The 2024 Global Child Nutrition Forum - Why Japan?

The 2024 Global Child Nutrition Forum will beheld in Osaka, Japan in December 2024. Japan was selected as the location of the 24 th edition of this event because it stands out for providing a nationally owned and managed high quality school meal program.

1.) The Classroom as a Dining Room 

At lunch time, students set up the classroom as a lunchroom and rearrange their desks as dining tables. Education continues as students enjoy their meals while learning about food and nutrition. Japan calls the integration of food and nutrition education into the school day shokuiku. Shokuiku was formally institutionalized in 2005 and is actively supported by multiple ministries.

2.) Active Student Participation 

The students are engaged! From setting and clearing tables, to serving food to their fellow students, all students participate in the tasks of shared meals. The participation fosters a sense of community and responsibility, teaching lifelong practices and helping students understand their role in ensuring a sustainable future
for all.

3.) Expertly Planned Meals 

School menus are planned by Food and Nutrition teachers who take nutrition, seasonality, and local preferences into the menu! They prioritize Japan’s traditional food culture and children are exposed to traditional foods, learn cooking basics, and appreciate culinary diversity.

4.) A National Commitment 

In Japan, school meals represent a collective effort across multiple sectors. Japan invests in school meals to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals including zero hunger and education for all. This investment contributes to a healthy, thriving, and prosperous society.

5.) Collaborative Efforts 

The success of Japanese school meals is a result of shared commitment from various stakeholders. National and local governments, community organizations, persons working in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, and businesses are all involved in the effectiveness and sustainability of school meals. This collective effort elevates school meals as an integrated part of Japanese culture.

Join us in Osaka! The 2024 Global Child Nutrition Forum will highlight the latest research, emerging trends, and innovations in key areas such as food and nutrition education, program sustainability, diet diversity, and financing! Participants will learn more about shokuiku and join field trips to see Japanese school meal activities in action! For more information on this year’s forum and to register to attend, please visit GCNF’s website here.

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