easier than traveling to Thailand for street food. Find out how to prepare this tastiness by clicking here.

cubansando_worldlunch_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: Danielle Larkins

Cubano – Cuba
Serving this is a great way to introduce your kids to the flavors of Cuba. If you have leftover pork, all you need is ham, mustard, and pickles. Don’t have medianoche (cuban bread) handy? Swap it with French, instead. Taste of Cuba explains how a traditional Cubano is made, jump on over here for the recipe. Prepare this while listening to Buena Vista Social Club and they won’t be the only ones in for a cultural immersion!

couscous_worldlunches_food_backtoschool_national_redtricyclePhoto: Danielle Larkins

Couscous with Smoked Paprika – Israel 
If your child is bored of pasta, then shake things up with a flavorful and healthy Israeli salad. This Giada De Laurentiis dish is loaded with veggie and herbs— guaranteed to leave your child full and happy. Click here for the recipe.

SONY DSCPhoto: Katie Morford via Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

Ramen Noodle Soup – Japan
The days of MSG-filled Ramen noodles are over with this recipe from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. It’s a quick and easy recipe that requires minimal chopping. By using an organic ramen noodle package, you can say “goodbye” to those pesky preservatives and send them off to school with a warm, exciting meal. Check it out here.

What’s your favorite world cuisine to tempt the kids? Share with us in a Comment below.

— Danielle Larkins