WIESBADEN, Germany - Young metabolisms need lots of fuel to run efficiently. Getting the proper fuel is the key.

That's why Dr. Susan Hargis, Wiesbaden Middle School principal, and Maj. Gen. Richard C. Longo, U.S. Army Europe deputy commander, took time out to kick off this year's Fueling the Future program at the middle school Nov. 14.

"This is a nutrition literacy program," said Hargis, explaining that the school teamed up with USAREUR last year to launch the program. It is similar to one she introduced several years ago at Kaiserslautern Middle School.

The aim of the program is to encourage all members of the Army Family, and especially those in their formative years, to eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly and to enjoy healthy lifestyles.

Hargis said the school is also once again partnering with the Defense Commissary Agency to help educate students about how to make good food choices and learn more about nutrition and food safety.

USAREUR's deputy commander talked to students about the role different foods play in fueling the body and in maintaining weight and overall good health. Sharing personal details about a family member's struggle with weight gain, Longo said, he appreciated the importance of making good decisions.

"Make just a couple of good choices about food each day and you'll see it can have a tremendous impact," Longo said.

Using mustard instead of mayonnaise, drinking chocolate milk rather than a soft drink, and making any number of other food choices on a regular basis can all help in controlling one's diet and improving nutritional intake, he said.

Other daily decisions young people can make to beef up their health include helping their mother carry groceries, not spending too many hours sitting in front of the television or electronic games, and getting involved in extracurricular sports programs, officials said.

Once the discussions about good nutrition were completed, school officials led students to the high school track where teachers joined students for several laps around the track.