A reader named Yuki contacted me about writing a guest blog about Japanese school lunches. I emailed her back to say that we had already covered that in a previous post written by an American in Japan. Yuki told me she wanted to share something uniquely Japanese: triangular eating or sankaku-tabe. Triangular eating is something I never heard of before and I think it is a very powerful way of teaching kids how to eat balanced meals.
Bento Lunch (adult-sized portion)
I’m not a nutritionist, but I ate Japanese school lunch for about 20 years; since the age of 4. I’m thankful for what I ate during my school lunches!
Please know I really enjoy American food! It’s fun to explore other food cultures. But, there were some things that shocked me about American kids eating habits. So, I understand nothing can change magically. We just have to make changes little by little. Anyway, this is time to introduce something from Japan.
Triangular Eating (sankaku-tabe)
(ex.) Main dish → Rice or Bread or Pasta →Soup →Main dish → Rice or Bread or Pasta → Soup….
In Japan, we usually learn how to eat food in triangular patterns when we were little kids. We usually learn it preschool age to elementary school age. When we start school lunch, it is the time to learn how to eat. It is kind of Japanese food culture, so teacher don’t go too strict nowadays. Kids don’t have to eat in triangular way, but many Japanese do triangular eating because we learn when school lunch time.
I’ve been thinking if I could have a chance to work for an American school lunch program, I could make great improvements! Hopefully, this post could be small “donation” for lovely, American kids from me. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to express my ideas and thanks for reading!