A “proper” USD 2 meal at Japanese schools

Trường Lăng

June 9, 2022


A “proper” USD 2 meal at Japanese schools

Trường Lăng

June 9, 2022

History of Japanese school lunches

In the 22nd year of Meiji era (1889), the first “kyushoku” (school lunch) program was served at an elementary school in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Province. The lunch at that time consisted of very simple dishes such as onigiri, grilled fish and pickled radish, but it still provided adequate nutrition for students who could not afford to bring their own lunch. This program was quickly positively assessed and was gradually replicated everywhere in Japan.

First lunch in Japanese schools in 1889.

However, the school lunch program began to be interrupted due to the influence of the World War II. The meals were restored after the war 1947 and American-funded barley and dairy products were additionally served. The two years later, UNICEF also free provided milk powder to all elementary schools in Japan.

The initial idea of providing needy students with a full meal a day, lunchtime gradually became an educating method of students about health and behavior.

More than a meal

Lunchtime teaches Japan’s students how to select the proper food for their body so that they can own good health and maximum growth. This is one of the main reasons that help Japanese life expectancy be at the top and the lowest obesity rate in the world. Moreover, lunch time also teaches students how to serve themselves before and after the meals, some schools do not employ any cleaning worker, students will wash their own dishes after having their meal. 


Like daily cleaning, meal service is assigned to students daily. Students who distribute meals will wear white aprons and masks to serve their classmates. Until everyone has their meal, the lunch will begin. Before having the meal, the students will thank the gods for giving food (a part of Japanese culture).

One of the most important things from Japanese school lunches is not to waste the food. Should eat off your ration, even if the ration contains the ingredient that students don’t like to eat. In the past, this method was practiced in a somewhat extreme manner when the teachers would sit and stare in front of the students until the meal was finished. Everything gradually becomes more open when students can “cheat” by sharing the food with each other by the time; this is also the way for class members to become more attached to each other.

Whether you are rich or poor, you can buy a school lunch

In 2005, the Japanese Government passed the nationwide Shokuiku Kihonhou (Basic School Food) bill, thereby, 98% of public elementary schools in Japan provide all students with nutritious lunches, 47% is for private elementary schools. At the secondary schools, 91% is for public schools and 20% for private schools.

Each lunch costs about 250 yen on average (about VND 45,000), equivalent to nearly 5000 yen per month (about VND 900,000), a figure is very cheap compared to the average income of Japanese people. If students’ family is so difficult, there are always exemption programs so that each student can really have a full and proper meal every day.

What is a Japanese school lunch?

A typical Japanese school lunch will consist of rice, soup, salad, a main course of meat or fish and a bottle of fresh milk. As for the rice, it’s very rarely white rice, but often mixed with vegetables like shiitake mushrooms to add taste, sometimes fried rice and noodles are also deliciously served. Students will have dessert 1 to 2 times a week, mainly fruit, jelly or pudding.

bua com kyushoku

For soups, not only traditional miso soup is served, but soups such as pumpkin or Chinese egg soup are also included in the menu. Salads are changed from day to day but must not make students suffer digestive problems.

The main courses are usually placed on each student’s rice bowl, fish will be served 1-2 times a week, the others are meats that are rotated by the nutritionist of each school. Lunches are also changed on the holidays of the year, such as New Year’s lucky dishes or Valentine’s Day chocolate for dessert.

In addition, the schools in Japan also pay the attention to each student’s allergy problem. All admission records of students are required to specify food allergies so that students are provided with suitable rations.

Source : VietNam.Net

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