What is school lunch like in Japan?
Have you ever heard any about school lunch in Japan? When you think of public school lunch, what images come to your mind? You will be inspired to see how Japanese students operate their lunch period by themselves! This youtube has been played more than 700 million times all over the world. It has been filmed and edited by Atsuko Satake Quirk, Cafeteria Culture’s media director. She has been trying to bring this Japanese style into US school. Japanese school lunch was featured in the article of The Washigton Post. Why are so may people impressed about it? What does it tell you? It’s more than just about eating. Not only about eating, it will tell you very important lessons in nutrition, health, cooking, social skills and more in Japan.
How are they prepared?
Usually, at public schools in Japan, the most of children would eat the school-made lunches. It’s called “Kyushoku”. It is prepared right there in kitchens at the schools or at school-lunch centers serving several schools each day. The menus are planned by a certified nutritionist every month.
Well balanced diet
It consists of rice, breads or noodles, some form of protein such as fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc, vegetables, soup dish, and milk followed by dessert which are well-balanced, provide about one-third the daily nutritional requirements of each student and tasty. The menus varies a wide variety of dishes representing not only Japanese traditional cuisine, but also foods from various countries such as Korean bibimbap, rice topped with seasoned meat and vegetables, tandoori chicken, spaghetti piscatore, minestrone soup and so on.
It also includes regional foods or vegetables harvested locally to help students better learn about how they get their food and appreciate their own hometowns. The fishing and farming industries are introduced as well as food production, processing and marketing.
How they serve and eat
The students on duty usually wear in white aprons, caps when they serve to the other students. Children deliver school lunch to each classroom on the rolling carts from the kitchens and serve them by themselves. The kids go up to the serving station to get their lunch and are served by the on-duty kids. They are all in this together that they eat the same foods at their desks divided into groups with their teachers in the classrooms at the same time. After they finish eating lunch, there is cleaning time. They clean up together! The teachers also teach them how to fold up the milk cartons for recycling. Through the school lunch system, the students learn not only the process of taking responsibility to prepare, serve, eat and clean up after lunch, but also the etiquette and make healthy food choices and positive lifelong eating habits.