Doronko Nurture the Future

Food education is
not “cooking childcare”.
It is to foster motivation.

Doronko food educationNutrition Education

Motivation and appetite.
Children learn the circulation of life
and food through the experiences.

We want our children to always have their eyes glaring and have motivated faces. Visit nature, make themselves aware of various environments including life through actual experience, work in the sun, play, get hungry and eat, sleep well…We believe that a motivated and lovely look comes from this positive cycle.

feature: 1Characteristics of Doronko food education

Nutrition Education01Walk, walk, walk.
And play outdoors even in summer.

At Doronko, we are particular about “walking a long distance ”and“ playing outdoors throughout the year.” We increase the walking distance gradually from April, aiming at walking 4Km round trip for 2 year old children and 10Km round trip for 4-5 year old children. Trees are planted in the garden to make shades, sprinklers and mists installed, rockery with height difference, cool clay pipes, etc. …. We are trying to make arrangements so that children can play in the courtyard even in summer.
Children make various discoveries, touch the seasonal nature, move a lot, and develop the appetite.

Nutrition Education02Working in the fields and making furrows.

Field work is the closest activity necessary for living. Watching the nursery teacher who plows with hoes, shovels and scoops, the children cultivate themselves and make furrows. Doronko organizes training in the making of furrows organized by staff every March. The annual agricultural plan for each nursery school is also created for 0 year olds and 1 year olds. Children who enter Doronko start by touching the soil and playing in the mud. The plant couldn’t bear the fruit because there was an insect. Just before harvesting, a 0 year old child touched a green pepper and fell off. Such failures are experiences. The best part of field work is that you can experience the Sense of Wonder including natural science.

Nutrition Education03Eat with a child of a different age.
Eat with adults.

At Doronko, like children, large children, small children, and children with disabilities are all living together. We aim to become a group that can recognize individuality such as strength, weakness, dexterity, and clumsiness with various children. The teachers see not only the children in charge, but all the children. People are born with the instinct to protect themselves from poison and rotten things, as it is said to have a bitter and sour taste recognition from birth. Children will be able to eat with peace of mind when they see the surrounding adults such as nursery teachers, specialists, cooks, and facility managers eating deliciously. Of course, it is also important for the cook to think about how to provide food by watching the children eat.

Nutrition Education04Children serve themselves.
Adults do not serve.
For children who cannot do by themselves, those who can do it for them.

At Doronko, serving meals for younger children is a role for elder ones. Although this is not an assignment from teacher. As they work together, they experience situations where they rely on each other, express their own thinking, exchange opinions, accept the method of others, in order to make things advance.
We practice the education of relying on each other, conflicting with each other, and teaching each other.

feature: 26 articles of Doronko food education

  • 1

    Taste the ingredients

  • 2

    Adults do not serve

  • 3

    Ceramic tableware

  • 4

    Menu is mainly Japanese food,

    light taste

  • 5

    Eat with favorite people
    at any time

  • 6

    Cooks, nurturers
    and nursery principal eat together

feature: 3Menu of a day

  • Spring Bamboo shoots rice / Sawara(Spanish Mackerel) curry powder / Komatsuna(Japanese mustard spinach) sesame seed / Wakame(seaweed) miso soup / Orange

    Experience bamboo digging in a nursery school near the bamboo forest. After peeling off the layers, the children learn that bamboo shoots are bamboo babies.
    Harvested bamboo shoots are made into bamboo shoots rice, and they learn the fresh taste and softness.

  • Summer Chilled Chinese noodles / Grilled corn and grilled zucchini / “Sawaniwan”, pork and vegetable soup

    Corn is one of the easy-to-grow vegetables. Hold the stem with one hand, hold the tuft with the other hand and fold down to harvest.
    Even small children will try their best to peel the harvested corns. When the corns just boiled are served, 1 year olds will learn how to eat looking at the elder ones.

  • Autumn Nikudofu(Tofu with beef) / Chinese cabbage sweet vinegar / “gobuduki” rice / Turnip miso soup Rice that has been polished to half, and still contains a lot of nutrients such as dietary fiber

    Children harvest the turnips that have grown big for which they have taken care of watering, etc., while playing the“ big turnips ”that are familiar from children’s stories.
    The green leaves of the turnip are also used for cooking. They will also learn the wisdom of eating all parts of vegetables. The rice for lunch is from the rice field in Minamiuonuma, where children plant and harvest. In autumn, they can enjoy the deliciousness of new rice grown by themselves.

  • Winter Carrot-filled champon udon noodles/ cabbage with bonito flakes / sweet potato sticks

    Freshly picked carrots taste sweet and delicious just by boiling. If you eat with homemade miso, you won’t stop eating. As the carrots are grown in the nursery school, even the leaves can be made into Tempura. If still there are leaves left, they will serve as feed for goat, chicken, and rabbit.

feature: 4Initiatives for food education

Our Efforts01Self-sufficiency of lunch rice.
Rice planting in May and harvesting in September with an overnight stay

We started growing rice planting in May and harvesting in September with an overnight stay when Doronko was still an unauthorized nursery school. We want children to know how delicious Japanese principal food is. We want them to experience labor to produce delicious food. We want children to play freely in the nature. … With that in mind, we established an agricultural production corporation, securing a rice field in Minamiuonuma City, Niigata Prefecture, and built a rice center. Finally, it took 15 years to realize the self-sufficiency of rice for lunch , planting, harvesting, milling and shipping by ourselves.

Our Efforts02Eating with hands

The children recognize their hands by licking their fist, picking up the toys, licking them, and “feeling safe to touch” with their sensitive hands and tongue. Grab the food and judge if it ’s eatable before putting it in your mouth. That is the natural flow of nature. At Doronko children start to eat by hand from the late stage of weaning. Children start with what is cut long along the fiber and steamed, and once they know the bite, change to what is cut across the fiber. If we prepare ingredients taking into account the hardness, how to cut, and the size according to the growth of the mouth, children acquire by themselves the force to bite and swallow. That leads to the growth of teeth and jaws and becomes a chewing force.

Our Efforts03Know life and death, eat what has life.
Learn the relationship between ingredients and meals.

Every morning, Children clean up the dung of creatures (goats, chickens, etc.), clean the huts, and feed them. They can know from these experiences that creatures cannot live without being taken care of every day. For the nursery school children, it is a necessary experience to know the importance of life, whether it is facing the death of a creature or witnessing the moment when a creature is born.
“We are eating something that has life”. To teach this , nursery teachers, specialists, cooks, and children together, dress and grill a fish, squeeze and roast a chicken to eat… We believe that this “experience of taking someone’s life” is necessary, and we are actually implementing various initiatives.

Our Efforts04Play outdoors even on cold days in winter.
Children eat baked snacks
while warming themselves by bonfire.

When there is a bonfire in the courtyard, children playing outdoors can chat surrounding the fire, warm themselves, make tea to serve the friends and their mothers, bake vegetables and sausages for snacks, and make pork miso soup. If it’s cold, children spend more time inside, but if there is a bonfire, they can play well outdoors even in winter. If a nursery school does not have a courtyard or cannot handle fire, go to a park where you can make a bonfire.