Bento lunches and "shokuiku" (food education) at a Japanese kindergarten

I usually write a food article with a recipe for the Japan Times once a month, but this month I have an extra article that appeared in today's edition, in the Lifestyle section. It's all about how bento lunch time is used at a Japanese kindergarten to teach kids all kinds of lessons. I also talk about the contents of the bentos themselves. Here's the link to the article: The Best Kindergarten Lessons Are At Lunchtime.

Here's a photo I really wanted to use but couldn't because I wasn't able to reach the parents to get their permission...so I've had to cut out their faces. It's two of the kids eating their bentos. Absolutely adorable.

JT-yoshienbento1.jpg

The article shows a couple of the bentos the kids brought along. Just for fun, here's the bento of one of the teachers. It's a bit heavy on the carbs and protein...maybe some spinach or steamed broccoli or something instead of the clump of iceberg lettuce would be better ^_^; But I bet she was in a big hurry in the morning.

yochienbento-teachers.jpg

Incidentally, in the article I mention a little song about obento that the kids sing before diving into their bentos. If you can read hiragana, see if you can sing along to the melody here (warning: auto-playing music!). I vaguely remember singing it when I was in kindergarten in the 20th century, but my mother vividly remembers me singing it repeatedly until she wanted to put a bag on my head ^_^;