As a kid growing up in Wisconsin, I drank a ton of milk. I also loved eating cereal for breakfast—I would eat two bowls, and I especially loved to drink the milk at the bottom of the bowl. So it’s safe to say I grew up knowing the importance of starting my day with a healthy breakfast. Now that I’m a professional football player, and a dad, I have come a long way since my cereal days. For breakfast these days, I eat eggs more often, along with yogurt—but always including dairy to get a good balance of protein. More importantly, I understand how building healthy habits early can affect your future.
Once I became a professional athlete, I began to see that others were not as fortunate as I was, and need help building healthy habits. On one outing, I went into an area and saw hungry kids that needed better access to food. That is what inspired me to create my Blocking Out Hunger foundation. It is focused on improving access to healthy foods, for people in need. My mission also led me to collaborate with Fuel Up to Play 60. We are both committed to encouraging people to eat breakfast, and to get food to people that need it. I believe that when children have an opportunity to eat in the morning, it gives them a much greater chance to be successful throughout the day. When you can go in, get fueled up with healthy food, you can focus on your schoolwork. When kids can be successful in school, they can grow and become tomorrow’s leaders.
Nutrition is only part of the equation; to be healthy you have to be active. It is important to be active, especially from a young age. These days it’s really easy to sit down and not think about getting up and moving. That’s why programs like ours are so important. Fuel Up to Play 60, teaches kids how to get eat the right foods while encouraging them to the active throughout the day.
I’ve been very fortunate to grow up, and do exactly what I dreamed about as a kid. That has made me more passionate about making sure kids have access to the healthy food and physical activity they need. Beyond that, I encourage my young fans to set their goals high and work to succeed. Once you commit to that, it is possible to achieve your dreams. If I could do, so can you!