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Inspiring Kids to Eat Healthy Food

The children participating in the initiative “SMS. Be Smart. Join In. Be Fit.” of the DZD partner German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf earn their “aid” nutrition pilot license.


A balanced diet is of great importance in the treatment and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases such as overweight and diabetes. However, more and more people rely on “convenience food”, and fewer and fewer prepare their own meals. But just this is a prerequisite for a balanced diet. To raise awareness for healthy eating among the children taking part in the initiative “SMS. Be Smart. Join In. Be Fit.” of the German Diabetes Center, the “aid” nutrition pilot license program is offered each year in the participating schools, in cooperation with the Kaiserswerther Diakonie. Under the guidance of dietary assistant students from the Kaiserswerther Diakonie Education Center, the children learn about food pyramids and the practical handling of food and kitchen utensils and even prepare small meals. “Healthy attitudes and behaviors are essentially shaped in the early years of life. That is why we want to communicate to the children at an early stage what all is involved in a balanced lifestyle,“ said Professor Karsten Müssig, project leader of the SMS initiative.
The initiative led by Professor Müssig, “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." seeks to counteract and overweight and other lifestyle-related diseases in childhood and adolescence. The participating children complete the “aid” nutrition pilot license program in cooperation with the Education 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 Professor Kerstin Ketelhut. In addition, the pupils experience the perception of their own body in the sensory classroom of the Präha Weber School in a motor skills training course. They are also taught relaxation exercises in cooperation with the initiative “Physical Activity during School Recess” of the Dietrich Grönemeyer Foundation and the Deichmann company.   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.
In 2015 the SMS initiative was awarded the supporter logo of IN FORM – Germany’s initiative for a healthy diet and more exercise, and in 2016 was awarded the GUT DRAUF label of the German Center for Health Education (BZgA).

More information about the initiative is available at: www.sms-mach-mit.de (German only)