As a parent, you know how important it is to make sure your children stay happy and healthy. You can teach them about healthy eating and physical activity, serve as a role model, and try to integrate healthy living practices into your daily lives. But what happens when they leave the house and go to school five days a week?
In tens of thousands of schools across the nation, Fuel Up to Play 60 is helping teachers and coaches spread the healthy living message. It’s the largest in-school health and wellness program, created by the National Dairy Council and NFL in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s a free program that offers school-tested strategies to improve healthy eating and physical activity at school and beyond.
Fuel Up to Play 60 empowers students, with the support of adults, to take the lead in making healthy lifestyle changes. At school, your child will work with their Fuel Up to Play 60 team to implement initiatives or “Plays” that successfully help to not only make positive changes in the school environment but also to develop leadership skills that can last a lifetime.
Real Examples of Fuel Up to Play 60 Success
A common concern among parents is making sure their children are eating and getting proper nutrition. One awesome benefit of Fuel Up to Play 60 is the healthy eating component. Students often promote breakfast as part of their Play.
- The student team at Thornwood Elementary in Spring Branch ISD started a new program to help get students to eat breakfast at school. When students came to school early and ate a healthy breakfast from the cafeteria, they’d get to go up on stage and play board games with their friends. It’s a comfort knowing you can send your child to school to eat a healthy breakfast and you don’t have to worry about preparing one at home during the morning rush.
- At Alief Early College High School in Alief ISD, students created a bulletin board and teamed up with the cafeteria workers and nurse to promote breakfast to "Fuel Up for Success!" The cafeteria punched cards to keep track of who ate breakfast all five days, and those student names were entered in a drawing for a fitness tracker.
- Fuel Up to Play 60 also encourages your children to get and stay physically active. Take a look at Postma Elementary in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, where over 50 students participated in their Monday Morning Fitness Club and competed in fun exercises. The students and teachers all tracked their steps and recorded more than 288 miles over the entire school year!
How You Can Get Involved
Start by asking your child’s PE teacher or principal if they’ve heard of Fuel Up to Play 60. If they haven’t, direct them to the main website to read more about the program. You can also contact your local School Wellness Consultant for more information and to learn how to talk to your school administrator. If your school does offer Fuel Up to Play 60, encourage your child to participate, eat healthy, get active and make a difference.
If you’d like to get further involved, you can contribute to your school’s efforts through in-school volunteer work as well as community outreach programs. Offer to help your child’s PE teacher implement the program and work with your school’s parent teacher organization to help secure support, funding, resources and volunteers to expand the student team’s efforts.