Lunch in Japan is more than just a meal

Posted on February 22nd, 2016 by Cici

Japan’s kids learn healthy eating habits in grade school. Image from lucky-japan.blogspot.com.

has a novel way of dealing with childhood obesity: feed kids nutritious meals at school. What a novel concept. School lunches — which educators believe are a part of education, not a break from it — are made from scratch by staffers and then served by students in their classrooms. Some of the ingredients (in this case potatoes), are even grown by students at school.

This process is prevalent in elementary and middle schools across Japan, and by the time the students are allowed to bring their own lunches in High School, the pattern of responsible eating is already ingrained. The end result? Japan has some pretty healthy kids. Japan’s child obesity rate — which was already among the world’s lowest, has declined for each of the past six years, compared to the U.s., where obesity rates have tripled over the past 30 years, according to the World Health Organization.

Japanese school officials see their lunch program as common sense. All meals are made from scratch, from whole foods. Unlike lunches in U.S. schools, nothing is prepared off site and frozen then reheated, and the schools know exactly from where their ingredients are coming.

Looks like there is a lot we could learn from Japan.

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