Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Categories: Asia | Children | Food and Drinks

In Japan, school lunches are significantly different from lunches in our usual understanding. At our school, they were, of course, edible, but sometimes there were jokes about the origin of the dish — fish or meat. 

In Japanese culture, food is an important part of education. Children are taught from an early age that any products they consume affect not only the body, but also thinking and well-being. "The government's position is that school lunch is a mandatory part of education, not a break from school," said Masahiro Oji, the government's representative for school health.

If the parents cannot pay for the child's food (about two and a half dollars), children are offered free or reduced lunch programs.

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

In Japan, lunch time is almost sacred. No one is hurried or pushed, the children calmly enjoy their food. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Schoolchildren serve each other ready-made lunches — this is how they are brought up to be independent. In many schools, there are not even janitors, children clean up after themselves. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Rice is the main food of the Japanese. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Lunch usually consists of a main course, rice and soup. The photo shows miso soup, dried fish, milk, rice and fried pork with vegetables. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Another option is tofu with meat and rice, salad, an apple and a bag of milk.

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

At Jinego Elementary School in Akita Prefecture, a typical lunch consists of chicken, rice, miso soup with wakame, vegetable salad, milk and tangerine. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

Curry with rice, milk and fruit salad. Many schools serve Korean and Italian cuisine for lunch once a week. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

At Yashima School-rice, pork and egg, lemon yogurt, soup with tofu and seaweed, milk. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

As a result, the Japanese not only get a healthy body and stomach, but also learn to take a responsible approach to what they eat. In Japan, the average life expectancy is one of the highest, and the level of obesity of the population is below average. 

Rice and fish as part of education: how Japanese children are taught to eat right

And after a good dinner, sleep inevitably follows.

Keywords: Asia | Japan | School | Education | Lunch | Children | Schoolchildren | Food | Food and drinks

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