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Core Nutrition Messages

This collection of consumer-tested messages and communication tools is from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. The resources complement the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and can help nutrition educators motivate students and families to adopt healthier eating habits.

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Filling Your Plate the Dietary Guidelines Way

This simple meal plan from the National Dairy Council provides a realistic way to get the most nutrition for your calories by focusing on nutrient-dense foods and beverages.

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Helping Youth Make Better Food Choices: Ideas From and For Nutrition, Health and Public Health Professionals Leading the Way

This resource from Action for Healthy Kids describes challenges to improving kids’ selections of healthy foods, from media influence to access to the importance of parent involvement, and provides tips on improving student understanding of its importance through student promotions and more.

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MyPlate for Kids Poster: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables

This poster, available by order from USDA's Team Nutrition program, highlights the concept of making half your plate fruits and vegetables with colorful photographs of the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition winning meals.

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MyPlate Kids Place

From the USDA, this site includes games, activity sheets, videos, songs and recipes geared toward helping students build a better plate.

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National Nutrition Month Toolkit

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The toolkit includes event ideas, information, research, social media resources and more.

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Nutrition for Everyone: Nutrition Basics

This resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides basic concepts to help you sort through nutrition research and dietary advice.

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Protein and Exercise

This protein education resource from the National Dairy Council explains the importance of protein to an active lifestyle.

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Protein: Understanding the Basics

This protein education resource from the National Dairy Council gives an overview of what protein is and explains what foods are high-quality protein.

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See the Difference: Nutrient Bar Graph Cards

This online resource from the Washington State Dairy Council was developed to assist visual learners when reading Nutrition Food Labels. 280 foods are available for free download with bar graphs representing 10 nutrients and calories per recommended serving size.

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USDA’s MyPlate

From the USDA, this site includes tip sheets with information on all of the food groups, physical activity ideas, planning tools and printable resources. Use this clickable resource to learn more about each food group and its benefits. Each section of the collection provides a brief overview of a food group, with a link to more information and examples of healthy eating.

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101 Tips for Teaching Nutrition Concepts in Physical Education

This resource, created by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and Fuel Up to Play 60, is designed to help physical education teachers integrate nutrition concepts into their teaching routines. The tips that follow were suggested by Fuel Up to Play 60 supporters and P.E. teachers from around the country.

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Empowering Youth with Nutrition and Physical Activity: Physical Activity Recommendations

Topic 3 in the USDA Team Nutrition publication, Empowering Youth with Nutrition and Physical Activity, this resource provides background information on helping kids become and stay physically fit. Included are specific activities for increasing flexibility and strength.

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Exercise for Youth Fact Sheets

These brief articles from the American College of Sports Medicine provide information and guidelines on a variety of topics and issues relevant to youth participation in physical activity.

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Let’s Move! Active Schools

This resource from First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program highlights strategies and approaches schools can take to help children be more physically active.

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Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit supports youth physical activity by providing strategies that can be used by schools, community leaders and health organizations. Many of the toolkit components can be adapted and customized for various audiences.

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Youth Physical Activity: The Role of Schools

This resource from the Centers for Disease Control provides data and statistics on why schools should offer physical activity programs. It also provides information and ideas on ways schools can integrate physical activity before, during and after school.

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Youth Strength Training

This fact sheet from the American College of Sports Medicine describes the potential benefits of strength training for youth. It also strongly emphasizes the need for supervision, age-specific guidelines and other safety measures.

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Nutrition Standards for School Meals

This resource from the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlights the 2012 changes in school meal standards designed to align school meals with the latest nutrition science and the real world circumstances of America’s schools.

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School Lunch: More Than a Convenient Option

This online resource from the National Dairy Council describes the nutrient value requirements of school lunches, discusses food groups that children are encouraged to eat more of and provides information about how school lunch — both its offerings and its timing — and teacher involvement in students' nutrition education can help youth improve their healthy eating habits.

