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“Huddle up!” “Make Healthy Eating Choices”

Stephen Cefalu,   Madisonville Junior High School
Breakfast For Everyone — First Meal Matters
Physical Activity Participation, Student Leadership,  Teamwork
“Huddle up!” “Make Healthy Eating Choices”
Once I decided to go “full force” and tackle the “NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60” program, there was no stopping me. I teach Talented Theatre at Madisonville Junior High School in Madisonville, La. I had the Talented Theatre students “brain-storm” various ideas that dealt with making healthy eating choices, airy products, drinking milk etc… For our first song about drinking milk, we wrote lyrics to the tune ‘Tomorrow” from “Annie”. “The milk will come out tomorrow.” We also wrote lyrics to Michel Jackson’s “The Man in the Mirror”. We wrote a short scene about making healthy eating choices. The plot revolves around a group of male students who ask a group of female students if they brought them any “Big Macs”. The group of ladies put their arm out and then start singing “Stop” Don’t Eat it- Don’t Eat it” This is to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Beat it!”  We are in the process of writing and filming our latest adaptation, "What the  world needs now is cheese, sweet cheese". We had a “gala celebration” for “World Milk Day”. We had the Chick-Fil-A cow there and took a ton of pictures and a video. We had a lot of “NFL Fuel Up To Play 60” signage all around the cafeteria. St. Tammany Parish’s head food nutritionist set up a table with examples of healthy eating choices and their benefits and non-healthy food choices and what was unhealthy about them. We ended by having eight students each coming to the head table and we had a milk competition. MJH’s cafeteria manager, Ann Bankston, placed eight “Fuel Up To Play 60” stickers on eight plates at each lunch. Those eight students at each lunch who were lucky enough to have one of those golden stickers were the ones who participated in the “Milk Contest”. Each student chose the flavor of milk they liked. On “GO” they had to drink the milk as quickly as possible. All of the other students were cheering for their favorite. The top four got gift certificates from Chick-Fil-A for breakfast. The other four students got headphone plugs from the NFL. All students were given a “NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60” pencil. We did the same “gala celebration” for each lunch. It was a huge hit!

How did students and adults work together as a team?

MJH theatre students and I “brain-stormed” and wrote short scenes and songs promoting making healthy eating choices and getting sixty minutes of physical fitness every day. Our ultimate goal is to select popular songs and re-write the lyrics so they promote this. The theatre students cast the scene, block it, and choreograph it. They rehearse the scenes and songs prior to filming, and taking pictures. It is then downloaded and sent to our NFL Southeast Dairy Association representative.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

After receiving a Flag-Football kit from the NFL’s “Fuel Up To Play 60” program, the P.E. coaches began having daily Flag-Football games. Students also play basketball, volleyball, badminton, and softball. I calculated the square footage of the school times our 600 students, 120 faculty, staff, and administrators; collectively we walk over one million miles in a school year. If there is any way, we could sure use another Flag-Football kit to expand our already successful program.