Inspiring Children: Cooking with PFIFF
As part of the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit.”, elementary schoolchildren learn that a balanced diet is a key prerequisite for the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The SMS initiative has just published a kids’ cookbook with many different recipe ideas from children, sponsors of the initiative and competitive athletes.
In recent years, people's eating habits have changed dramatically: Due to a lack of time, more and more people resort to convenience foods and seldom prepare their own meals. In addition, according to the results of the KiGGS study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany, about 13% of boys and more than 9% of girls between the ages of three and six drink a sugary soft drink at least once a day. Regular consumption of sugary soft drinks can contribute to the development of overweight and obesity in children.
"The kids’ cookbook gives the children ideas for tasty meals. The recipes are easy to follow and understand. The appealing pictures and food suggestions from well-known athletes are important for inspiring children to adopt a healthy lifestyle in a fun way," said Professor Andreas Meyer-Falcke, MD, Commissioner for Health in the state capital of Düsseldorf, on the occasion of the presentation of the children's cookbook on March 7th, "Healthy Eating Day".
Professor Karsten Müssig, head of the SMS initiative, explained: “Raising awareness in children at an early age for a balanced and conscious diet and more exercise is of great importance to us.“ The cookbook "Cooking with PFIFF – Natural. Balanced. Delicious" contains the favorite recipes of the children participating in the SMS initiative. Sponsors of the SMS initiative have also contributed their favorite childhood dishes for the cookbook. Two of the SMS mentors who helped create the cookbook are the Düsseldorf baker Georg Kretschmar as well as the former Olympics participant and German high jump champion Hendrik Beyer. “Diet plays a crucial role in children’s development and contributes to their well-being. Even today, I am always glad when we have Quarkkeulchen (main dish made of mashed potatoes and quark) at home, which is why I wanted to share the recipe with the children of the SMS initiative,” said Kretzschmar, explaining his commitment.
“In our latitudes, we are extremely fortunate to always have a huge supply of food and beverages at our disposal and to be able to choose and eat what we want. That is why it is particularly important to think about what we eat before we eat – so that we stay healthy," said Hendrik Beyer, explaining the importance of early information about a balanced and conscious diet. Hella Büscher, principal of the Matthias Claudius School, added: "The SMS initiative teaches our pupils about healthy foods and how to identify the different food groups and also shows them how much fun a healthy and active lifestyle can be. We are very glad to be part of the SMS initiative.“
The SMS initiative
The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." led by Professor Karsten Müssig at Düsseldorf primary schools seeks to counteract overweight/obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases in childhood and adolescence. The SMS initiative is supported by the association Düsseldorfer Kids mit PFIFF e.V. and scientifically accompanied by the German Diabetes Center (DDZ). 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 support logo of IN FORM, Germany’s initiative for a healthy diet and more exercise, and in 2016 and in 2018 the SMS initiative was awarded the GUT DRAUF label of the German Center for Health Education (BZgA).
For more information on the initiative, see: www.sms-mach-mit.de
Prof. Dr. Karsten Müssig
Dr. Olaf Spörkel