Schools are going to become like a second home of sorts. This is true whether your teaching in the U.S, U.K or teaching in Japan. Spending lots of time at your schools, means that you’ll end up eating there pretty regularly, namely during lunch time. So, let’s see what Japanese kids did during lunchtime when they were staying at school. What is the differences between Japanese and U.S students?
Teaching public school in Japan, though, you almost never saw anyone carrying a lunch from home, unless there was a day on the calendar (generally specified in advance) where everybody knew to bring their lunches. Nearly every kids would eat the school-made lunches. If kids had food allergies, the school would be notified and the staff would make adjustments to that child’s lunch.
Having eaten public school lunch in the U.S. and here in Japan, you have to admit that you think Japanese public school lunches BEAT THE PANTS OFF the lunches. So, why?
HEALTHIER INGREDIENTS, MORE BALANCED MEALS
While there were large containers for serving food, you was probably surprised to see balanced meals on the students’ plates. There was a protein source, vegetables, carbs and milk to power the kids through the last half of the day. There were days where some of the lunches went a little overboard on carbs.
So, the typical Japanese style lunch (includes Japanese kids) consists of rice, some form of protein (fish, chicken, beef, etc.), vegetables, soup, and milk. Overall the meals are well balanced and often really tasty.
THE COZIER, SMALL-GROUP FEEL
95% of the time Japanese kids eat their lunches right in their classrooms. A group of students will don aprons and plastic caps and serve their peers! The smaller, cozier lunch-style puts a tally mark on the lunch quality side of things, at least from your perspective.