Extension and Ag Research News


4-H Clubs Eat Smart, Play Hard

North Dakota 4-H clubs are recognized for incorporating nutrition and fitness into their club activities.

Fifteen 4-H clubs have been recognized for demonstrating their commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

The Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs program recognized the clubs for eating smart and playing hard in 2010-11.

The 4-H clubs, with a total of 290 members, earned the special recognition for making “Eat Smart. Play Hard.” lessons part of their club meetings for the past year. Six clubs also earned extra recognition for completing the Family Mealtime Challenge.

“Eat Smart. Play Hard. Together” is a statewide campaign that emphasizes the importance of making healthful food choices and getting regular exercise, and family mealtimes. The North Dakota State University Extension Service and Bison Athletics teamed up to launch the initiative in 2005.

“These 4-H clubs set a great example for healthy living for all of us by including nutritious foods and regular physical activity in their meetings,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist and Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs program coordinator. “These healthy habits will provide benefits for the rest of their lives.”

This was the fourth or fifth year some clubs were named a Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club. This year, each club member received a certificate of recognition and 4-H bracelet.

The clubs recognized this year are by county, number of members and number of years they have received the Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club recognition:

  • Barnes - Valley Friends, 14 members (two)
  • Burleigh – Northern Lights, 17 members (five); Silver Colts, 15 members (four)
  • Cass – Dragonflies, 20 members (one); Kindred 4-H Friends, 40 members (four); Page Power, 12 members (five); Uniters, 13 members (three); Valley Adventures, 26 members (four); Wheatland Pioneers, 11 members (four)
  • Divide – Flickertails, 20 members (four)
  • Grand Forks - Eagles, 29 members (four)
  • Grant – City Slickers, 21 members (one)
  • Morton - Missouri Valley Bunch, 35 members (four)
  • Richland – Starlights, seven members (one)
  • Towner – Handy-Thrifty Helpers, 10 members (four)

“Getting regular exercise is important to everyone, including our children, in order to stay healthy,” says Tracey Johnson, 4-H leader for the Valley Adventures in Cass County. “I feel that any little thing we can do to incorporate healthy eating, along with exercise into our children's routine, it is a positive thing. We, as a club, want to do our part in maintaining healthy members, not only for our 4-H club but for the community.”

Clubs are required to incorporate at least one nutrition or fitness activity into a minimum of six regular meetings during the year to be named a Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club.

""Several of the kids in our club make good use of the pedometers and log into Walk North Dakota every time it cycles around,” says Jannell Lagein, 4-H leader for the Handy-Thrifty Helpers in Towner County. “We try to remind each member to bring healthy snacks when it's their turn for lunch, and we even made a trail mix using healthy foods that were added as each member took turns making motions and voting on them. We had an awesome swimming party to focus on physical activity, as well.""

4-H Clubs interested in participating in the 2011-12 North Dakota Healthy 4-H Clubs program should contact their county Extension office.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Sept. 22, 2011

Source:Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187, julie.garden-robinson@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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