20 Guidelines for healthy lunches in Japanese

Natalie Loosemore

The department’s guidelines for school lunches are all in English: https://education.qld.gov.au/schools-and-educators/Documents/Making-the-first-day-a-success.pdf I tell parents “you can take fried rice to school. Children can eat it cold. I know you’d prefer they eat it hot, but it’s better for them to have familiar food that they like rather than something they don’t usually eat”. Can you make some guidelines to help parents with culturally diverse backgrounds prepare school lunches?

Guildelines for healthy lunches in Japanese




Healthy lunchbox




Translation: What to put in healthier school lunches
Try planning a healthy lunch box to start the school year. Talk to your children and discuss what they would be happy to have included.

The six key parts to a healthy lunchbox include:
• fresh fruit
• fresh crunchy vegetables
• milk, yoghurt or cheese (you can use reduced-fat options for children over the age of two years). For children who cannot tolerate milk products, offer appropriate alternatives like calcium fortified soy or rice drink or soy yoghurt
• a meat or meat alternative food like some lean meat (e.g. chicken strips), hard-boiled egg or peanut butter. If your school has a nut-free policy, peanut butter and other nuts should not be included in your child’s lunchbox
• a grain or cereal food like bread, a roll, flat bread, fruit bread or crackers (wholegrain or wholemeal choices are best)
• tap water.

• Cut up large pieces of fruit and put them in a container – this makes it easier to eat, especially if your child has wobbly teeth or if they have less time to eat than they are used to. Send a damp face washer to help with extra juicy fruit.
• Consider giving half a sandwich or roll for morning recess, as this is an easy way to get a healthy fill.
• In the hot weather, send frozen milk, yoghurt or water, or even frozen orange segments. This makes a great refreshing snack and helps to keep the lunch box cool.
• Go for colour and crunch in the lunch box by offering a variety of colourful vegetables and fruit.
There are many websites where you can find ideas for a healthy and interesting school lunch (e.g. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/healthy-eating-school-lunches.)

School lunches and food safety
Food is usually stored in lunchboxes for several hours and it is important to keep the lunchbox cool so that the food stays fresh. Some tips to help keep lunchboxes safe include:
• Choose an insulated lunch box or one with a freezer pack.
• Pack a wrapped frozen water bottle or freezer brick next to foods that should be kept cold (for example cheeses, yoghurts, meats and salads).
• Perishable foods such as dairy products, eggs and sliced meats should be kept cool, and eaten within about four hours of preparation. Don’t pack these foods if just cooked. First cool in the refrigerator overnight.
• If making lunches ahead of time, keep them in the fridge until leaving for school or freeze them in advance.
• If you include leftover meals such as meats, pasta and rice dishes, make sure you pack a frozen ice block in the lunch box.
• Ask children to keep packed lunches in their school bag and to keep their bag out of direct sunlight and away from heat, ideally in a cool, dark place such as a locker.

Document file: Loosemore Healthy Lunches


This resource is a translation of part of the department’s guidelines for school lunches (“Healthy eating – school lunches”, 2015). The parts that have been translated in Japanese are what to put in healthier school lunches and school lunches and food safety. To translate this resource the site translator EU was used (“English – Japanese translation”, 2019). The translator can be used to translate the document into other language to accommodate all nationalities within your school. This will give families a feeling of belonging as you provide literature in their home language. “A sense of belonging and welcome is essential if families are to feel comfortable being in your service,” (Department of Education & Training, 2012). This resource is to be used to help parents with culturally diverse backgrounds prepare school lunches. It should be given out to parents whose children will be starting school the following year so that the children can enjoy foods, at school, they would usually eat at home. “Educators recognise that diversity contributes to the richness of our society” (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations, 2009, p. 13). To be culturally competent an early childhood service needs to provide effective and appropriate service delivery to individuals and families from non-dominant cultural groups. This can be done by having resources in the families home language which will support their understanding.


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Gems and nuggets Copyright © 2020 by Natalie Loosemore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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