Last month, as the Tennessee Titan’s began pre-season practice, SUDIA and the Tennessee Obesity Task Force teamed up to host a training camp of their own. School staff and community leaders from across the state gathered at LP field to learn how to become involved in Fuel Up to Play 60 and improve the overall health of children in Tennessee.
Titan’s staff welcomed participants to the stadium, and Tammy Beasley, a certified sports dietitian kicked off the program. Tammy highlighted GENYouth’s Wellness Impact Report findings that eating breakfast and being physically active everyday can increase a child’s attention span and lead to higher reading and math scores. She also explained that ideas for increasing both breakfast participation and activity in schools can be found in the FUTP60 play book.
School nurse and Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor Liz Ann Payant shared how she teamed up with the cafeteria manager, coaches and parents in her school to increase student breakfast participation. Their efforts included offering a grab-and-go breakfast, making smoothies with a new smoothie machine (purchased with a Fuel Up to Play 60 grant), creating and watching a DVD featuring breakfast facts, building a breakfast bulletin board, taste testing oatmeal, and providing a MyPlate placemat for every student. Emma Buchanan, a high school junior and National FUTP60 student ambassador was also on hand to share ideas from a student’s perspective.
Lunchtime included build-your-own parfaits, smoothie stations, and a presentation from Titan’s receiver, Marc Mariani, followed by an opportunity for participants to brainstorm and share ideas of how to incorporate FUTP60 in their schools and communities. Karen Slater, a coordinated school health director in Tennessee, kept everyone moving with an exercise station that showcased ideas for classroom physical activity breaks.
At the end of the day, participants left with a challenge by Rebecca Johns-Womack, executive director of the Tennessee Obesity Task Force, to sign up to be program advisors and take the FUTP60 program back to their schools and communities. To learn how you can become involved, visit www.fueluptoplay60.com.
Laura Marbury, MS, RD, LD