The Basics for a Balanced Diet

The children taking part in the SMS initiative of the DZD partner German Diabetes Center completed their nutrition pilot license on the occasion of March 7, 2019, Healthy Nutrition Day.

Creating bread “funny faces” is a fun activity for kids. Source: Düsseldorfer Kids mit PFIFF e.V./SMS

Which building blocks make up a complete breakfast according to the specifications of the nutrition pyramid? Which kitchen utensils do I need to prepare a vegetable snack or a delicious fruit quark? And what hygiene rules should be observed when preparing food and eating it afterwards? The nutrition pilot license course provides answers to these and other questions on nutrition to the participating primary school pupils of the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit". In three consecutive days, the children learn the basics of a balanced diet and also have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the practical handling of food and kitchen utensils. The implementation of the nutrition pilot license of the Federal Center for Nutrition is one of the four program modules of the SMS initiative. The aim of the SMS initiative is to raise awareness in children at an early age of the importance of a balanced diet and more exercise in order to prevent overweight and lifestyle-related illnesses. The program is supported by prospective dieticians of the Education Center for Dietary Assistants of the Kaiserswerther Diakonie, who prepare the lesson units for the nutrition pilot license course in advance for all schools individually and convey their knowledge to the primary school students during the course.

“The foundation for health consciousness and healthy behavior is laid to a great extent already in the early years of life. With this in mind, we want to teach children at an early age what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle. Of course, fun and taste always come first," said Professor Karsten Müssig, project manager of the SMS initiative, underlining the importance of early nutrition education. "The implementation of the nutrition pilot license as part of the SMS initiative has become an integral part of our curriculum in recent years. The prospective dieticians of our school get to know a completely new aspect of our work and enjoy inspiring the children with simple and tasty recipes for a balanced diet," added Inga Schendzielorz, teacher at the Education Center for Health Professions, Department of Dietary Assistance at Kaiserswerther Diakonie.

The initiative led by Professor Müssig, “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." in Düsseldorf and Neuss primary schools seeks to counteract overweight and other lifestyle-related diseases in childhood and adolescence. The SMS initiative is sponsored by the association Düsseldorfer Kids mit PFIFF and is scientifically supported by the German Diabetes Center (DDZ). The participating children complete the nutrition pilot license program in cooperation with the Health 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 are taught how to deal with stress 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. Furthermore, in cooperation with the Techniker health insurance company, the participating school classes take part in the course "Loosen Up! - Stress Management for Children".

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. The SMS initiative was awarded the support logo of IN FORM, Germany’s initiative for a healthy diet and more exercise the GUT DRAUF label of the German Center for Health Education (BZgA).

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