Archived Story

Dietitian working with DMS

Published 4:53pm Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dowagiac Middle School is working with a Dowagiac-based registered dietitian to implement the national healthy eating and physical activity program, Fuel Up to Play 60.
The program is sponsored by the National Football League and United Dairy Council and provides opportunities for students to learn healthy eating and to increase their activity level through fun activities.
The dietitian, Libby Alward, is working closely with Jay Brackensick, food service director for the schools.
Alward will be at the middle school cafeteria during lunch periods on March 21 to speak to students about healthier food and activity choices.
With her help, the school received a $2,200 grant to purchase healthy food items richer in iron and calcium and more fruits and vegetables and kits aimed at sixth graders to promote an hour a day of physical activity.
“Most don’t come close when they hit middle school,” Alward said Wednesday.
There is potential to renew or receive grant money this summer and in upcoming years, she said.
The March 21 kickoff includes the unveiling of a CHIEFTAIN bar, in which each letter stands for healthy, unique foods for students and faculty to sample.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an interactive program that allows participants to decide how to make their school a healthier place.
“There is so much research out there showing that if we can do simple things like increase exercise time and improve diet in simple ways — for example, increasing the number of kids who eat breakfast — not only will the childhood obesity epidemic become manageable but student test scores, grades and behavior in school all improve dramatically,” Alward said.
They can put ideas and plans into action to help everyone eat healthy and get active, taking fun challenges with classmates along the way with a chance to earn prizes and website recognition.
One video shows three girls making fruity French toast baguettes topped with peaches and
vanilla yogurt.
Alward was with Lakeland in Niles in 2010-2011, but opened a private nutrition counseling practice after having a baby.
She is also on the adjunct faculty at Western Michigan University.

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