As you may have heard, I recently announced the launch of an exciting new partnership with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin called Driven to Better Health. The program challenges schools and families in Wisconsin to make healthy eating and physical activity a daily priority. The best part? Every year, one school and one family that show their commitment to living healthier lives will get a personal visit from me!
Our ultimate goal is to get participating students and families to actually change their behavior — we want them to exercise more and make healthier food choices. That’s what matters most to us — helping Wisconsin kids become the healthiest in the nation.
One of my missions as an athlete and role model has been to try to influence kids to make better, smarter, healthier decisions. Children are our future and it’s our responsibility to teach them how to live the best lives possible. As a father, I know firsthand how easy it is for kids today to fill their free time with computer screens or TVs instead of playing a game of touch football or riding bikes. And since we’re all so busy, the temptation of fast food often wins out over healthy, home-cooked meals. It’s more important than ever for us to focus on active, healthy lives, and we can all take small steps to help us get there.
For example, my wife and I don’t allow our kids to have sweets or soda on weekdays. It’s a small change, but it has worked for us and has helped reduce the number of days our kids eat sweets from seven to two! We need to find ways to balance out all of the things life has to offer, while making sure we’re taking care of our bodies and our minds.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin shares the same commitment to keeping kids healthy. We all know that the staff there does amazing things for kids who come to their hospital in need of really serious care, but they’re just as committed to keeping kids from ever needing the hospital in the first place. It’s all part of a larger vision where one day the kids of Wisconsin will be the healthiest in the nation. Driven to Better Health will help us get there.
When Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and I were talking about ways to work together, we quickly decided that our schools are the best place for us to try to bring about changes. They see our kids five days a week and have great influence over what they do during the day and what they eat for lunch. We are thrilled to be working with Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction to roll out Driven to Better Health statewide to any K-8 schools that want to participate.
If you’re interested in signing up your school or encouraging your school to participate, I invite you to visit driventobetterhealth.com. And hurry! Registration closes Dec. 31!