School Lunches Is A Serious Competition In Japan

These lunches look totally adorable, with colorful food that looks like cute creatures or popular characters. Most people would probably like to have their lunch look like this, regardless of their age. However, as cute as these lunches may be, they have a bit of a dark side. Having the best school lunch in Japan is a serious competition — even between parents. Parents can spend up to 90 minutes making the perfect lunch, just so their kid’s lunch won’t be called lame. They turn rice into pandas, Disney characters, and more — doing this is called kyaraben. In Japan, moms usually make lunch, and many moms will think it’ll look bad if their child doesn’t have a good-looking lunch at school. Some kids even get bullied if they don’t have good lunch designs. All this causes problems for moms who simply don’t have the time. Some school are even banning kyaraben to prevent bullying. Traditionally, Japanese children take a bento box for lunch — the box separates food groups like rice, veggies and protein. Kyaraben started out as a tool to help kids eat healthier. Cute-themed food is also highly popular in Japan already — so there’s even more pressure to make cute lunches for kids.

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