School Lunch – 3rd Stop: Tokyo!

Japan is well known for its good food and its diet that lead to longevity and healthiness. And as for France, Japan stresses on the fact that lunchtime is part of the education that children must receive.

Specificities of school lunch in Japan.

In Japan, a tasty and nutritious hot lunch is a virtual right and its totally part of the education.  A viral video of school lunches in Japan shows how Japanese children have their lunch in their class, not in a specific lunchroom. We can also see the students eating a well-balanced meal, made from scratch with fresh real food. 

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Header of the school lunch menus of an elementary school from Tokyo. Notice the “Nutrition Goal” alongside the “Manner Goal”? Yes, lunchtime is definitely part of the children’s education.

When demystifying the Japanese school lunches for Teuko, we also noticed a huge difference in the approach to food by the Japanese nutritionists. While Western countries simply mention families of food “Cereals”, “Proteins”, “Fruits”, “Vegetables”, Japanese categorize the ingredients depending on the nutritional value and purpose for the kids: 

  • “For building our bodies”, with fish, egg, meat, milk…
  • “For warming our bodies”, with rice, wheat, vegetable oil…
  • “For balancing our bodies”, with fruits and vegetables (mostly vegetables!)
  • “Others”, with vinegar, salt, soy sauce…

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Join our School Lunch Challenge*!

Check out below the school lunch menu that was served in Tokyo on March the 2nd, 2018. 

French cantines and menus (1).jpg

What will you make out of this list of food items? Turn this menu into a lunchbox idea of your own. No need to overthink it: it absolutely does not have to look “kawaii” (ie. photographs in this article). Tag with #Teuko, or record directly what you’ve packed on to better retrieve it later!

Want to see more ideas? Check out Japanese School Lunch Menus on

* Teuko School Lunch Challenge: click here for more info.


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