ALPENA - As a reward for winning their school's milk challenge, Thunder Bay Junior High sixth-graders got to see a performer sing, dance and joke about good nutrition.
Hailey McDonnel and DJ Devon Watson performed as Jump With Jill Tuesday morning, bringing the students to their feet with a host of tunes about eating right and exercising. She covered everything from the perks of breakfast to avoiding sugary drinks.
Rather than lecture, McDonnel got her audience moving and singing along with tunes about working out, drinking water and why milk and vegetables are good for you. She had the audience promise to try one new vegetable within the week, and referred to fruit as "nature's candy."
"Unlike candy, fruit is actually good for you," she said.
Everyone only gets one body, McDonnel said, so they should show it respect by eating well and working out. While junk foods might taste good, and are OK in small amounts, they won't provide the kind of energy needed to get through the day.
One of McDonnel's bits explained how to eat to start the day.
"You would think if you skip breakfast, you're cutting calories," she said. "If you skip breakfast, it lowers your metabolism."
McDonnel also stressed drinking, and eating foods made with, low-fat milk. With help from her DJ, she had a little rap for each low-fat milk product. After one, she reminded the audience she was there to have fun.
"It's OK to make fun of yourself, I do it all the time," she said.
Christin Sobeck, Fuel Up to Play 60 adviser, said the sixth-graders got the assembly because they drank the most milk out of the whole school. The winners were determined by counting empty milk cartons after lunch. They also got smoothies last week as part of their reward.