Thornapple Kellogg School District

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High-Energy Message Excites Students About Nutrition

The "Jump with Jill - Milk Means More" music-based, kid-friendly health education program was brought to McFall by the Michigan Milk Producers Association. Local dairy farmer Marty Wenger of Scales Prairie Farms helped introduce the importance of milk. He joined students in donning oversized sunglasses and pumping his pal "Calcium - a blinged out gallon of milk -  to the beat of a "Milk Means More" catchy tune.

Jessica Endres, TK Director of Dining Services, said the district won a grant to bring the nationally-touring program to McFall.  TK's McFall Elementary is one of 35 schools in the state to have the presentation. Endres said she hopes to secure a second grant in the spring to bring the program to Lee.

 The high-energy show takes aim at childhood obesity and excites students about healthy eating habits to "rock" their bodies and minds. By recognizing  foods like  "super power vegetables" and fruit described as "nature's candy," the message excited and enticed the young students. They joined in on catchy tunes they could be heard humming and singing throughout the day.

 Students were reminded that a car can't go without proper fuel and neither can their bodies and minds. While candy and sugar offer short-term bursts of energy, the show emphasized it's not the kind of energy students need for all day. They pretended to be cars fueled with candy  and non-healthy foods. They took off fast, but ran out of fuel before the end of the race.  Then they pretended to have fueled up with "good fuels" like fruits and vegetables and a healthy breakfast and drove all day long.

 During the 2014-15 school year, the Jump with Jill program was performed for more than 750,000 students across the country. The program was created by registered dietitian and musician Jill Jayne who built the show around singable messages to make healthy habits memorable.