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ZDG prize for the healthiest kindergarten

ZDG prize for the healthiest kindergarten

A healthy diet is especially important in childhood. Because in this phase, the foundation for a healthy life is laid. Many children, however, depend on the food in the day care centers. Two recent studies show that in many cases, daycare does not even meet the minimum standards of a healthy diet. The center of health therefore wants to award kindergartens that care for the health of our children. The ZDG Prize goes to those three kindergartens who manage to significantly improve their nutritional concepts within 6 months.

Which kindergarten cooks the healthiest? - The ZDG Prize

The ZDG award for the healthiest kindergarten aims to motivate daycare centers to rethink and optimize their nutritional concepts to meet our healthy eating criteria - with the goal of bringing healthy nutrition to children with lots of fun and delicious meals.

The sooner you discover your passion for a healthy diet, the better. Nutrition in the first years of life has a great influence - not only on the current health, but also on the health in later life. In addition, eating habits and taste preferences are shaped during childhood.

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Healthy nutrition in childhood shapes the whole life

Anyone who eats healthy as a child will later enjoy having a healthy diet. If you are a little unhealthy as a child, you still have the usual bad diet in adulthood, and you often have problems changing your diet permanently.

Dr. med. Hanno D. Schmidt writes in his book "Healthy living - really simple" that for some cultures, in which all residents z. B. Eating an island equally healthy, is also perfectly normal to practice a healthy diet. They also do not consider their diet as something special. Nobody thinks about it. You just eat what the others eat and what you're used to from childhood.

In modern industrialized nations it is often the other way round. Although you eat here, which is used to from childhood and what everyone else eat - with the difference that in this case "all" ready-to-eat food from the supermarket and from the fast food restaurant, sweets, alcohol and baked goods and pasta From extract flours are completely normal and that nobody is surprised about sausage, meat mountains and H-milk.

Kita diet today: lots of meat, few vegetables, no raw food

Nowadays, since children no longer have to take their meals home, but have to do so in the day care center, the responsibility for a healthy diet no longer lies solely with the parents, but especially with the care facilities. In these, however, there are often only few vegetables and virtually no raw food. Much meat and sausage is served - and as an alternative, at best, cheese or cream dishes. Also sweetened sweets come regularly in the children's plates.

In a study commissioned by the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) in 2016, daycare centers did not even adhere to the DGE dietary rules. The most important of these rules include the following four:

On 20 catering days (about 1 month) it should

  1. give vegetables daily
  2. give more than eight times salad or raw food,
  3. do not fry more than four times and
  4. Do not give meat or sausage more than eight times.

In at least 85 percent of day-care centers, it is possible to serve vegetables on at least 15 days. Also, the third rule is almost always met.

Salads, on the other hand, are hardly ever served in 25% of day nurseries. Only about 40 percent of day nurseries fulfill rule number 2 and regularly have salads or raw food on the menu.

In more than 44 percent of Kitas, rule number 4 is ignored. There are much more sausages and meat than the recommended eight times.

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Only a few kindergartens cook themselves

Two years earlier, a nutritional study by the Bertelsmann Foundation revealed similarly poor results: Children eat too much meat, too few fruits and vegetables in Kitas, the menus are not balanced in the facilities, yes, the food in kindergartens is almost deficient and unhealthy. Only 12 percent of the day-care centers would provide children with enough fruit, as it was said at the time - and in 75 percent of day-care centers, there is far too much meat.

It is particularly unfavorable if the kindergartens are dependent on catering companies and get the food delivered warm or frozen. Unfortunately, this is the case with most kindergartens.Because only one third of the day-care centers can prepare the required food in their own kitchen.

However, the healthier children are allowed to eat,

  • the lower is her risk of becoming overweight
  • the lower is her risk of getting tooth decay,
  • the better they can develop,
  • the better they can concentrate and learn
  • the lower is their risk for allergies and chronic diseases and
  • the sooner an awareness of one's own body develops and how one can nurture it with a healthy diet and keep it healthy.

