Extension and Ag Research News


2015 Record Breaking for Healthy N.D. 4-H Clubs

4-H clubs are recognized for their commitment to a healthful lifestyle.

Thirty-two 4-H clubs were recognized for demonstrating their commitment to a healthful lifestyle and designated as Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs for 2014-15.

“This was the best response we have ever had to this recognition program,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist and Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs program coordinator. “The clubs have done outstanding health-promoting activities that extend from their clubs to their families and communities.”

The 4-H clubs, with a total of 609 members, earned the special recognition for making “Eat Smart. Play Hard.” lessons part of their club meetings for the past year. Eleven 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, getting regular exercise and families eating together. The NDSU Extension Service and Bison Athletics teamed up to launch the initiative in 2005.

“We were excited to plan our activities around the Healthy 4-H Club challenge and found that it was easier to achieve than expected,” says Rachael Mayer, leader of the Flickertail 4-H Club in Mott. “With Healthy 4-H in mind, many members chose projects and demonstrations, like making stress balls and smoothies, which applied to our goal.

“Choosing healthy snacks for meetings was a change from the usual bars or cookies,” she adds. “The consensus was that they were just as happy to have a healthy treat, and they felt better eating healthier. Our club members can be proud that they really have chosen to pledge their health to better living.”

This was the seventh or eighth year some clubs were named a Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club. This year, each club member received a certificate of recognition and a small prize.

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 (an FMC after the club name indicates the club also participated in the Family Mealtime Challenge):

  • Barnes - Valley Friends, 20 members, six years, FMC
  • Burleigh - Caring Hands, eight members, four years; Clover Power 4-H, three members, one year; Dynamite Kids, 14 members, two years; McKenzie Magnums, 10 members, six years; North Stars, 12 members, two years, FMC; Northern Colors, six members, three years
  • Cass - Bennett 4-H, 12 members, three years, FMC; Cass County Crusaders, 10 members, one year, FMC; Clover Friends, 22 members, two years, FMC; Dragonflies, 26 members, five years, FMC; Golden Kids, 16 members, one year, FMC; Harwood Helpers, 19 members, five years; Kindred Sandburrs, 29 members, one year; Rainbow Kids, 13 members, seven years; Uniters, three members, seven years; Valley Adventures, 17 members, seven years; Wheatland Pioneers, 14 members, eight years, FMC
  • Grand Forks - K-KOTS, 24 members, one year
  • Grant - City Slickers, 29 members, four years
  • Hettinger - Flickertail 4-H, 61 members, one year
  • Logan - Cloverbuds, 13 members, one year; Dakota Kids, 16 members, three years
  • McLean - Lakeside 4-H, 34 members, three years
  • Morton - Good Times Ranch, 27 members, one year; Haycreek Kids, 28 members, one year; Missouri Valley Bunch, 25 members, eight years
  • Mountrail - Ross Roughriders, 15 members, one year, FMC
  • Pembina - Helping Hands, 14 members, three years
  • Ransom - Aliceton, 14 members, four years, FMC
  • Richland - Lucky Leaf, 38 members, one year, FMC
  • Sargent - Forman Friends, 17 members, one year

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.

“Many clubs incorporated healthful snacks as a regular part of their meetings,” Garden-Robinson says. “The clubs that also took the Family Meal Challenge tracked the number of times they ate with their families, with the goal of eating together more often. Other clubs helped plant community gardens, brought baked goods to community groups or did food drives for local food pantries.

“These young people are definitely taking the ‘H’ for ‘Health’ in the 4-H emblem to the next level,” she notes.

4-H clubs interested in participating in the 2015-16 North Dakota Healthy 4-H Clubs program should contact their county Extension office or visit http://tinyurl.com/healthy4-Hclubs for more information.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Sept. 3, 2015

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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