On May 24, 2012, the St. Louis Rams continued the launch of the Rams ReciPEs program at the South City Family YMCA in St. Louis. The program, held in conjunction with the NFL’s Play 60 program, aims to promote healthy lifestyles in young people and stresses the importance of consistent physical activity and making smart nutritional choices. The ReciPEs program is two-fold; children are encouraged to play at least 60 minutes a day and are given tips on healthy eating, with the goal of instilling lifetime habits for a healthy future.
The first part of the day was devoted to nutritional awareness and education. Rams players,
“Even at the age that I’m at right now, a little older than them, I can just tell how much eating good effects your body,” said Pettis. “Whether it is school or work, food is definitely a main factor. When you don’t eat [right] you can feel a difference, when you eat good you can definitely tell the positives.”
After the nutritional foundations were set through snack creation, the gym at the YMCA turned into a playground. With the help of the HOPSports exercise software, the youth were able to “Play 60” through interactive videos akin to a Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect experience. The goal of the HOPSports platform is to “combine physical activity, education, and entertainment,” and this goal was met. The participants rotated through different activities engaging their bodies, while learning about other ways in which they can be active and healthy for 60 minutes every day.
One activity involved “Sportacus”--a character from the popular children’s television show LazyTown who promotes physical activity against the evil influence of Robbie Rotten, the villain who wants all children to be lazy. All of the activities were fun and engaging, and the youth enjoyed being active with their friends, Rampage, Pettis and Salas.
At the end of the day, each child was given a goodie bag filled with an assortment of Rams items, healthy snacks and ingredients essential for recipe replication at home. Also included was a Rams ReciPEs book that includes easy, indoor Play 60 activities for kids to stay active as well as easy and healthy snack recipes. Bags included items such as applesauce, raisins, oatmeal and fresh fruit, as well as string cheese, provided by Rams sponsor Midwest Dairy Council, who also supplied the yogurt and other dairy products for the event.
One in a series of three Rams ReciPEs community events, the program was a hit with the youth who actively participated in the cooking, playing, and interacting with Rams players. An enjoyable event overall, the ReciPEs program is a great way for Rams players to get involved in the St. Louis community and to positively affect the lives of young fans that look up to them by kick starting healthy habits. Both NFL Play 60 and “Rams ReciPEs” aim to combat childhood obesity and create a healthier next generation. The Rams are committed to teaching youth that making healthy nutritional choices, combined with playing 60 minutes every day, will lead to a bright, physically fit and healthy future.