Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Ensuring that children’s nutritional and nutritional needs are met is the obligation of every parent. The main way to achieve this is to provide children with healthy food intake that meets their body’s needs.
Japan is a country inhabited by healthy children. According to UNICEF, among 41 developed countries in the European Union and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Japan is the only country where less than one in five children is overweight.
Launching from CNBC Make Itone of the factors that drives this achievement is Shokuiku. Shokuiku is a Japanese philosophy that encourages parents and schools to teach children the origins of food and the effect food has on the mind and body.
Here are four things parents in Japan do to teach their children about daily food.
1. Apply Shokuiku Since early stage
Since pregnancy, most doctors in Japan recommend that mothers always eat “Ichiju-sansai” or a balanced diet. “Ichiju-sansai” is a dish consisting of a plate of rice, miso soup, vegetables (seaweed or mushrooms), and protein.
When the children start to grow up. Children are required to learn about healthy eating habits. In fact, in 2005 the Japanese Government passed the Law on Shokuiku to promote Shokuiku.
One way to teach Shokuiku is to invite children to harvest vegetables. Currently, several kindergartens (TK) ask students to harvest vegetables for lunch.
Meanwhile, students at Elementary School (SD) study agriculture which produces vegetables, fish and other food.
2. Invite children to prepare their own supplies
If you like watching Japanese cartoons or anime, chances are you have seen scenes of school students preparing lunch together at school. It turns out, this activity has become a culture in Sakura Country.
More than 95 percent of elementary and junior high schools (SMP) in Japan provide school lunches that have been planned by nutritionists. When entering lunch time, students are required to play an active role in the process of serving lunch.
For preschool or kindergarten schools, most also provide lunch. However, there are also schools that require students to bring their own bento or lunch from home.
Generally, kindergarten teachers will ask students to tell what is in their supplies. In addition to making lunchtime more fun, children may also feel encouraged to try new foods and express dislikes for certain foods.
Japanese parents usually avoid using fast food for their children’s meals. Instead, they use lots of seasonal vegetables and fruit, and avoid foods high in fat.
Usually, the food that is a mainstay for provisions is grilled cod with sweet corn and mustard greens, minestrone soup, and a glass of milk.
3. Ensure that children’s supplies are full of nutrition
A mother from Japan, Yuko Tamura, revealed that kindergartens in Japan have certain rules for children’s supplies, namely that they are prohibited from bringing snacks high in sugar or fat, such as chips, cakes or caffeine.
This is done to ensure that children’s nutritional needs are met properly.
4. Get children used to drinking mineral water or tea
From an early age, Tamura always introduces children to consuming barley tea which is rich in minerals and without caffeine. According to him, barley tea helps reduce daily calorie intake.
“This is a popular choice among Japanese people of all ages and is a great choice for sweet teas and flavored drinks sold in stores,” said Tamura, quoted Tuesday (24/10/2023).
Tamura said that the way that is often used to avoid children’s habit of drinking bottled drinks is to invite children to make them smoothies with fresh fruit and yogurt at home. During the creation process, he builds on the topic of the origin and growing process of fresh fruit.
“Experiences like this will bring children’s healthy eating habits for the present and the future,” said Tamura.
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