Detroit Lions’ Devon Kennard Teams Up with Dairy for Nutrition
Detroit Lions’ Devon Kennard Teams Up with Dairy for NutritionFrom making drive-stopping tackles for the Detroit Lions to tackling youth nutrition, Devon Kennard is excited to be the new Fuel Up to Play 60 Player Ambassador for Milk Means More.
Kennard, linebacker for the Detroit Lions, is no stranger to working with kids. Off the field, he is an avid speaker and philanthropist who values the importance of reading and studying. In 2012, he and his teammates helped build homes in Haiti to assist those in need; and in 2017, he launched a new reading program with New City Kids which provide school programming in music and academics to low-income children.
“By hanging out with kids, I can relate so much to what they are going through and working with them has left a lasting impression on me,” says Kennard. “It strengthens my character in feeding the next generation. I like knowing I’m taking part in helping to develop them into good adults.”
As an Ambassador with Milk Means More and Fuel Up To Play 60, Kennard encourages eating a balanced diet and activity for an hour or more each day to kids. His role allows him to team up with other professional athletes to promote nutrient-rich milk and dairy products as an essential part of a healthy diet, especially in youth and athletes.
“It’s important that kids are fueling their bodies with the right nutrients, because they are at a time in their lives where they are constantly growing,” says Kennard. “Real dairy is a part of a balanced diet because it naturally contains calcium and other essential nutrients needed to build strong bones and muscles. Growing up, a healthy diet was important to my family and it set the foundation for the athlete I am today, so joining the Milk Means More team is a perfect fit.”
Three servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy are recommended each day for kids and adults. In addition, athletes of all ages can also benefit from incorporating dairy, such as chocolate milk, into their diet. Science-based evidence has proven chocolate milk is a beneficial option for athletes because it contains the carbs, electrolytes, and protein a body needs after physical activity that sports drinks don’t provide.
“For athletes, nutrition is equated to performance. You need a strong body to stay in the game,” says Kennard. “After a hard practice or game, I reach for chocolate milk to refuel my body and to help me stay hydrated. Milk makes the perfect teammate.”
Since becoming a Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassador, Kennard was able to attend the National Summit in Cleveland, Ohio, and meet other students, staff and Player Ambassadors for the program. In addition, four lucky Fuel Up to Play 60 schools won the opportunity to chat with Kennard through an interactive Q&A discussion with 30 other students.
Check out their exclusive interview below!
Q: Who is your role model?
A: My older brother. He played football, as well. Growing up and having a bigger brother to set the example inspired me. He inspired me to play football, be a good person and to be great at everything I did in life. My brother is definitely my number one role model growing up.
Q: What is one word that describes your overall character on and off the field?
A: Relentless. I take pride as a person who goes after everything I want. I play football that way, but I also strive to life my life that way as well in everything I do.
Q: What is your favorite healthy snack/food?
A: Apples and bananas with a little peanut butter and a big tall glass of milk.
Q: Have you ever doubted yourself during a game?
A: Yes, I have. I get through it with positive self-talk. You need to reassure yourself with positive affirmations. If something bad happens or if I make a mistake, I talk to myself about the next play. What am I going to do next time to overcome this. It puts myself in a better mood and allows me to play well.
Q: What are the skills needed to be a team captain?
A: I am honored to be given this opportunity for leadership and lead by example. You can’t say one thing and do another. Being consistent is key, and everything I say I’m going to do, I do. Showing people that you actually care about them and you are not selfish is important. As a captain, you must put the betterment of the team ahead of yourself, and that’s when people start to respect you and view you like a captain.
For more information on nutrition and how you or your children can benefit from dairy, click here.