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School Nutrition Association and National Dairy Council: Partners for Student Wellness

This Fuel Up to Play 60 Toolkit from School Nutrition Association and National Dairy Council can help increase participation in breakfast and lunch programs; build strong relationships with students, P.E. teachers and principals; earn CEUs for SNA credentialing and certification; and more!

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School Nutrition Professionals: Fuel Up to Play 60 Special Edition

This resource highlights some simple, fun activities school nutrition professionals can use to help get Fuel Up to Play 60 working in schools.

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USDA Team Nutrition: Nutrition Education Resources

This collection of resources from the USDA's Food and Nutrition Services department includes links to policy and training resources, curricular materials, core nutrition messaging and other nutrition education materials. You can also find information here on the HealthierUS School Challenge.

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Physical Activity During School

This comprehensive resource from the Centers for Disease Control and SHAPE America provides research, resources and links to multiple ideas on how to integrate physical activity in schools throughout the school day.

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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008, these guidelines describe the federal government's recommendations for the types and amounts of physical activity that offer substantial health benefits to Americans.

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Presidential Youth Fitness Program

The Presidential Youth Fitness Program, a partnership of expert organizations in health and fitness education, assessment and promotion, emphasizes the value of living a physically active life — in school and beyond. With this program, schools gain access to resources to help students engage in their own health and fitness, including the use of Fitnessgram®, which measures students’ physical fitness against a set of health-based criteria rather than their performance compared to peers.

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The Essential Components of Physical Education

This resource from the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) outlines key reasons for and elements of successful P.E. programs, and provides tools and resources that can help schools review their own programs.

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Strategies to Improve the Quality of Physical Education

This guidebook from the Centers for Disease Control (2010) outlines and provides a rationale for key strategies aimed at increasing the amount of time that students are engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity while in physical education class.

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Healthy Food Choices

It's important for children to adopt a healthy lifestyle starting at a young age. Parents play an essential role in helping shape children's eating habits. Try these simple tips to help your children eat well and learn to enjoy nutritious foods.

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Make it Breakfast First!

Breakfast builds better bodies, provides fuel for school and boosts brain power!

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Meal Planning: Information for Parents

Planning healthy meals is easy. Just follow these simple tips.

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Mix & Match Breakfast Ideas

This resource includes ideas for quick and easy breakfasts that can be served at home or taken on the go. These foods and recipes could also be included at breakfast taste testing events.

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Power Up with Breakfast

This tip sheet from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides information on the importance of breakfast and includes recipes and suggestions for healthy breakfast choices.

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School Breakfast: Information for Parents

Want your children to be alert, focused and ready to tackle the day's academic challenges? Encourage them to eat breakfast. Not just on test days, but every day of the year. It's well-documented that breakfast eaters are healthier and more energetic throughout the day.

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School Lunch: Information for Parents

When children eat school lunch, they are more likely to consume milk, meats, grains and vegetables compared to students who don't, including students who bring lunch from home. They also have higher nutrient intakes — both at lunch and over the course of an entire day. And cost-wise, school lunch is at a great value. A typical school lunch contains an entree, two servings of fruits and vegetables, a grain item and milk. From children to parents to teachers, everyone benefits when kids eat school lunch!

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10 Tips: Nutrition Education Series

These tip sheets from the USDA's ChooseMyPlate program offer sets of 10 suggestions each, on a variety of topics, to help you improve your healthy eating habits and selections.

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Ask the Expert: Move More with Kids

This interview with physical activity expert George Graham, PhD, provides a set of questions and answers about the importance of moving more with kids.

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Eat Smart. Play Hard.

This website by the Kansas State Department of Education features videos, recipes, newsletters and other resources about how to eat smart and play hard at school and at home. The site provides resources for getting started, meal tips and ideas for how to increase physical activity in your family life.

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Increasing Physical Activity in Communities: What Really Works?

This report from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports describes a variety of programs or interventions that can help increase physical activities throughout the community.

