Educating high school coaches on the power of dairy

Midwest Dairy has found success in partnering with athletic coaches to grow trust when sharing dairy’s sustainable nutrition story. Having access to nutrient-rich foods is important to all athletes, and we are continuing to find avenues to introduce them to the unique nutritional characteristics of dairy by connecting with coaches who impact them while in and off seasons. Athletic coaches serve as role models for athletes, making them a key opportunity to reach this Gen Z audience. Not only do athletes spend numerous hours each week with their coaches, but they care to listen to what coaches have to say.

When it comes to nutrition, it is important to ensure coaches feel confident to provide basic education to benefit performance, and it starts with a food-first approach in the lunchroom. Each day serves as an opportunity to teach kids how dairy fuels their performance on and off the field, and with dairy holding a valued place on the lunch menu, it is important that students know why.

In partnership with the Nebraska Student Nutrition Action Committee, a flyer was developed to reinforce the benefits of school lunches and how they benefit athletes. Highlighting thought leader, registered dietitian, and Director of Performance Nutrition at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, David Ellis, coaches learned why supplements have a time and a place, but rarely is that in high school sports and how Dave educates his athletes on the what and why behind fueling.

In his resources, Dave also shares post-recovery fueling tactics that are a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein, often highlighting chocolate milk, protein shakes, cottage cheese, and yogurt. The flyer created was provided to over 1,600 coaches attending the Nebraska Coaches Association annual conference this July and will be amplified in a fall magazine article. ​​​​​​​

In other efforts as part of the 2021/2022 NFL Hometown Grant, Midwest Dairy collaborated with the Kansas City Chiefs, their team registered dietitian Leslie Bonci, RD, and National Dairy Council ambassador to create a video series aimed at student-athletes. The Fueled Not Fooled sports nutrition tips series includes four short videos that focus on hydration, creating a great plate, eating in prime time, and treating your body right. The videos were introduced during a coach’s event in July at Arrowhead Stadium, where area high school coaches and administrators gathered to learn more about the Kansas City Chiefs’ new high school girl’s flag football program.

In addition to being shared at the coach’s event, these videos can be used with other coaches and athletes across the Kansas City Chiefs footprint. They are currently available on Midwest Dairy’s YouTube channel, and we are excited to see them show up on the Chiefs wellness page this fall.