Tuesday, June 13, 2006

School Dinner Monitor

Children in Japan usually eat school dinner in their classrooms. The school dinner is considered part of the educational curriculum, so a group of children take turns every week to serve their class. They wear aprons and caps which they take home at the end of the week to be washed and ironed.

Parents are given the monthly lunch menu, so they can avoid cooking similar things for dinner. (I never check though.) The menu shows calories, protein, and ingredients by nutrition groups.

I was really surprised at the news on banning junk food from school meals in England. Chocolates, crisps, and fizzy drinks?! It wasn't like that when I was there 30 years ago.

The obesity rate is increasing in Japan, as well as in many other countries.
While searching the web, I found an article on school dinners around the world - quite interesting.

By the way, Japanese lunch boxes are often very appealing to the eye, from the usual to the very creative.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Japan is no longer the safest place in the world for children. Several nasty incidents (ex. Osaka School Massacre) have generated serious concern over children's safety, and parents fear kidnapping and sexsual abuse of their children. Yes, we're catching up with the U.S. situation.
My children have these "security buzzers" attached to their satchels. Our local government were generous enough to provide each elementary schoolchildren with a buzzer (with our taxes). I'm skeptical on the effectiveness of these buzzers...every day, there's someone accidently setting them off so we're getting used to all the crying wolf. I feel that all this "fear" - that there's countless crazy pedophiles or indiscriminate killers all over the place - is rather exaggerated, similar to "Bowling for Columbine." Now, they do "suspicious intruder" drill as well as fire drill and earthquake drill at school. Teachers learn how to use sasumata, a U shaped fork tool (dates back from the edo period !) for pinning down thugs. All this obsessive fear is sure to make children stressed and distrust people.