<span>As the winners of the New Orleans Saints and Southeast Dairy Association's contest to increase breakfast participation and milk consumption, five local schools are being Saint-sationally rewarded.
Between March 3 and March 6, Saints wide receiver Marques Colston, Saints Mascot Gumbo and the Saintsations will make special appearances at the winning schools. Additionally, two schools will receive a grant to be used to enhance their child nutrition programs.
The recognized schools in Orleans Parish and Recovery School District increased participation in their school breakfast programs by an average of 10 percent. During the contest, more than 24,000 students throughout the region enjoyed a complete breakfast consisting of fruits, whole grains, yogurt and milk. Studies have shown that breakfast is an essential source of energy for students to stay focused both in the classroom and on the playing field. Students from the Archdiocese of New Orleans schools held a "Drink Your Milk" contest and increased milk consumption by 10 percent.
The South is home to nine of the top 10 states with the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and physical inactivity, so the Southeast Dairy Association and New Orleans Saints are teaming up to host special events and contests to encourage students to engage in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and to help them increase intake of nutrient-rich foods. The partnership is part of a national program created to reach 25 million students in more than 40,000 schools nationwide with health and nutrition education.