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Let's Move! For Parents

This resource, from First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program, provides five simple steps for improving family health. Tips for physical activity include limiting screen time, ways family members can be active together and ideas for how to get involved in school health.

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Make Physical Activity a Part of Your Family’s Routine

This resource from First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program provides tips and suggestions for helping families to become more physically active.

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Nature Rocks

This interactive resource from Nature Rocks, by the Nature Conservancy, will help parents and students get active together. Using the Nature Rocks Activity Finder, you can filter by time, age, location and weather to find fun and creative ways to play and explore nature!

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Parents’ Guide to an Active Lifestyle

Parents and caregivers can play a key role in keeping children healthy and active. Try these simple tips to keep your family moving.

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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

In 2008, the Federal Government issued its first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. They describe the types and amounts of physical activity that offer substantial health benefits to Americans. This website provides tips and resources to help you meet those guidelines.

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We Can! Get Active

This resource from the National Institutes of Health provides information about why and how youth and families can get more physically active. The relationship between activity and nutrition is described, and there are links to additional articles that can help families move more.

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Youth Physical Activity: The Role of Families

This four-page handout from the Centers for Disease Control provides information for families on the types, duration and intensity of appropriate activities for youth. It also cites statistics on youth physical activity and provides tips for how parents and adult caregivers can help youth get more physical activity into their routines.

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Child Nutrition Fact Sheet: Breakfast for Learning

This research brief from the Food Research and Action Center summarizes a wealth of scientific research on the link between children’s nutrition and academic performance.

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The Learning Connection: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Kids are Healthy and Ready to Learn

This paper from Action for Healthy Kids highlights the costs that poor nutrition and physical inactivity can have on schools, and shows evidence that making improvements in these areas can help schools both meet performance goals and alleviate some financial constraints.

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The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments

This report — from the GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council (NDC), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American School Health Association (ASHA) — reinforces the crucial link between quality nutrition, physical activity and academic performance.

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Grade School Fitness Articles (Ages 5-12)

This American Academy of Pediatrics' collection provides articles of interest to educators, caregivers, parents and other adults interested in helping children achieve health and fitness recommendations. There are articles on topics such as developing long-term habits, setting goals and the expected developmental abilities of children in this age range.

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Teen Fitness Articles (Ages 12-18)

This American Academy of Pediatrics' collection provides articles of interest to educators, caregivers, parents and other adults interested in helping teens achieve health and fitness recommendations. There are articles on topics such as different types of exercise appropriate for teens, developing a fitness plan and teens' developmental abilities.

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The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education and Academic Performance

Recess can boost students’ concentration and physical activity breaks as short as five minutes can improve test scores, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This report (2010) suggests that more time in physical education class can improve attention, concentration and test scores; it suggests physical activity clubs improve grade point average, educational goal setting and graduation rates.

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Go for the Goal! Game Planning Tips

This resource can give you ideas about how to organize your Plays from beginning to long-term end. You'll get ideas for event planning, involving others, promoting your efforts, monitoring your progress and highlighting your successes.

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Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Play Planning Checklist

Use these detailed planning resources to help you organize the people, resources and logistics for implementing a Kickoff or promotion, as well as your Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Plays.

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How to Organize a Fundraiser

Fundraisers are a great way to raise money to enhance your Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Plays, and also involve the whole school and community.

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Planning an Event: 10 Foolproof Tips for a Great Event

Whether you are launching your Healthy Eating or Physical Activity Plays or organizing your Kickoff, this tool provides 10 tips to help you plan a successful event.

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Playbook Polling Resources (Activity Planning Poll Questions)

This resource explains the purpose and benefits of collecting polling data. Use the ideas here and the related customizable polls to help you plan your Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Plays.

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Donation Request Letter Template

This template suggests ways you can word a request for donations to your Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Play. Remember, this is just a guide. You will need to customize your request to reflect your program.

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Fuel Up to Play 60 Pledge

Take the Pledge and start to Fuel Up to Play 60 today!

