In the Apple Orchard: A Different Way of Learning

Apfelparadies Wittlaer (Apple Paradise Wittlaer) supports the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit.” of the DZD partner German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf in its endeavor to fight childhood obesity and subsequent complications.

Eating a balanced diet not only tastes good, it’s also fun. This, in a nutshell, is what the primary school children participating in the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." learned during their visit to Apfelparadies Wittlaer. Here, outside of the classroom, the children learned why fruit is such an important part of a balanced diet and experienced the benefits of the apple with all their senses. After harvesting the apples, the children peeled, pitted and sliced them to bake a juicy apple pie. Even while cutting and chopping, the children were allowed to try the crunchy apples. “With this activity we want to teach the children where our food comes from and how delicious our regional varieties of fruit and vegetables are,” said Gabi Hollmann from Apfelparadies Wittlaer, explaining why she is so committed to this project. “By allowing the children to be involved so intensively in the process of harvesting and handling natural foods, we aim to increase their acceptance and appreciation of fruits and vegetables,” added Professor Karsten Müssig, who heads the project.
The initiative led by Professor Müssig, “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." seeks to make children in Düsseldorf and Cologne primary schools more aware of the benefits of a healthy diet and more exercise. The participating children complete the “aid” nutrition pilot license program in cooperation with the Educational Center for Dietary Assistants of the Kaiserswerther Diakonie and take part in the exercise program for primary schools “Fitness for Kids” developed by sports scientist Prof. Dr. Kerstin Ketelhut. The two health insurance companies IKK classic and KKH, the organization diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid, the Sports Department of Düsseldorf and other renowned partners and prominent people support the project and provide the participating school children with additional attractive venues for learning outside of school. The patron of the initiative is Thomas Geisel, mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf.

More information about the initiative can be found at: