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Auburn's Ilalko Elementary wins nutrition competition; former Seahawk great joins all-school assembly

Nesby Glasgow, a former Seahawk, entertains the young audience, with Blitz, Seattle’s mascot.  - Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter
Nesby Glasgow, a former Seahawk, entertains the young audience, with Blitz, Seattle’s mascot.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter

Auburn's Ilalko Elementary School won a district-wide nutrition competition.

Ilalko was one of 10 schools participating in the Washington State Dairy Council (WSDC) competition to increase participation in the school's breakfast program and improve student's milk consumption. Ilalko showed the best improvement in both of these categories.

To recognize the school's achievement, retired defensive back Nesby Glasgow, a 14-year NFL veteran who was with the Seattle Seahawks from 1988-92, paid the school a visit.

Glasgow attended and played football at the University of Washington and was recognized as part of the Century Team. Today, he is a project director with The Pacific Institute in Seattle creating motivational programs for schools and businesses.

The WSDC supplied smoothie making equipment to schools in the Auburn School District to encourage them to make healthy and nutritious smoothies and yogurt parfaits part of the regular school breakfast menu.

"We're excited to recognize Ilalko Elementary's accomplishment," said Linda Mendoza, health and wellness manager for the WSDC. "Ilalko, and the district as a whole, are making great strides towards a healthier school environment. By encouraging the consumption of nutritious foods like smoothies and fat-free or low-fat milk, as opposed a high calorie/low nutrient drink, the school helps lessen the prevalence of childhood obesity."

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program developed by the National Dairy Council, WSDC and the National Football League, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). More than 70,000 schools are involved in Fuel Up to Play 60 nationwide.

As part of the Fuel Up To Play 60 program, the WSDC also provided T-shirts and other prizes to the competing schools.

"We are seeing more students eating a healthy breakfast," added Margaret Dam, nutrition director for Auburn School District, who is also the Fuel Up To Play 60 Program Advisor. "At all grade levels, we would like to help students make healthy choices to prevent obesity."

Dam has worked in child nutrition since 1980.

"It is very exciting and encouraging to see student's take nutrition information and incorporate it into their daily lives," Dam said.

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