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torakris

The Japanese school lunch

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Amazing! What a fantastic essay. The quality of food that those children recieve is amazing. As a 13 year old, I can tell you that the lunches in Chicago are nothing like this. What I would give for a fresh (not processed and then reheated as my lunches are) delicious and nutricious meal :hmmm::hmmm:

Well, thanks for the essay!

~Ben Wilcox


Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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Amazing! What a fantastic essay. The quality of food that those children recieve is amazing. As a 13 year old, I can tell you that the lunches in Chicago are nothing like this. What I would give for a fresh (not processed and then reheated as my lunches are) delicious and nutricious meal :hmmm::hmmm:

Well, thanks for the essay!

~Ben Wilcox

are you really 13!? :blink:

I do find the meals to be very nutritious, they have a balance of good for you food and food that kids love. I also feel that there are a lot less picky kids in Japan and the school lunch plays a part in this. Since I only provided information on one meal, here is what my kids are going to eat this week:

MONDAY

deep fried balls made out of fish paste and edamame, dried daikon strips simmered with aburage (tofu pockets) and carrots in a soy based broth, a stirfry of pork, dried shiitake, shimeji and enoki mushrooms, carrots, burdock root, and mitsuba (trefoil), sprouted rice and milk

TUESDAY

sausages (with liver included) served in a hot dog bun with a chilli tomato sauce, soy milk soup made with pork, bacon,onions,carrots, corn, komatsuna (a green)--the stock is amde from scratch with pork bones, "smashed" potatoes, milk

WEDS

beef, carrots, burdock root, shirataki (a "noodle") cooked in a gingery soy sauce with sesame seeds, ohitashi of cabbage and komatsuna (boiled and dressed with soy), miso soup with tofu, potatoes, onions and wakame, barley rice and milk

THURSDAY

Chinese style meatballs (with a sweet and sour sauce), "Chinese" salad with harusame (noodles), cabbage, cucmbers, carrots and a karashi (mustard) dressing, raisin rolls, milk and melon

FRIDAY

Summer vegetable curry with pork, ginger, garlic, potatoes, carrots, onions, eggplant, and green beans, cabbage and cucumber pickles with ginger, barley rice, milk, and a jellied peach dessert


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Can you imagine serving pork as the only choice 16 times out of 21 in a US metropolitan area!

I can hear the Jewish and Muslim parents at the school board meeting now.

About the cost, is there a subsidy for low income - or don't they exist in Japan?

I too was quite surprised by the number of times pork was served! and by the lack of chicken... I wonder if there is some kind of connection with a pork farm..?

The only thing that I can think of is that it is easy and probably requires no prep (cutting,etc) as it probably arrives already thinly sliced.

I was talking to a Japanese friend whose daughter attends the same school and felt that the high number of dishes with pork could be due to problems with mad cow and bird flu and the fact the Japan is not accepting imports of either beef or chicken from various countries and the domestic ones are too expensive.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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This is great! Just curious--are the food groups (shown in the chart) pretty much the same as in the US? Is there any kind of standard recommendation of proportions, a la the problematic American food pyramid?


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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In Japan the food pryamid is actually a circle :blink: , just like in the picture shown above.

There are 6 food groups and the following information I am taking from my boshi techo , this is the "mother's handbook" that all pregnant women receive that records information form doctors visits, weight, blood pressure, urine test result, etc as well as information from the hospital after the birth about both the mother and baby. It also has a section in which the doctor notes all vaccines given and records everything from the health check the child has from birth until age 5. It is also sort of an all purpose pregnancy child book giving information on health and general wellness for both mother and child. my last child was born in 2000, so the information is from that edition, I doubt it has changed.

Anyway the 6 groups (in parantheses are the examples given in the book):

1. protein (fish, meat, eggs, soy products)

2. foods high in calcium (milk, milk products, fish bones, seaweeds)

3. foods high in vitamin A (carotene) (green and yellow vegetables)

4. foods high in vitamin C and minerals (other vegetables and fruits)

5. grains, foods good for energy in sugar form (rice, bread, noodles, potatoes)

6. fats, foods good for energy in fats form (oils, butter, mayo)

The Japanese circle focuses on balance and rather than saying how many servings of each group the recommendation is to eat 30 different kinds of foods everyday some from each group


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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yesterday we received a lettter from the elementary school thanking all of the parents who attended and giving the results of the survey that was passed out after the meal.

Questions:

1. how was the taste of the food?

83% good

16% average

0% bad

2. How was the volume of food?

91% average

6% too much

3% not enough

3. How was the seasoning?

93% average

5% too weak

2% too strong

4. How was the combination of foods?

56% good

44% average

some comments:

The balance of foods was good and it was delicious.

You could taste the flavor of the individual ingredients yet they blended well.

I want to try to make this at home.

The video was fascinating.

It was difficult to eat the rice off the dish.

It was hard to eat with just a spoon.

It would have been better with a dessert.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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"It would've been better with dessert"--seems like kind of a global criticism, huh?

Thanks for breaking down the food groups--sounds sensible to me! (And comforting to know they're not being changed all the time...I totally missed that whole shift from "The Four Food Groups" I learned in school to this weird food pyramid.)


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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Thanks for sharing your experience with the school lunches. Your essay and this thread are very interesting.

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um yum. just lovely to read this thread. the school canteens serve everything from homecooked food to junk food herel nothing like this at all! i expect that some kids would not like eating traditional gohan and greens? nope as i kid i didnt like to eat rice with fish and vegetables.

all this reminds me of the lunch chapter in the totto-chan book. something from the hills and something from the ocean, with the headmaster going round with his wife (pots in hand) to give out some chikuwa or potatoes to kids who were lacking in food items.

"chew chew chew it well, everything you eat, chew it and chew it and chew it and chew it, your rice and fish and meat".

im noticing lotsa milk on the menu!


.jedi pocky.

yum...

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