We’re both endlessly fascinated by cross-cultural comparisons regarding raising our respective kids (she’s Korean-American, I’m an Aussie in America). Take her recent post on kids walking on their own in Japan, where she currently lives, for example.
Christine, however, is probably a far superior parent to me. She’s raising four kids boomeranging back and forth between the States and Japan for the past four years or so. How exhausting is that?
She sews her kids clothes and they’re adorable. They don’t turn out all weird, as they would if a certain someone I know tried to make outfits for her son.
She wrote a book about toilet training a baby sans diapers. Have you been following that trend? Um, I can’t go there ’cause I have a preteen son but let’s just say our family would have failed dismally at such an exercise and were happy to say sayonara to diapers looonnnnggg after most toddlers had moved on to Thomas the Tank Engine or Dora the Explorer undies. Plus, she takes the most gorgeous happy snaps of her photogenic children.
Okay, so the voice behind Origami Mommy could be a tad intimidating, except that she’s awfully nice. And insightful.
Consider this recent post of hers on what her children get served for school lunch in Japan.
As regular readers of Lettuce Eat Kale know, I write a lot about school food. So it’s no surprise that I’d be intrigued by Christine’s account of school food, Japan style.
Just look at some of the menu items from her Japanese school food post:
Vegetable fried rice, tofu, and kinoko mushroom soup, spicy bean sprouts
Bibimbap (a Korean dish: rice, mixed vegetables & an egg), tofu and wakame soup, a plum
Summer vegetable curry, daikon salad, and homemade peach sorbet
Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
When her second son, back in the US for a visit this past spring, saw what passed for food on TV and at school he was pretty shocked — lots of kids bought packaged junk from home. I remember my kid having the same reaction when he left preschool, where they whipped up organic snacks with produce from the garden, and started public elementary school, where, he told me matter-of-factly, “lots of kids bring crap to school to eat.” Of course, there’s also the issue of what most school cafeterias dish up in the U.S.
Read Christine’s whole post to hear about what’s great about eating school lunch in Japan. (As in all aspects of life, it’s not perfect, and Christine’s not shy in pointing out some less savory aspects of the school food experience there). On balance, though, it puts most U.S. school food to shame. Wouldn’t you agree?
Oh, and check out the photos of the food she was served in hospital too. Further evidence that institutional food doesn’t have to be disgusting. More on that matter coming soon.
[Photo: Christine Gross-Loh]