Hello Mom and Dad!
After keeping up with the exciting education of her eldest son, Maliq, Mrs. Hayu will now tell the story of Maliq’s unique experiences joining his Japanese school’s lunch program. So, what’s the story? Let’s check it out!
Mina-san, Konnichiwa! It’s me, Hayu again. Expanding on Maliq’s own experiences while attending elementary school in Japan, I’d like to further share a story about his lunchtime activities.
Classes start at 8:45 and finish at around 15:45. School activities include having lunch together, before which children are required to join their lunch period at an additional cost (Kyuushoku). However, Maliq was not able to join his friends during lunchtime as there were ingredients in the food that we, as Muslims, were not allowed to eat. Therefore, the school allowed us the freedom to bring our own obento (lunchbox) from home. So, you can imagine how complicated it is for me every morning, preparing breakfast for my family as well as obento!
Even if he isn’t able to have the lunch provided for by the school, Maliq is still given the opportunity to take turns (kyuushoku touban) serving food to his friends. This school menu is designed by a special nutritionist in order to achieve the recommended dietary target of a healthy, varied and budget-friendly lunch. The menu consists of rice/other carbohydrate sources, side dishes (meat/eggs and vegetables) as well as cow’s milk. The school menu is set a month in advance so that during the beginning of each month parents receive a list of food items that will be provided for during the month (Kondatehyou). Each month is also based on differing themes, most of the time having the food being based on dishes from around the world.
Oh yeah, I forgot, I almost never include vegetables within Maliq’s obento, this is because when he was in elementary school, Maliq had a hard time eating veggies. Instead of wasting food, I prefer a menu that will be put to good use. I suspect that this is what makes his friends just a little jealous of his simply curated obento, as opposed to their lunch which they receive from the school, the food from which contains certain vegetables and items that are less favorable. On the other hand, Maliq is sometimes curious about the foods enjoyed by his friends, so I explained to him why he can’t eat food from the same menu as his friends. I am grateful that Maliq is respectful enough to understand the reason behind why certain foods won’t be available to him due to religious reasons. But no worries, because he always manages to finish the obentos I make!
So, that’s my story about lunchtime at the Japanese elementary school! In the next story, we will talk about the daily habits and activities of Japanese elementary school children. See you soon!
Thank you for following Mrs. Hayu’s forays into the Japanese elementary school system. The story after this one will definitely be just as interesting! See you in Mrs. Hayu’s next upcoming story.