Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook Strategies
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a free in-school nutrition and physical activity program aimed to empower students to take action for their own health. Through Fuel Up to Play 60 Plays (or action strategies), students bring the program to life and drive healthy behavior changes in their school. Get inspired and select Plays that suit your school.
Remember! It’s okay to start small and build upon each previous Play. Use the information below as a guide for your own school wellness programs and be creative!
Get the word out about Fuel Up to Play 60 and build excitement for everyone at your school about healthy eating, physical activity and making sustainable changes! Recruit students and educators to plan and hold a Kickoff at your school.
Kickoff Pep Rally
Spark your school’s interest in Fuel Up to Play 60 by planning a pep rally that introduces the program and all its benefits. Encourage students to sign up and take the Fuel Up to Play 60 Pledge. Check out resources to help host a Rally at your school and use your Student Leadership Team to begin planning!
Get the word out about Fuel Up to Play 60 through your morning announcements. Give students and teachers the scoop about the importance of eating healthy foods and getting active!
Fuel Up to Play 60 Poster/Door Decorating Contest
Get creative and promote participation in Fuel Up to Play 60 by organizing a poster/door decorating contest for each class or grade level. Students can highlight what Fuel Up to Play 60 means to them and what they will do to meet their school’s health and wellness goals.
Kick off the first week of school right with a variety of smaller, more focused events (think Spirit Week)! Divide up the days between healthy eating, physical activity and getting more students involved from the cafeteria to the classroom.
In the News
Meet with your local news station or newspaper editor to share what your school is doing to become healthier. Highlight students’ efforts in improving their healthy eating and physical activity habits and their progress to earn rewards for your school in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Then convince the editors to write an editorial to build awareness and support in the community for Fuel Up to Play 60!
Create or include in a parent/family newsletter a section that outlines the goals of Fuel Up to Play 60 and highlights what you are doing. Let parents know how students in your school are improving their healthy eating and physical activity habits to earn rewards in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, so they can encourage their kids to participate too. Check out ‘Get Involved’ on the Fuel Up to Play 60 website to find a letter template you can start out with!
Health and Fitness Fair
Invite members of the community to a Health and Fitness Fair! Help students and their families learn more about the benefits of living a healthier life, and give them ideas to eat healthier and play for 60 minutes a day.
Team Up with PTA
Have your students share their ideas about Fuel Up to Play 60 with your school’s local parent-teacher organization to build support and a volunteer base for your program. Your school’s PTA or PTO can be a valuable resource for event planning, soliciting community donations and more. Encourage them to support health and wellness goals both in and out of school!
Fuel Up to Play 60 Morning Comedy Club
Work with your school’s television production or drama classes to create a series of skits that highlight the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and your school’s goals. Present the skits during morning announcement time and motivate students to participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program!
Promote healthy eating and physical activity by holding lunchtime trivia competitions at your school. Provide rewards for contest winners and promote interest in Fuel Up to Play 60 in your school.
Lunch Time Launch
Launch your school’s participation in Fuel Up to Play 60 by setting up your cafeteria with promotional materials and an informational booth that gets everyone interested. Encourage students to sign up and take the pledge to eat healthier and be more active this school year, and give out some free swag!
Suit Up Your School
Organize a student team to put up the Fuel Up to Play 60 promotional materials around your school. Fire up interest in Fuel Up to Play 60 and encourage everyone at your school to sign up and participate in healthy eating and physical activity opportunities.
Healthy Eating Plays
Take action for change. What options do you want served on your school menu? Do you want to give your cafeteria a makeover? Help reach your school’s nutrition goals and tackle a Healthy Eating Play that will lead you to a healthier school culture and environment. Remember to work with your school nutrition manager in the planning and implementation of these Plays.
