Take two kid-focused programs. Add a dash of fun, inspiration and enthusiasm. Sprinkle in a generous amount of passion. Toss it together and you get one huge impact on the health of a copious number of children. What two programs can have this large of a reach? Drum roll please….they are Fuel Up to Play 60 and Kids Eat Right.
Since its inception in 2009, Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) has inspired more than 13 million children to eat better and 16 million to be more active. Amazing! Casy from Utah is one of the children whose life has been transformed thanks to FUTP 60. I had the honor of meeting Casy at the School Nutrition Association Conference this summer. He first heard about the program in middle school, but it was not until his sophomore year in high school when he truly became interested in engaging with FUTP 60. What rekindled his interest?
- A desire to be healthy. Casy wanted to get healthy and shed the extra 50 pounds he was carrying.
- Student connection. The stories shared by FUTP 60 students on The Huddle (blog) inspired Casy. If they could make changes, so could he.
- The NFL connection. A dream of meeting an NFL player motivated Casy to kick start the FUTP 60 program at his high school. He earned enough points to help become a State Student Ambassador and attend the FUTP 60 Student Ambassador Summit. Yes, his dream of meeting an NFL player did come true.
Not only did Casy motivate other students at Spanish Fork High School to eat more healthfully and get active, but he encouraged his family to get on board too. His family walked and ran together as a part of their “100 mile Club.” Their backyard now includes a jungle gym and climbing wall thanks to Casy’s passion for health. What an inspiration!
Kids Eat Right (KER) launched in 2010 and is still going strong after five years. Since its beginning, RDNs have been able to apply for mini-grants to help provide nutrition programs within their area. These funds have assisted passionate RDNs deliver quality nutrition and physical activity programs to 58,000 children.
Cathy Davis, MS, RD, CDN from Arizona used her KER grant funds to enhance her cooking demonstrations for her community nutrition class. The funds also allowed Cathy and the hospital she works for to continue its work with a local school district for a third year. They are helping educate 3rd through 5th graders how to be more active and choose healthful foods. It is exciting to see that a few dollars can aid RDNs in transforming our youth’s lifestyle choices. Learn more fascinating facts about KER HERE.