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health, fuel up to play 60, parenting, play more, active kids

How Playing More Could Save Our Kids Lives

by Deborah Cruz

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with National Dairy Council Fuel Up To Play 60 En Español and Latina Bloggers Connect.

As a parent, one of my biggest responsibilities is to teach my daughters healthy habits so they grow up healthy and strong. I am setting the tone for the rest of their lives. It’s a lot harder than it sounds or than I ever could have anticipated.

We live in a world today where a busy lifestyle is the norm and many of us don’t even get the chance to eat breakfast. To add insult to injury, we also live in a time where children are both developing fewer healthy eating habits and moving far less.  The hardest part of all is figuring out, among all of these obstacles, how to get our kids moving more and eating healthier.

That’s where programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 come in. It’s the largest in-­school health and wellness program founded by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, that empowers today’s youth to lead healthier lives. PepsiCo. Foundation is a key partner in the funding of the program extension.

Fuel Up to Play 60 provides online resources and hosts events with NFL players to inspire kids. Even better, the recently launched Fuel Up to Play 60 en español program now offers Spanish language resources, aimed at getting Hispanic parents and communities involved in health, nutrition and fitness inside and outside of the classroom.

In our home growing up, physical activity was always very important to our parents. They always encouraged us to play outside and join sports. When we weren’t at school or doing homework, our dad was always outside with us playing soccer or tennis or taking us to the beach to swim. Some of my fondest memories as a child revolve around long bike rides, runs or hikes with my father.

Physical activity, along with good nutrition, are at the center of Fuel Up to Play 60 en español too. With programs like Fuel Up to Play 60, our children are getting a healthy in­school nutrition and physical activity program that solidifies the healthier lifestyle that we are teaching them at home.

I was fortunate to have had good role models of health, however, I did develop some less desirable eating habits in my early teens. Habits that caused me to gain weight and made staying in shape more and more challenging. I don’t want that for my children.

My philosophy is that it is my responsibility to prevent that from happeningand  to instill healthy habits with my children early on. As a Latina mom, I cook a lot of amazing Latino dishes with foods that are rich in flavor and high in calories. They are absolutely delicious, but it’s my job to not let that negatively affect my daughter’s’ health or body image.

I do my part by making healthy substitutions when I can and I teach moderation as a virtue. I make moving feel like a privilege and they have a lot of fun and stay healthy without feeling like they are ever being punished. As far as they are concerned, playing and being active is a fun way to spend their days outside and enjoy their parents. I’ve always made my dishes in the healthy version so they’ve never known the full effects of the high sugar and grease contents of the original recipes. To be honest, at this point, I’m not sure they’d even like it.

To learn more about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program please join us for the Twitter party that will take place on October 15, 2015 at 8PM EST/5PM PST using the hashtag #FuelGreatness with special guest @FUTP60.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of National Dairy Council and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions and text are all mine.


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