NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans running backs Derrick Henry, David Fluellen and Dion Lewis kicked off “Titans Tuesdays’ this week by visiting students at Thurgood Middle School to educate them about the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program.
The program encourages students to live active and healthy lifestyles by playing or exercising for at least 60 minutes each day, in addition to fueling up with healthy foods such as low-fat and fat-free dairy.
Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60), the nation’s largest in-school wellness program, which is a partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and the National Dairy Council (NDC), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dairy Farmers fund the program and provide schools access to grants to make sustainable changes, as well as The Dairy Alliance here locally. FUTP60 empowers students to live active and healthy lifestyles by playing or exercising for at least 60 minutes each day and fueling up with healthy foods such as low-fat and fat-free dairy. The program is designed to combat childhood obesity and promote lifelong health.
The Dairy Alliance, formerly the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA) is a new and modern brand that represents a positive organizational change focused on the customer promise to own, live and share the dairy story. The belief in the power of dairy to support healthy people, communities and the planet further advocates their mission of representing our esteemed dairy farmers. The renewed commitment means they are not only a strong supporter for our dairy farmers and our community partners, but a true ally.
“It’s an in-school program to encourage students to fuel up with healthy foods like milk, fruits, vegetables and whole grains that they don’t get enough of at a middle school age and being active 60 minutes a day,” said Joan Benton, manager of school health and wellness with The Dairy Alliance.
“It’s a great way to use our platform and encourage students to eat healthy and have a healthy lifestyle,” said Henry. “It helps for them to know what’s good for them now and in the future to fuel their bodies and keep them going.
"I love cereal and chocolate milk," Henry added. "My grandmother used to tell me milk strengthens your bones and I believe in it!”
“I know for me, I didn’t really listen to my parents until someone I idolized told me what to do, and it was the same as my parents were saying, said Fluellen. “I think it’s important that we are out here to deliver that message.”
Hunger is a real issue that many children struggle with each day and schools play a vital role in feeding those children. Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for families to find time for a healthy breakfast. Statistics show that one in five Tennessee students come to school hungry and do not receive the healthy foods they need to fight illness or concentrate in class, which leads to missed school days. New research shows that better nutrition starting with nutrient-packed foods like low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, fruit, vegetables and whole grains, coupled with increased physical activity can lead to better academic achievement. All students deserve a chance to be great at what is important to them.
“It’s a perfect partnership because we’ve got Titans players who can inspire the students to get out and be active,” Benton said.
“It great being able to have the Titans here to help promote, motivate and encourage that message of eating healthy,” said Roderick Webb, executive principal, Thurgood Marshall Middle School.
“We’ve been able to work hand-in-hand to build a program and change the program. It has evolved into the program we have today,” added Benton. “It’s been great!”
Fuel up to Play 60 continues to #FuelGreatness by encouraging students to start their day with proper nutrition. New research shows that better nutrition starting with breakfast, coupled with increased physical activity can lead to better academic achievement.
Dairy provides nutrients that are essential to life. Good nutrition and physical activity help ensure a strong and high-achieving generation of youth. Access to nutritious, affordable food and 60 minutes of play a day will continue to help kids “fuel their greatness” inside and outside the classroom.