July 12, 2011

Kyushoku Center (School Lunch Center)/給食センター

Today, I participated in the event to visit the kyushoku (school lunch) center and have a school lunch, organized by the Kyoyo (Culture) Committee of the PTA of my son's junior high school. The kyushoku center was completed in August last year.

Appearance of the kyushoku center:
The kyushoku center is adjacent to the junior high school.
The staff start making lunch at 8:15, and the event started at 10:00. After a greeting by a school teacher and another by the chairperson of the committee, the nutrition educator of the junior high school talked about the "importance of food education". After the talk, the participants watched how the lunch was made. The kitchen is on the first floor, and we had to watch from the conference room on the second floor.

Today's school lunch:
Bibimbap, milk (200 ml), egg drop soup, shrimp shumai (3 for junior high school students and 2 for elementary school pupils), almond jelly and fruit
ビビンバ、牛乳(200 ml)、たまごスープ、えびしゅうまい(中学生は3個、小学生は2個)、杏仁フルーツ

Nutritional value
Energy: 834 kcal (for junior high school students)
Protein: 30.0 g
Fat: 23.5 g
Calcium: 361 mg
Salt: 3.6 g

No. of foodstuffs used: 24
エネルギー: 834 kcal(中学生の場合)
たんぱく質: 30.0 g
脂肪: 23.5 g
カルシウム: 361 mg
塩分: 3.6 g

使用食品数: 24品

Egg drop soup:
Three shrimp shumai and almond jelly with fruit

To be continued.


Sissi said...

The variety of the ingredients is impressing and the meal looks delicious. A very interesting post! I am very curious of what follows!
What surprises me however here and in the forum threads you indicated is the presence of milk. Many people are lactose intolerant (I am), it's not an allergy, but means that milk does me more harm than good and certainly doesn't bring any calcium to my organism (cheese, yogurt, sour milks etc. don't contain lactose or almost don't contain and are advised as calcium sources). I have read the lactosis intolerance depends on the country. Japan is among the countries with the highest rate (this is a very interesting world map:
Apparently this intolerance starts about the age of six. Is it taken into consideration in the school meals? It is quite difficult to diagnose (belly aches are I think the only thing felt by the "patient").

J said...

Did it taste good?

Kiki said...

Did it taste good and are this canned fruits with the almond pudding? I like bibimbap and cook it quite often but mine looks a bit different.
Oh and once I found this blog report about school lunches in japan - maybe interesting http://shimostar.blogspot.com/2009/10/kyushoku.html (laugh).
When my son was small, most of our schools did not provide meals and the school days ended around noon or 2. This changed a bit.

Anonymous said...

Hiroyuki-san, how did it taste? The meal looks delicious! It certainly looks better than the cafeteria food served at my school!

fred said...

I'm surprised about the kitchen! and the meal too!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for a fascinating look at school lunches in Japan! I lived in Japan as a child and teenager and always thought the Japanese school lunches I saw on television looked so delicious. Later, I saw a television program (Burari tochu gesha no tabi) which featured a Japanese restaurant which served school lunches and my interest in school lunches was renewed. I can't wait for your next posts!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I think I am a little lactose intolerant myself. (I wasn't when I was small, though.)

The parent of a child who is allergic to certain foodstuffs or is lactose intolerant is requested to fill out the form and submit it to the school, and the school will accommodate the request.

I asked my daughter if she knew of anyone who cannot drink milk and has a special meal, and she replied she didn't. She only knows one friend who is allergic to eggs and has a special meal.

One participant asked why milk is (almost) always served for school lunch, and here is a summary of the reply of the nutrition teacher:
It is stipulated by law that a school lunch shall provide one half of the calcium requirements per day (and also one half of vitamin B1 and B2 requirements), and milk is an ideal foodstuff to meet the need.

Hiroyuki said...

J: It was tasty enough, but the soup was very lightly flavored.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: As I said above, it was tasty enough. The soup contained very little salt, though.

I didn't ask about the fruit, but according to someone I know, it is probably canned fruit or fruit in retort pouches.

Thanks for the link.

The homeroom teachers never say anything, but the student sometimes speak up. In that case I kindly explain to them that I have paid for the meal myself. Then I ask them who pays for their meal, and they say their parents do.

Can't this blogger come up with any other witty or humerous excuse??? I find this particular passage very offensive. Maybe it's only me.

Hiroyuki said...

Anonymous: Thanks for your comment.
The bibimbap was much less hot than I had anticipated. Believe it or not, bibimbap is one of the most popular meals among school children nowadays.

Hiroyuki said...

fred: Surprised with what? The size of the kyushoku center? This particular kyushoku center is relatively small. In larger cities, the kyushoku centers are generally much larger.

Hiroyuki said...

Anonymous: I am one of many Japanese who have fond memories of kyushoku. My favorites include wanton soup (very, very substantial), yakisoba, and deep-fried bread, just to name a few.

Sissi said...

Thank you, Hiroyuki. I also, like you, started to be intolerant at a certain age, but according to the doctors
I have always been it's just that I haven't felt any discomfort while drinking milk. (I discovered it because I drank lots of coffee with milk, just a bit of milk, not the American latte style, and apparently for milk intolerant people the mixture of milk and coffee is the worst ;-)
Now I take soy milk in coffee and feel great!

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I totally agree with you about the passage. His answer sounds very rude!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I'm glad to know that I'm not alone.

He shouldn't ask his pupils such an inappropriate question.