It was a day dedicated to dairy products, but the activities were anything but cheesy.
Tractors, smoothies, pigs and cows were gathered at Mt. Healthy Elementary School in Columbus on Oct. 2 for the kickoff of the school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 event in partnership with the Indianapolis Colts and the National Dairy Council.
The Fuel Up to Play 60 program encourages young students to eat — or fuel up on — healthy foods and be active for at least 60 minutes a day, said Kathy Rebber, Mt. Healthy physical education teacher.
Local farmers brought their livestock to the school for students to observe and ask questions about, and farming equipment was there so the youngsters could learn about the process of producing their own food.
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Buttercup the Cow, the special mascot of the Indiana Dairy Association, even made an appearance and entertained students as they drank healthy, dairy-filled smoothies.
A videographer from the Colts stopped by to get footage of the students learning about dairy farming, which will be edited into a video about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program that will air before an upcoming Colts game.
While the day’s activities were supposed to be fun, the underlying message of the program was not lost on the students as they learned about the benefits of physical activity and healthy foods.
“You get to help people be fit,” sixth-grader Brayden Roberts said.
Fuel Up to Play 60 focuses on bringing nutrition and physical activity to schools around the country. Students can earn points and win prizes for living a healthy lifestyle, and teachers can receive grants to create health-centered programming at their schools. The Mt. Healthy Fuel Up to Play 60 program is funded by a grant from the program. The NFL and the National Dairy Council are the main partners of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.