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Nebraska Health Board Recognizes Fuel Up to Play 60 Program
Nebraska Ag Connection - 08/14/2015

Preventive health improves the quality of life for both people and communities, and is a priority of the State Board of Health. One creative program is promoting healthy eating and physical activity to Nebraska students in a fun and positive way -- Fuel Up to Play 60.

The State Board of Health recently recognized the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The program and its funding is provided by Midwest Dairy Council and Nebraska's dairy farm families and is available to all Nebraska schools and students who wish to participate. Midwest Dairy Council works in partnership with several Nebraska organizations to promote nutrition and physical activity including Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids, Hunger Free Heartland, the Department of Education, and the Nebraska Association of School Boards.

Fuel Up to Play 60 empowers young people and provides students with a voice by bringing their insight, ideas, and knowledge to the table. The work and dedication of this partnership is responsible for building a healthier student body at over 880 Nebraska schools.

"Great things are going on in Nebraska schools. Fuel Up to Play 60 gets students interested in eating more fruits and vegetables and increasing physical activity using Grab-and-Go breakfasts, physical activity brain breaks, walk-to-school days, smoothie programs or family food and fitness nights, all of which help build strong foundations for future healthy behaviors that all Nebraska citizens should have," said State Board of Health member Dr. Dale Michels.

"Fuel Up to Play 60 was launched five years ago in an effort to promote and inspire healthy behaviors in youth. To see the many accomplishments that schools have made with the program is very rewarding. As a registered dietitian I know how important nutrition and activity are for youth, but when you can empower youth to share that message and practice that message, it means so much more. Youth empowerment is at the heart of this program and it is truly making a difference in schools every day," said Beth Bruck-Upton MA, RD, director of health and wellness at Midwest Dairy Council.

Fuel Up to Play 60 helps students make positive changes in their schools by improving opportunities to eat healthy foods and get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Research shows healthy children have more energy, increased concentration, improved self-esteem and less absenteeism. Eating right and being active every day helps students succeed in school now and sets them up to continue to make healthy choices later.

Fuel Up to Play 60 was launched by the National Dairy Council and the NFL. In Nebraska, the Midwest Dairy Council took it on to help encourage Nebraska students to lead healthier lives. On a national level, Fuel Up to Play 60 collaborates with the USDA as well as the NFL and numerous other partners, including the Centers for Disease Control, American Heart Association, Action for Healthy Kids, SHAPE America, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

The State Board of Health is an advisory body to the Division of Public Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Interested in more information about Fuel Up to Play 60? Go to or contact Beth Upton at 402-763-9784 or email

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