Most well known for the catchy, rhyming commercial showcasing NFL players, the fantastic program to help children learn to eat healthy has returned for the new school year. The commercials, starring NFL players such as Washington Redskins’ Chris Horton, hope to use their popularity to drive home to kids the message that good foods and good play go hand in hand.
Created by the trusted National Dairy Council and the NFL, working in conjunction with the USDA, this multi-faceted program covers all aspects of child nutrition and health. It has improved this year by adding a local, state and national student ambassador program.
Getting kids to eat healthy foods and exercise for the recommended 60 minutes every day has proven to be a tall task for many families. By adding support from well known and respected NFL players, it’s hoped that kids will establish life long healthy habits and stem the rise of childhood obesity. Parents and teachers who wonder how to get started with this task can find some great resources on the Fuel Up to Play 60 website, which features video clips, recipes, and exercise hints.
Now the Fuel Up to Play 60 team has opened its nationwide funding to any school in the United States. Once enrolled, a school is eligible to earn as much as $4,000 to create improvement in the areas of nutrition and movement opportunities for all students. This is a one of a kind way to help schools see that their work for the benefit of students has merit and value. The goal is to make the improved nutrition and fitness changes easy to sustain and increase the likelihood that children will continue to chose movement over laying on the sofa and fruits and vegetables over junk food.
The First Lady and the President have both created initiatives with which this program will dovetail nicely – The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President, as well as the childhood obesity platform “Let’s Move!”. Both programs take on the mountainous task of attempting to end childhood obesity within this generation. Alarming studies have reported that this generation could very well be the first to die before their parents. Childhood obesity has quadrupled from the time of our parents and is continuing to spike sharply.
Children look up to professional athletes, and by using them to promote fitness and nutrition, these once boring concepts have taken on a whole new level of excitement. (Plus, there’s that catchy tune used in the commercial!) Washington Redskins’ player Chris Horton has become a huge fan of the program, saying, “Fuel Up To Play 60 really showed me how to have fun with children. I speak to a thousand plus kids at these events and I have learned not to speak at them but have fun with them. For instance, I coached a powder puff football team and I truly enjoyed energizing these kids, running up and down the field calling plays, making that personal connection with the kids means the world to me. That same day the principal came to me and said it was the first day no one got in trouble. That is when I knew we made an impact.”
Pass the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative on to the teachers at your child’s school and maybe one of our readers will be winner of some helpful funding!