If someone asks you to try a healthy option, you’re much more likely to try it than if they didn’t ask. And when students are empowered to choose healthy options for themselves, they’re more likely to actually eat those foods instead of leaving them on their tray. Work with your school nutrition professionals, teachers, administration, school nurse and students – and be a role model yourself – to promote healthy food choices and nutrition awareness. Consider:
- Hosting school wide taste test events
- Making signs to highlight the nutrient-rich options in your cafeteria serving line
- Renaming healthy foods on the menu so they are more appealing to everyone
- United Dairy Industry of Michigan:
- Action for Healthy Kids Cafeteria Challenges – Host a Taste Test
- USDA’s Try Day Fridays
* For ordering information, please contact United Dairy Industry of Michigan, (517) 349-8923.
Host your own “Milk Mustache” photo booth and get creative in posting pictures of students with milk mustaches. Consider:
- Printing and hanging up photos in the school cafeteria
- Scrolling photos on the school video monitor
- Posting on the school website & social media channels.
You can even have a “Milk Mustache” guessing contest to see if students can recognize whose milk mustache belongs to their peers. Have your student team pass out materials that highlight the benefits of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods and let students sample delicious dairy foods!
A Little Paint Can Go a Long Way
Give your cafeteria a facelift with a new paint job by forming a team to repaint the walls or holding a contest for students to create a healthy lifestyles mural. Show your school an enjoyable dining experience they can have while eating healthy. Think about inviting to the table:
- Custodial staff to see if your school has extra paint sitting around
- Your school’s art department to see what you can gather
- Local businesses and hardware stores for donations
The morning is the perfect time to fuel up for success and start the day off right. Make sure your school offers and students are involved in a school breakfast program for better health and learning. Consider:
This Play gets students involved in showing the need for school breakfast, and encourages students’ leadership and communication skills.
- United Dairy Industry of Michigan:
- Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry Breakfast Changes Lives Fact Sheet
Work with your school leaders to find ways to increase lunch periods, adjust the schedule and rethink the cafeteria culture so students can relax, socialize and have adequate time – at an appropriate time – to eat a well-balanced, nutrient-rich lunch. Form a team of students, teachers and school leaders to consider making lunch period changes. With your team, think about concerns that can interfere with a healthy lunch, such as lack of time and limited social time. Then brainstorm ways these issues might be resolved. Consider:
- Can lunch periods be increased?
- Can the tables be arranged differently to allow students to socialize while enjoying a healthy lunch?
- What can be done to help students relax and enjoy lunch in a limited time?
- How can the school schedule be changed to allow for more lunch time?
- Can students move more quickly through lunch lines to allow more time for eating?
Survey the student body about changes they’d like to see during lunch periods. In your survey, focus specifically on how changes to lunch periods can help students meet their healthy eating goals and work towards advocating for healthy changes. Find out more about this Play here and how it can be done for free!
Fresh, local foods – including school milk! – can be a great addition to nutritious meals and snacks. That’s one of the reasons it’s a great idea to organize a “farm-to-school” program to learn about where your food comes from and lead efforts to have your school purchase and serve nutritious, fresh, regionally grown and raised food.
Team up with farmers in your local community and your school food service department to get more local foods into your meals program.
- United Dairy Industry of Michigan:
- Honor the Harvest Infographic
- Michigan Farm to School Resources
- USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit
- National Farm to School Network Getting Started Tip Sheet
- School Gardens:
Learning how to waste less by taking what you will eat in appropriate portion sizes to promote health and well-being is an opportunity to serve as a leader in your classroom and your community in tackling food waste. Create a food waste reduction committee to measure how much food is being wasted at your school. A visual assessment – of all, ¾, ½, ¼, or no food wasted – from each student’s meal will give you an idea of how much food is being thrown out. Show the importance of reducing food waste in schools and ask your students why reducing food waste matters to them.
Nourish Your Community
Having access to nutrient-rich foods isn’t only important for students. It’s also vital for everyone in your community. School meals and community resources like food banks and summer meal programs can help.
- United Dairy Industry of Michigan:
- Feeding America’s Virtual Food Drive
- Find a Local Food Bank
- Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation & No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength Youth Engagement Toolkit
If your school does not already have milk in plastic, you can start a campaign to change to milk in plastic instead of cardboard cartons. Create flyers, posters, table tents or even a brochure listing all of the positive reasons for choosing milk and for choosing milk in plastic versus cardboard. Ask your art department to help you create exciting visuals and graphics.
