Football & Chocolate Milk

chocolatemilkThe dog days of summer have come to a close, school is back in session and Vicksburg’s football team has started its season as celebrities – Chocolate Milk Mustache Celebrities. The Vicksburg team has been named a grant recipient from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan’s (UDIM) Chocolate Milk: Nature’s Sports Drink program.

This fall, 86 Michigan high school sports teams were awarded funds to purchase and provide low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk to help athletes get the nutrition they need after practices, games and competitions.

Chocolate milk is one of the most nutritious choices that students can make at home or at school, according to UDIM, which describes it as a natural, nutrient-rich beverage and an excellent source of nine essential nutrients – calcium, potassium, protein, phosphorus, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin – nutrients that students need for good health.

“According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, Americans of all activity levels over the age of eight should include three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or milk products in their diet every day. Chocolate milk is a nutritious option to help meet these recommendations,” said Melissa Gerharter, registered dietitian, UDIM. “And what’s really great about chocolate milk is that it packs a powerful nutrient punch, it’s affordable, and it tastes great.”

“Over the last four years, this grant has been successful in nearly 300 schools across Michigan,” said Gerharter. “We’re happy to see the impacts that it has had on the overall nutrition of many student athletes already, and we can only hope that it will continue to gain momentum.”

To build awareness around the importance of good nutrition, the Chocolate Milk: Nature’s Sports Drink prize pack includes promotional items, such as T-shirts, sunglasses, and educational materials. Winning teams also receive posters of their Chocolate Milk Mustache Celebrities photos to display around town.

Head Football Coach Tom Marchese said, “I like chocolate milk, and I know my players will too. It’s a great way for them to get all the nutrients that go with it. That’s why I’m excited about this opportunity from the UDIM chocolate milk grant.”

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