Eating, and Learning
Unlike the cafeteria system operated in some Western countries, Japanese school lunches are usually served in the classroom.
Pupils frequently dish out the food to each other and clean up the room afterwards.
There is no choice of meal, and no concessions offered for vegetarians, or anyone with religious restrictions, with members of either group being few and far between in largely homogenous Japan.
The lunches are conceived not only to feed children, but to teach them.
“There’s also a daily broadcast at school to explain the nutritional elements contained in the school lunch of the day, and this is a good way to educate kids,” Hara said.
At primary schools, students use magnets with pictures of food and place them into different categories on a whiteboard, learning to tell their proteins from their carbs.