NASHVILLE -- Titans running backs Derrick Henry, Dalyn Dawkins, David Fluellen and Dion Lewis kicked off 'Titans Tuesdays' this week by visiting students at DuPont Hadley 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.
In partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and the National Dairy Council (NDC), Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) is the nation's largest in-school wellness program, a 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. The program is designed to combat childhood obesity and promote lifelong health.
"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! My grandmother used to tell me milk strengthens your bones and I believe in it."
The Dairy Alliance supports healthy people, communities and the planet to further advocate their mission of representing esteemed dairy farmers. The commitment means they are not only a strong supporter for dairy farmers and community partners, but a true ally.
"Healthier students are better students," said Joan Benton, manager of school health and wellness with The Dairy Alliance. "Research shows healthy eating and physical activity can improve academic performance. It is very exciting to see how the partnership with the Titans and the FUTP60 program is helping students succeed in the classroom by encouraging them 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. Milk is a simple way to help kids get nutrients they need to grow strong – that's a win-win in my book."
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.
"Anytime you can put positive role models in front of the students like the Titans is huge," said Kevin Armstrong, principal, DuPont Hadley Middle School. "For the students to hear from players and their stature - it resonates with them. Sending the message home of having a healthy lifestyle, drinking their milk, eating healthy foods and taking care of their bodies."
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.
"It's a great partnership because Titans players are in the schools to inspire the students to get out, be active and eat healthier foods," said Benton. "We've been able to work hand-in-hand to build a strong program to help motivate and create change in the school community. It has evolved into the program we are sharing here today. It's great program!"
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.
Titans players kicked off 'Titans Tuesdays' by visiting DuPont Hadley Middle School to encourage students to "Fuel Up" with healthy foods and be active for 60 minutes daily. (Photos: Donald Page)