- Drink Milk and Recycle sample poll or starting a Recycling Program Tip Sheet available in Last Season’s Plays to find out a little about your schoolmates’ preferences and priorities (about milk and about recycling).
- Carton 2 Garden
Invite to the table your district and school nutrition leaders to find out what it would take for your school to change to plastic milk bottles. Students will definitely need to work with a Program Advisor on this one!
Find exciting ways to get students, staff and community members involved in helping to support your healthy school environment. Work with your school or local restaurants to find chefs who can volunteer their time to help get kids interested – and spice things up – in your school meals program!
Hold recipe contests for new breakfast of lunch items and build students’ interest in making healthy eating choices. Huddle up with your school nutrition professionals to help come up with a plan for the contests, host taste tests of the entries and see if you can put the winners on the school menu! Get your principal to give your plans a thumbs up, and get members of the school staff and community to volunteer as judges to build greater support.
Use this milk-focused Play to support the connection between fueling up with the right nutrients, such as low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, before and after physical activity. This Play is very easy and FREE for the students to implement. Poll students to learn about their habits and set goals for everyone to strive for!
Physical Activity Plays
Take action for change. Are you looking for something fun to do before school? Would you like to be able to move more during school hours? Your whole school has the opportunity to be more active before, during or after school by tackling a Physical Activity Play to help reach your school’s physical activity goals. Invite your P.E. or Health teacher to the table to brainstorm with your students!
Work with existing after-school clubs or programs to implement some NFL-provided drill and skill activities to add some fun to the after-school period. These activities are a great way both to add interest to an after-school program and to increase everyone’s activity levels.
Family Fitness Challenge
Challenge students to see how many family fitness activities they can participate with a family member or caretaker throughout the school year (or a shorter timeframe). Send home ideas through the parent newsletter or in a separate flyer, and put up classroom or school-wide bulletin boards where students can record their participation. Make physical activity a family focus throughout the year!
Start an official NFL Flag Football league (or recruit teams from your school to join if one exists) in your area. Flag Football is a great way to get students—both boys and girls—involved in a fun physical activity that will really keep them moving! Work with your school physical education team and parent organization to find volunteer coaches.
- SHAPE America’s Online-Institute: FLAG In-Schools online curriculum
Ready to get moving? Set up a series of fun dance activities – or start a club – at your school. Dance is a low-cost way to get people moving – and keep them moving and active for life. Your dance activities can be held daily, weekly, or as special events that will bring your school community together in an exciting and healthy way!
Make it possible for students to walk or bike to school accompanied by an adult chaperone. By giving students active and safe routes to school, walk/bike programs create a fun physical activity, promoting part of everyone’s daily school routine.
Organize a weekly NFL Player Challenge contest in which students or classes complete physical fitness challenges from NFL players on the More Ways to Get Active section of the NFL’s Play 60 website. Have classes see how many challenges they can finish and share on FuelUptoPlay60.com!
Create an awareness campaign to make sure your school has a quality physical education program – including P.E. every day that works for every student.
Place “point-of-decision” prompts around the school that encourages everyone to get active. These signs or posters remind students (and adults) to take advantage of every opportunity to be active. Encourage students to increase their physical activity!
Get all students active by adding short physical activity breaks during class every day. These are short 2-3 minute physical activity breaks that all the students can participate in and can be changed up every couple of weeks. Taking 2 minutes out of classroom times has been shown to actually help the students retain more information and learn better!
- Get Fit in the Mitt
- Brain Break Song & Dance Ideas
- Stretch Bands*
*for ordering information, please contact United Dairy Industry of Michigan, (517) 349-8923.
Plan or improve an existing school-based walking club that will help make walking part of the day – every day! This Play offers fun, new approaches to get students and the entire community moving together. A walking club is a fun, easy, and FREE way of getting everyone in the school moving more. Find time that works best for you and your school, inside or outside depending on the weather. Consider organizing a morning walking club to get students (and teachers) revved up for the day before school starts.