- Nurturing the body Proper knowledge and nutritious meal contribute in creating healthy sense of taste.
- Nurturing the mind Enrich children’s mind through prayer of thanks to God and good conversation.
Our goal of Food Education
*Japanese food cooked with organic vegetables (3days a week)
*Sandwich made with organic vegetables (2days a week)
We order lunch not from a general meal delivery company, but from a nearby food shop which ensures healthy and safe products. On Japanese lunch days, two to three dishes, a soup, and rice are served. Every dish is cooked without chemical seasonings.
*Seasonal fruits, dried fruits, dried sweet potatoes, konbu, rice crackers, snack fish, milk
*Snacks that have no additives of any chemical seasoning, less sugar or salt.
We consider snacks as “supplement” of the day’s meal; therefore we select snacks which meet its definition. We do not serve chocolates, ramunes, candies, cookies, or other snack confectioneries.
Sense of Taste is created from What You Eat
What do you serve your child for breakfast, for lunch, for snack time, or for supper? Do you know what your kindergarten serves your child? It is well known that our body is made with what we eat and drink, but did you know that they are creating our sense of taste? Whenever food is taken into the mouth, it touches the tongue and stimulates the brain to recognize and eventually to train the senses of 5 tastes, which are sweet taste, delicious taste, salty taste, and sour taste, through every meal. This is how the sense of taste is created in childhood. The style of what and how you eat is gradually formed within this infant stage. For the rest of their life, they will have to take responsibility for what they get through their sense of taste. Therefore, it is our responsibility to decide how we feed our children. I believe to create healthy sense of taste through taking nutritious food and think they are delicious is an effective way for food education.
Nerves that connect the tongue and the brain
Taste sense is a neural system that connects the tongue and the brain, and that of 80% is created in our age of infancy. They can be evolved or degenerated depending on how much you stimulate those nerves as you live your everyday life. Therefore, it is efficient to create healthy taste sense in one’s childhood.
Basic Knowledge of Food Education
ou can give food education by planning the menu based on knowledge of nutritious balance. You cannot cook healthy food by how colorful the dishes look or by thinking that it seems like they look nutritious.
Basic knowledge of nutritious balance is not just for nutritionist expert, but for good food education. Here are the “Six Essential nutrients” and the “Six Food Group”
In order to take these six essential nutrients well-balanced by food, “Six Food Group“ can be very helpful in planning everyday meal. Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of the key nutrients of that food group. You can enjoy a variety of nutritious food and snacks within each of the six groups and offer good food education.
Is it Kuni-sensei’s lunch today?
Do you think a lonely meal would nurture the sense of taste? No! To enjoy a conversation while eating is very important.
Moreover, it is more important to thank the person who serves the meal. So this is how we start our lunch time at our school. “Is today Mr.Oshima’s sandwich?” “Is it Kuni-sensei’s lunch today?”
Mr.Oshima is the owner of “Carlton Tea House” who cooks us sandwich with organic vegetables twice a week, and Ms.Kuniko, known as “Kuni-sensei” is a nickname for the woman who owns an organic food shop and a restaurant and cooks lunch with organic food for our school. Kuni-sensei loves little children and often visits our school and reads Japanese books to the students.
So that’s why our conversation starts as mentioned every day. We don’t want to force the students to thank, but through our intimate communication, the feeling of gratitude for Mr.Oshima and Ms.Kuniko(“Kuni-sensei”) emerge naturally for preparing and delivering the meal. This is food education.
Starting with Prayer
In Japan, we say “Itadakimasu” with hands in prayer before we eat to show thank to the person who prepared the food. At our school, we pray to God before we eat. “Thank you God for the lunch!” Not only we thank Oshima-san and Kuni-sensei, but we know that we owe greatly to the rain, and worms and pill bugs for fertile soil, which grows abundant vegetation. They all come from God’s grace. Saying thankful prayers every day at every meal enriches our mind. Food education is to nurture the mind through appreciation.
Leading Fun Conversation
“This smells good!” “Really? Is this broccoli?”
“What are these? Vegetable?” “Those are kidney beans.”
“I ate this last night!” “I did, too!”
We take much importance in enjoying food theme conversation while we eat. Fun conversation enriches humanity. Our staffs eat the same lunch so as to lead the conversation into it, unless the children will start to talk about how they dislike the vegetable, and unexpectedly influence their friends to feel down when he or she are trying to eat them. The younger they are, the easier to get influenced by others. Children who have dislikes tend to have bad conversation about eating, therefore, they have little appreciation for food and they often influence others to start dislikes. Our school takes much importance on leading good communication for food while eating the same lunch as the students and encouraging them to thank for the meals.
The staff would ask the student, “Wow! You could eat a bite! Is that your favorite vegetable?”, and naturally make them aware of what are their favorite ones or what they can try to eat. Good food education is to nurture the spirit by good conversation.
Eating and talking in a polite way is just a superficial thing.
Food education by nurturing the body and mind, and guiding good eating manners, will surely promote healthy growth of children.