Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. Japanese school lunches aren’t synonymous with “mystery meat,” but rather, s hokuiku. It means “food and nutrition education,” and it’s a vital part of the Japanese child’s early education. Beginning in elementary school, kids come to understand japanese kids lunch ideas what you put into your body matters a great deal in how you think and feel throughout the day — and how you go about your life.
As a country, Japan prioritizes school lunch. Here’s what it looks like to be one of the global leaders in lunchtime. Lunchtime in Japanese primary schools is almost sacred. It isn’t hurried or hasty — kids get the time just to sit and eat. Kids serve one another in an effort to reinforce a culture of self-sufficiency. In many schools, there is no janitor. Kids learn to pick up after themselves.
Rice has been a staple for decades, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that school lunches began to look mostly like what they do today. Lunch often comes with a main dish, rice, and a side soup. This lunch has miso soup, a small packet of dried fish, milk, rice, and pork fried with vegetables. Another option might include tofu with meat sauce on rice, paired with a salad, apple, and carton of milk. At Jinego Elementary School, in Akita Prefecture, a typical lunch includes chicken, rice, miso wakame soup, vegetable salad, milk, and a tangerine.