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Fuel Up to Play 60 Teambuilding Tips

These teambuilding tips include ideas on how to recruit team members and form a team, as well as the characteristics of a well-functioning team.

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Healthier Middle Schools: Everyone Can Help

This collection of resources from the USDA's Team Nutrition program is designed to provide tips and resources to help involve everyone (teachers, principals, parents, food service managers and students) in school wellness efforts. When used together, these can help you develop a school-wide focus on healthy eating and physical activity.

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Monthly Fun Facts

This series of handouts includes nutrition tips, information about and ideas for physical activity, and ideas for timely activities you can do around holidays or monthly observances.

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SuperTracker

This free online tool from the USDA can help adults achieve physical activity and healthy eating goals. Designed to work in tandem with MyPlate guidelines, the free online tool provides personalized recommendations, goal setting, coaching, weight tracking and nutrition monitoring.

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School Wellness Investigation

The School Wellness Investigation is a tool that will help you and your team members collect information about your school's current nutrition and physical activity environment. Developed in alignment with authoritative guidelines, the School Wellness Investigation will identify opportunities to make your school′s wellness environment even better!

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School Wellness Investigation: How To

This guide provides a detailed description about the purpose of and how to conduct the School Wellness Investigation. It includes examples, scoring instructions and FAQs.

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Tips and Tools for Engaging Businesses

Need outside support or supplies for your Healthy Eating or Physical Activity Play or an event? These tips will help you find the right way to reach out to businesses in your community.

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Tips and Tools for Engaging Students

This resource provides information on how to motivate and encourage students to take an active role in Fuel Up to Play 60. Students want to make a difference. Use this resource to help you engage them in meaningful ways.

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Tips and Tools for Involving Your Community

Do you want to get important members of your community — such as public officials, local celebrities, business owners and neighbors — involved in your program? Use these tips to help you talk about Fuel Up to Play 60 with people in your community and get them excited about joining your efforts.

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Weekly Fun Facts

Use these printable information sheets to engage all the various people who can help make Fuel Up to Play 60 work. There is information on how you can engage students, school nutrition professionals, teachers, principals and more.

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Who Can Help and How

Use these printable information sheets to engage all the various people who can help make Fuel Up to Play 60 work. There is information on how you can engage students, school nutrition professionals, teachers, principals and more.

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Idea Sheet: Get the Word Out!

Create and submit to your local news stations a news video or documentary about the healthy eating and physical activity programs that students in your school are doing — and how they are helping to earn rewards for your school.

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Idea Sheet: Getting Families and Community Involved

Through fun physical activities and healthy eating opportunities, help families learn how they can eat and play together in a healthy way.

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Idea Sheet: School Promotions

Promote participation in Fuel Up to Play 60 by organizing a poster contest for each class or grade level. Students will create posters that highlight what they will do to meet Fuel Up to Play 60 goals and earn rewards for their school in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

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Parent Information Letter Template

This template information letter for parents provides a description of Fuel Up to Play 60 and an introduction to FuelUpToPlay60.com.

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Sample Morning Announcements and Bulletin Board Blurbs

Use these sample morning announcements and bulletin board blurbs throughout the year to keep students and faculty focused on Fuel Up to Play 60.

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Spread the Word: Publicize Your Results

This tool provides tips on how to publicize your program and its successes, both locally and with a wider audience.

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Student Invitation Letter to School Adults

This customizable letter for teachers and faculty members highlights the benefits of
Fuel Up to Play 60 and tells them how to enroll their school.

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Video 101: How to Make a Great Video

A video can be a great way to take your Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Plays further and show off your successes to others. Use these tips to help you make your video a crowd pleaser!

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Wellness Impact Slide Presentation for Schools

This resource, developed from GENYOUth’s full report, The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments, can be used to present your case to school administrators, nutrition professionals and others in your school about why a school breakfast program is so important and how your school can increase access for all students.

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