A campaign promoting food literacy of children

Ich kann kochen! (‘I can cook’) is Germany’s largest initiative to promote hands-on nutrition education for kindergarten and primary school children and was founded by the Sarah Wiener Foundation and health insurance company BARMER. The target of the campaign is to ensure that children learn how to prepare their own meals, experience food in a meaningful way and become critical and empowered consumers.

Many studies show that fewer and fewer children have the chance to get to know a balanced way of eating and preparing food at home. Ich kann kochen! trains educators, teachers and social education workers to provide cooking and nutrition classes in their institutions and to put children’s food literacy into practice. The one-day training courses are completely free of charge and are held by specifically skilled trainers, among them dieticians, nutritionists and experienced chefs. All participants are qualified to foster children’s enthusiasm for fresh produce and their knowledge about a wholesome and healthy diet from an early age. This acquired knowledge, basic everyday expertise and the mindset of an informed consumer can help prevent diseases like obesity.

All trained educators become Genussbotschafter (‘ambassadors of taste’) of the Sarah Wiener Foundation. On www.ichkannkochen.de they have access to an online platform with teaching material including in-depth information on a balanced diet for children, hands-on tips and numerous seasonal recipes. To help the ambassadors get started with their cooking projects, their kindergartens, day-care facilities and primary schools can apply for financial aid of 500 euros by sending in a brief project description along with the request form.

Ich kann kochen! was started in 2016 and was initially set up for five years. The Sarah Wiener Foundation aims to foster food literacy in 10% of all day-care facilities and primary schools in Germany and thus reach more than one million children. There are approximately 50 training courses given each month all over the country.

About the initiative’s founders: the Sarah Wiener Foundation is dedicated to promoting a wholesome diet and inspiring children to become interested in healthy and high-quality food and its origin. Since 2007, its hands-on programmes like cooking courses and excursions to farms show children where our produce originates and what can be made out of it. The health insurance company BARMER wants to give children the opportunity to start life in a healthy way. The company is funding Ich kann kochen! as part of the 2016 prevention act. For more information, please visit www.sarah-wiener-stiftung.de and www.barmer.de.