When we were at school years ago, our lunch was probably far from healthy. Ranging from instant and processed food (looks at chicken nuggets, seaweed chicken, hot-dogs… etc) and , to the food delicious but with low nutrition (CHICKEN RICE!! Nasi lemak, lor mee, just to name a few). Look at us now, do we have a healthy lifestyle? Some of us have, some of us don’t.
In fact, we might not get used to healthy lifestyle since when we were kids but things are a little different in Japan, where lunchtime encourages the kids to be healthy. Hence, lunchtime is believed to be part of their education rather than just a break from classes!
Japanese children prepare the food they are going to eat. Their meals are made from scratch, using local ingredients with balanced menu. The menu usually consists of rice, fish, soups and vegetables. Obviously, their meals aren’t costly, yet nutritious and delicious at the same time. Evidently, the meals haven’t changed so much in four decades!
There are many lessons learned from Japan’s school lunch. First of all, they learn about the nutritional and cultural elements of their meals. Since they were kids, they realized which meals are good for their bodies and which were not. It’s basically important education, right?
Moreover, they also learn to do teamwork from early ages. Mealtime looks like communal duty in Japan. Both elementary and middle schools students serve the meals for their classmates. They are doing it professionally by wearing white coats and caps. After that, they clean up after each other to improve their etiquette skills and cooperation.
In other countries, it seems too militant and discipline. We see the students in Japan eat identical meals in their classrooms, the schools have no vending machine, as well as bringing their own food to school until they reach high school.
However, Japan’s system has made their kids to be relatively healthy. The Japanese children have proper diet, so they have low child obesity rate. This dietary education program also contributes to healthy lifestyle. No wonder, Japan has longer life span. Japan’s high life expectancy is arguably because of their healthy diet. And they know what healthy diet is since early days.