Kyushoku – Japanese School Lunch System

Japan School Lunch System

School lunch, also called Kyushoku in Japan, was recognized as a legitimate part of children’s education in the country way back 1954 when the School Lunch Act was implemented. The act was set to teach knowledge about how food is produced and important dining customs in Japan. This also encourages healthy social interaction among classmates and within the school.


Shokuiku, which means food and nutrition education, is a vital part of Japanese children’s early education. These children are taught that what you put into your body matters a great deal in how you think and feel throughout the day and even in how you go about life. 


What makes this program unique is that children also experience serving the food and cleaning the area where they eat to practice self-sufficiency. Many schools in Japan do not employ any janitor so everyone has to learn how to pick up after themselves. This is something that Japanese kids learn during their early education. Isn’t it amazing? No doubt Japanese exhibit self-sufficiency and they always take into consideration the welfare of other people around them.


In Japan, school lunch is not just about eating, it is considered as an education period, the same as Math and Reading. Kids usually bring with them their luncheon mat, toothbrush, towel and cup for lunch. The school serves them delicious meals at lunchtime. Lunch often comes with a main dish, rice, and a side soup. Sometimes tofu, salad, apple and a carton of milk are served. Desserts are also given during special occasions. 


Kids also learn recycling by washing the milk cartons separately and segregating them in a specific bag. The kids also spend around 20 minutes cleaning the school after eating. 


The end result of kyushoku is not just a satisfied appetite but one also learns responsibility and healthy eating habits. 


Did you know that Japan’s life expectancy is among the highest in the world? And its obesity rate is also well below the global average. To know more about Kyushoku, watch the video below by Life Where I’m From Youtube channel.


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