I’m starting to think that our diet has changed since we moved to Japan – in particular when it comes to snack time. In England, our kids’ snacks usually consisted of vegetable sticks, houmous, cheese strings, and perhaps meatballs, frankfurters and nuts. In case you are wondering why our our snack time was (and is) so protein and fat heavy it might be useful to remind you that my daughter has Type 1 diabetes (sorry to repeat this for those that know already), which means that to achieve better blood sugar control we try to limit her intake of carbs while favouring protein and fat. As the photos below illustrate, our houmous and cheese string days are long gone (partly because we can’t find houmous and cheese strings in Japan).
Below are our typical snacks in our household here in Japan. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think our 4-year old’s snacks are typical for 4-year old British or Finnish kids. I think when we return to England, we need to find a reliable source of raw and preserved octopus tentacles, bucket loads of fish roe, and dried fish.
What do you or your kids have as a snack? This is what we have:
By the way, the abstract art that my daughter is making while devouring the octopus looks a little bit like a Rorschach test picture. Or do her scribblings just look like bugs…
Whitebait (baby fish)
Niboshi (i.e. dried fish)
A bowl of fish eggs
Butaman (Chinese pork bun).
Takoyaki (Japanese style octopus dumplings)
I think instead of a snack, this could be considered a meal. But we’re no sparrows!
Edamame (soy beans)
We eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner pretty much every day, largely because (a) we all love them, and (b) the fact that they are low in carbs and high in protein means that they, like the above fish snacks, suit my Type 1 diabetic daughter’s diet well.
My students can’t contain themselves when in between lectures they see me heat up some frozen edamame at work. You see, edamame is a snack typically associated with beer-fuelled drinking sessions in the local bar. I think my students expect me to pull out a can of beer instead of cup of coffee with my mid-lecture break (sometimes I am tempted but I haven’t done it yet).
And finally, please find a photo of my favourite snack below.
Pablo custard tarts
Those of you who think there is no pastry or cakes in Japan… think again. Even though most households in Japan do not have an oven, bakeries here are amazing! I know I should stick to the edamame but let’s face it that’s never going to happen.