Posted on September 20, 2011 at 2:26 PM
Tuesday, Sep 20 at 2:32 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- A fit student is a student who performs better. That’s why schools are getting involved in the fight against childhood obesity.
The new program is called “Fuel Up to Play 60,” as in “eat the right foods to exercise for an hour every day.” On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, middle school students cheered on the idea.
At the Jackson Middle School cafeteria, students have trays with traditional favorites like spaghetti and pizza. On this day, though, the cafeteria also had a pep rally feel.
The man of the hour was a former NFL player with local roots. Priest Holmes challenged the children to eat right and exercise at school and at home.
“It’s making the right choices in the food groups that you’re putting in your body,” Holmes stressed to the packed cafeteria.
Teams tackled an obstacle course to show physical activity doesn’t have to be an organized sport.
The cafeteria unveiled one of 108 salad bars in San Antonio schools this year. It’s an effort to make fresh food appealing.
“For me, I wish I could have had a salad bar at my school,” Priest said. “I went to John Marshall High School. I still love that school. It means a lot to me. So hopefully, at some point, there will be one there, too.”
With more than a third of children overweight and obese, inspiring young people to a better lifestyle obviously will take some energy.
“You can tell, like the whole sixth grade body was having so much fun with it,” observed Jackson Middle School student Casandra Jimenez. “And I think that’s what go people to be like ‘maybe I should do the salad bar today.’ It really motivated them to eat healthy.”
San Antonio is now one of the top three U.S. cities, along with New York City and Chicago, with the most school salad bars. Those 108 salad bars reach more than 100,000 students.