Nursery School’s Attempts in Food Diversity
Concerns on Mothers With Children With Allergies and Religious Dietary Restrictions
This is Nazaya from Food Diversity Inc. This time I’m glad to share you an amazing report about a nursery school in Japan who’ve made movements in food diversity.
The Japanese culture respects and emphasizes the “uniformity” as an important elements in a society. That’s why in the Japanese schools and nurseries, children trained to be well-behaved in a group, doing basic activities and having meals together.
However, it is a real challenges for mothers with children with allergies or religious dietary restriction in looking for a school in Japan that matches conditions for their children.
Japan Nursery Service Inc. operates as many as 200 nursery schools throughout Japan, and they are trying to tackle the diversities in food dietary while maintaining the uniformity at the same time. We Food Diversity Inc. heard that information and went for an interview at Ask Kamitakaido Nursery School, one of their nursery school at the Hachiman-yama, Tokyo. They are currently taking care after children aged 0 to 6.
This nursery school serves not only a safe and secure lunch school, but also paying a close attention to their allergies and religious dietary restrictions.
For children with food allergy, it is necessary to submit a medical certificate since it is a life-threatening matter, but when it comes to children with dietary restriction due to religion or personal belief, parents need to discuss the solution with teachers and staffs so that the nursery school understand how to take care of children without any misunderstandings.
Japan Nursery Service Inc. tries to do their best to meet the condition of each child in dietary restrictions on both allergies and religion through discussion with parents.
To avoid ingredients/seasonings mixed by accident, they use a different colors for dishes and trays in serving the school lunch. If any child who cannot eat specific ingredients or seasoning in the school meal for some reasons, the school basically changes it to an alternative one with the same nutrition. However, in the case if they cannot find a good alternative for the meal, the school will ask for parents cooperation at home with advise.
Lunch menu changes on daily basis. The amount of meal is adjusted depends on each age.
In Japan, events such as Halloween and Christmas are commonly celebrated regardless of religion. But Muslims don’t celebrate such events since it is not related at all and doesn’t fit the teachings of the religion.
Despite celebrating such events, the nursery school operated by Japan Nursery Service Inc. makes it as an activities for children to beautifully decorate the school with ornaments as one of the education about cultures in the world without touching religion terms. With those ideas, even Muslim children can have a good time enjoying the activities with other kids.
I hope that more nurseries and schools will be able to response to the various needs of children while educating them about living in a society group. As a foreigner living in Japan, I understand the importance of uniformity in society group life in Japan, so I think it is really impressive if there is a chance for children to learn about each other in the same environment.