New “Eat Smart, Play Safe” Campaign Promotes Healthy Lifestyles For Kids On and Off the Field
Participation in team sports helps young people gain fundamental skills and values useful for the rest of their lives. Now, thanks to a new “Eat Smart, Play Safe” campaign formed by DSM Nutritional Products with Pop Warner Little Scholars, kids in youth sports programs and parents have the opportunity and available resources to learn about nutrition and sports safety to help kids succeed both on and off the field.
The multiyear program is designed to educate families about the foods, beverages, vitamins, and nutrients they need to stay both fueled on the field and nourished when hitting the books. Health-conscious Pop Warner mother of three and NFL wife Sarah Hasselbeck is a spokeswoman for the campaign, helping to deliver on-trend nutrition and sports safety tips, as well as convenient and wholesome recipes, to moms of active children.
“Nutrition, sports safety, and brain health are all team players when it comes to succeeding in sports, as well as in life,” said Hasselbeck, all-American collegiate athlete and wife of NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. “As a mother of three energetic kids, who play football, basketball, lacrosse, and hockey, I am the family nutrition gatekeeper. I stock our fridge with fresh fruits and veggies and give my kids a multivitamin and mineral supplement to ensure their diet includes important nutrients, like the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, vitamin D, and calcium to help them develop physically and mentally. I’m happy to help bring this important message to moms.”
The “Eat Smart, Play Safe” initiative encourages moms to nourish their kids’ bodies and brains by supporting diets rich in important nutrients and vitamins, such as omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, vitamin D, calcium, and iron, which together aid in children’s brain, eye, heart, and bone development. The campaign also provides tips on sports safety and healthy lifestyles, from hydration to proper equipment.
“Proper nutrition is critical for developing minds and bodies as well as for maintaining optimum health in active young people,” said Julian Bailes, MD, chairman of the department of neurosurgery and co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute, chair of the Pop Warner medical advisory committee and a recognized leader on the impact of brain injury on brain function. “Brain-healthy nutrition is something we should all strive for, and a diet rich in DHA is important in ensuring proper brain development in children and young adults. It can be a significant factor in sports safety as well because DHA has several neuroprotective effects in the brain.
“Another piece of the puzzle is to help strengthen your child’s developing bones when they are growing and active. Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more common among American children and adolescents, so ensure your kids and teens have an adequate amount in their diet from foods like eggs and mushrooms or through a supplement,” Dr. Bailes said.
The “Eat Smart, Play Safe” program brings together two leaders in their respective industries dedicated to helping people lead active, healthy, and safe lifestyles—DSM Nutritional Products, a global science-based company active in health and nutrition; and Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation’s largest and oldest youth football, cheer, and dance organization named after legendary coach Glenn Scobie “Pop” Warner.
“We look forward to working with DSM Nutritional Products and Sarah Hasselbeck to equip our members nationwide with important health and nutrition information,” said Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner. “The health and safety of our young athletes is our number one priority.”
To learn more about Pop Warner Little Scholars football, dance and cheer programs and the “Eat Smart, Play Safe” initiative, visit the “Safety” tab at www.popwarner.com.