Improve nutritional concept - win ZDG Prize!

All kindergartens are therefore called to participate! Review your nutritional concepts and diets. See where which improvements can be implemented! Then send us a description of your Kita diet in the current state (including a current weekly meal plan) and a description of the planned change in your nutritional plan. In six months you will send us the results from the implementation of the new nutrition concept, including a new weekly meal plan.

Three kindergartens with the most promising concepts and the best implementations are awarded by us and receive the ZDG award for the healthiest kindergartens in the German-speaking area. All kindergartens in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can participate. The first prize is endowed with 10,000 euros, the second with 6,000 euros and the third prize with 4,000 euros.

Please consider the following criteria when designing your concept:


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Criteria of a healthy day care diet

Are the following rules respected? If so, to which extent? And what should change to what extent in the future?

  • The meals are as fresh as possible on the spot, so freshly prepared in the daycare.
  • Meals are preferably made from organic food.
  • The meals are as varied as possible from regional and seasonal food.
  • Meals are prepared to be gentle on vital substances.
  • Meals contain no industrial sugar. Sweet dishes, which should rather be offered as an exception (for example, once a week) are sweetened with natural sweeteners, which are used sparingly, eg. Maple syrup or honey.
  • Instead, fresh fruit or dried fruit, sugar-free muesli bars, nuts o. Ä. As a snack available.
  • The meals contain as far as possible no finished products (ready-made soups, canned fruit, ready-made sauces, dips, etc.), if necessary, ready-made products (eg ketchup) from the health food store can be used. However, ketchup can also be freshly prepared quite easily.
  • The meals are mostly full - consist of mainly vegetables or salads and wholesome side dishes (brown rice, millet, potatoes, polenta, wholemeal spelled couscous, wholegrain wraps, wholegrain pancakes, etc.).
  • Salads are no sausage, pasta or rice salads understood, but raw salads from z. Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, sprouts, carrots, beetroot and more.
  • Meat is served at most twice a week (organic meat from grazing), fish once a week (exclusively from sustainable fishing or from organic aquaculture).
  • Dairy products are used exclusively in organic quality. It is taken into account for individual intolerances, so that there are always plant alternatives.
  • On meat / fish days or dairy meals, nutritious vegan / vegetarian alternatives for vegan / vegetarian families are required.

ZDG-Filmteam is shooting in your Kita!

Of course, the area of ​​health also means that the children are allowed to be active in the fresh air and in nature, but also move in bad weather in the Kita rooms enough. You are also welcome to list these (and other health relevant) aspects in your description of your day-care center. The broader your report and the more comprehensive your efforts to optimize your day-care center, the greater the chance that your day-care centers will be among the winners.

Our ZDG film crew will finally visit the three healthiest kindergartens and make a kita docu. In this way, the three winners can serve as a role model for many other kindergartens, contributing not only to the health of their "own" children, but also to the health of many other kindergarten children.

Please send us a first application (without attachments) by email to [email protected], in which you express your interest in participating. As soon as 20 daycare centers have contacted us, we will contact you and tell you what to do next. We look forward to seeing you and your Kita :-)

P. S. Also, childminders who look after at least 10 children can apply to participate.

Current situation

Despite extensive advertising for our project and repeated publication of relevant information in our newsletter, unfortunately, only a few interested parties had reported.Often it was often not even the Kita leadership itself, but parents or educators, so that we ultimately - so sorry we are - can not pursue the project further.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all interested parties who have contacted us and would have liked to work for a healthier diet in the day care centers. We wish you all the best!

Your team from the center of health

Your training as a holistic nutritionist

Healthy diet is your passion? You love the surplus base, natural diet? You would like to understand the connections between our food and our health from a holistic perspective? You want nothing more than to make all your knowledge about health and nutrition your profession?

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