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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Do Your Kids Fuel Up to Play 60?

Have you heard of Fuel Up to Play 60?  Do you remember seeing commercials about this program while watching your favorite NFL team play?  This is a great program for kids, schools, and families, and it is available to all who sign up to play.

So do your kids Fuel Up to Play 60?

What does that mean exactly?

Fuel Up to Play 60, FUTP60,  is actually a nation-wide project taken on by the American Dairy Association (ADA) and the National Football League to encourage kids, schools, and families to prepare and eat healthy meals and move at least 60 minutes a day.

I know it's hard for us to get our heads around the fact that some children arrive at school without eating breakfast.  You've heard the assertions from doctors and teachers that students learn better with a nutritionally balanced breakfast to start the day.  It's also hard to imagine kids not wanting to go outside to play until the crickets start chirping and the pinks and oranges fill the western sky.  With the busy schedules we keep and the easy accessibility of games on phones and tablets/iPads, however, kids just don't get enough feet to the ground time.  In some elementary schools, P.E. is only taught once a week.

The ADA and NFL came up with Fuel Up to Play 60 to provide students, teachers, and parents motivating and life changing activities to promote and ingrain healthy eating and exercise habits. How do you learn more?  Just go to the national website:  http://www.fueluptoplay60.com/about/  At the bottom of the Home Page, there are several links.  Click on the ABOUT link, then click on "you can help bring Fuel Up to Play 60 to your school."  There is a very clever letter that involves kids in taking the initiative to get their school involve with the program by helping them create a letter to their school's principal or teacher.  Here's a bit of the letter to see just how Fuel Up to Play 60 will help get a program started in a school:

"When we sign up for Fuel Up to Play 60, our school gets:

• A free School Wellness Kit with a Quick Start Guide, banners and removable decals we can hang around school and other planning tools for adults and students

• Access to an online Playbook with ideas for spreading the word and challenging kids at our school to eat right and stay active. The Playbook includes “plays” or Action Strategies that help students and adults bring the program to life. Plays include fun ideas like a Milk Moustache Booth, Menu Makeovers, Trivia Contests, Schoolwide Walking Club and In-Class Activity Breaks.

• Access to the Fuel Up to Play 60 Online Tracker where we can log and track our healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

• Opportunity to engage in Challenges for a chance to unlock digital rewards (e.g., badges) and win other cool rewards."

In Indiana, we have our own state website:  http://winnersdrinkmilk.com/ that will help implement Fuel UP to Play 60 in our schools.  Indiana Dairy Council works closely with the Indianapolis Colts to encourage kids to eat well and get up and play for 60 minutes a day.  There are even grants up to $4000.00 that schools can apply for to help get programs started.  Other states have their own programs as well.

As I've read more and more about this program's foundation, I really like how it puts students' health first and encourages them to share their new found fun with their friends.   Tomorrow, I will share with you perspectives from two schools and a registered dietitian that show the benefits to children in FUTP60's program.  In between times, ask your kids if they know about Fuel Up to Play 60.  If they know about it, listen to what they have learned.  If they don't know what it is, take some time to look at the links above to see how your school can join in the movement to eat well and play. Check out the Free Downloads under the Order Materials on the Indiana site.  There are several tools to help you promote good health at home.  Come back tomorrow to learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 #FuelPlay

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Dairy Association Indiana and the NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60 Program. Through a series of posts, I’ll be sharing information about Fuel Up To Play 60 and how you and your kids can get involved.

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