Fuel Up to Play 60–Nebraska and Beyond!

This is a guest blog from the Midwest Dairy Council.  It really goes to show you how great Nebraskans are!

Fuel Up to Play 60 Report Card: Schools Improve Nutrition and Physical Activity for a Healthier Generation

 Fuel Up to Play 60’s first “report card” since launching nationally in 2009 shows that schools are making progress in promoting healthier eating habits and increasing physical activity among students, helping to create a healthier school environment. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Fuel Up to Play 60 is provided by Midwest Dairy Council, an affiliate of NDC, in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

With more than 70,000 schools now enrolled, representing almost three-fourths of all U.S. school districts, the program provides a free playbook of tools, resources, rewards and engagement activities to empower youth to work with adults in their school community to make healthy changes. Specifically in Nebraska:

· 1,073 schools, serving 304,278 students, are enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60.

· More than $240,000 in funds have been awarded to help participating Nebraska schools implement programs designed to increase access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity during the 2011-2012 school year.


· Nearly two-thirds of enrolled adults say the program is helping students make healthier food choices.

· More than half (56 percent) say the program is helping to increase opportunities for students to be physically active before, during and after school, and 58 percent say it is helping to increase the amount of time students are physically active.

· On average, 7.5 million students nationwide, over 20 percent of those enrolled, are actively involved in the program by helping to plan, lead, implement or participate in peer-to-peer promotions, events and in-school change strategies.


“Healthy thoughts are happy thoughts as students participate in Fuel Up to Play 60 activities at St. John Nepomucene School!” said Linda Maly, Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor in Weston, NE. “Students have enjoyed trying new recipes, experiencing a salad bar try-out, competing in a turkey trot, working out on Wednesdays and entering challenges based on healthy eating and physical activity.  We were excited to welcome Will Shields, former Kansas City Chief, to our school to reward us for our achievements to get healthy and make a difference!   We love the Fuel Up to Play 60 program!”

“Neihardt kids have been competing in monthly challenges that incorporate ways to get active in the classroom, tracking healthy eating and physical activity, learning about food groups, and the benefits each food group has on the body.” said Alan Sarka, Physical Education teacher and Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor at Neihardt Elementary in Omaha. “We have supported these challenges with a visit from a dietitian, physical activity breaks in the classroom, implementing a walking club, cup stacking club and the creation of a Neihardt healthy kitchen food show.”


“More than 70 percent of our students participate in after school sports, some participating in two to three.” said Cindy Brison, MS, RD and Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor at St. Bernard’s in Omaha.  “Students have enjoyed trying new foods they had never experienced before.  Students have experienced yoga, archery, hockey, and pilates as a result of Fuel Up to Play 60.  We have a very active walking school bus where parents and children walk together to school, and we are also encouraging family involvement through newsletters and physical activity events, such as family dodge ball tournaments.  Our students think Fuel Up to Play 60 rocks!”


“These are the kind of results we were hoping for. Our goal from the onset was to help empower schools and students to identify and implement strategies that can help students make healthier choices when it comes to eating and physical activity,” said Jean H. Ragalie, RD, president of NDC. “In this time of economic challenges and time constraints, it’s even more important to create an environment that makes eating healthy and staying active attainable, within any type of budget, in any school district.”


“The NFL is proud to be a partner in Fuel Up to Play 60, which is making a real and lasting impact in schools and communities across the country. The program is an important part of encouraging our youngest fans to stay active and eat healthy,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.


“Fuel Up to Play 60 is going strong in Nebraska to support both healthy eating and physical activity in schools,” said Beth Bruck-Upton MA, RD, Health and Wellness Program Manager with Midwest Dairy Council. “Students in Nebraska are helping their schools work toward healthy changes for the long term. And the funds provided by the program will help many of the participating schools do even more to implement these wellness efforts.”

The commitment to Fuel Up to Play 60 is extensive. In Nebraska, Fuel Up to Play 60 is supported by a number of health and nutrition organizations including the Nebraska Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the School Nutrition Association, as well as the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, Nebraska chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Nebraska Medical Association, and Department of Education among others.  Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman stepped up to show his support of Fuel Up to Play 60 by signing a certificate pledging his support to the program’s Guiding Principles and school wellness initiatives this fall.


Schools, parents and students can learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 at www.FuelUpToPlay60.com or www.MidwestDairy.com. For Midwest Dairy Fuel Up to Play 60 stories, visit http://midwestdairy.fueluptoplay60.com/.

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Midwest Dairy Council®, an affiliate of National Dairy Council, is the nutrition education division of Midwest Dairy Association. The Council is dedicated to dairy nutrition research and education through the investment of more than 9,500 dairy farm families across 10 Midwestern states, and is committed to child health and wellness through our collaborative program, Fuel Up to Play 60. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy.


Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. It is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student challenges. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.

National Dairy Council® (NDC) is the nutrition research, education and communications arm of Dairy Management Inc™. NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier society, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Established in 1915, NDC is dedicated to educating the public on the health benefits of consuming milk and milk products throughout a person’s lifespan. For more information, visit NationalDairyCouncil.org.


Designed to help tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations like the National Dairy Council. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit NFLRush.com. © 2012 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

Today, over one-third of American children are either overweight or obese. If the trend continues, today’s children may be the first generation with shorter life expectancies than their parents. In response to this epidemic, GENYOUth Foundation was founded to inspire youth behavior change. GENYOUth Foundation is launched with initial funding from four founding partners: Domino’s Pizza®, Kraft Foods, LALA USA and Leprino Foods, with additional funding from dairy farmers through NDC. It invites business and philanthropic partners who share in its mission to join its efforts in pursuing a sustainable solution to the childhood obesity epidemic and help ensure that America’s children have access to the health and wellness information that will help them succeed. GENYOUth Foundation will demonstrate that when youth are given a voice, change can happen. For more information, visit www.genyouthfoundation.org Media resources, including press conference video footage and photos are available at www.FuelUpToPlay60MediaResources.com.

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