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4-H’ers honored for learning, practicing healthful habits

4-H clubs incorporate nutrition, fitness and health activities into their meetings in 2022-2023.

4-H’ers from clubs in 16 counties throughout North Dakota were recognized for incorporating nutrition, fitness and health activities into their club meetings in 2022-2023.

The 34 clubs, with a total of 727 members, earned the special recognition of being “healthy clubs” by meeting the criteria, which include having healthful snacks, learning about nutrition and physical activity, having food demonstrations during meetings and doing community service. Some clubs earned extra recognition for completing the Family Mealtime Challenge.

For example, the Moon Lake 4-H Club, a 15-member club from Stutsman County, built raised garden beds placed in front of the Stutsman County office. They also made fleece tie blankets for a pet-rescue program and did a drive to collect baby items, such as, diapers and wipes.

The program also provided leadership opportunities for teenage 4-H’ers. The teens can serve as role models for younger members.

To earn the Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club recognition, clubs are required to incorporate at least one nutrition or fitness activity into a minimum of six regular meetings during the year.

“Clubs did a wide range of community service, and teen leaders served as mentors for younger club members,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University Extension food and nutrition specialist and Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs program coordinator. “Some clubs did a family mealtime challenge, where they took steps to eat with their families more often, which can have numerous benefits.”

“4-H programs can make a difference for the club members as well as their families, and this is a record-setting year for youth involvement in the program,” she added.

Some clubs were in their first year as “healthy club” and some clubs have participated 15 years.  Each club member received a certificate of recognition and a small prize.

The clubs recognized this year are listed by county, number of members and number of years they have received recognition. Twelve Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs were recognized for completing the month-long Family Mealtime Challenge, and participating clubs reported 1,896 family mealtimes. Eating together as a family is linked to better school performance, healthier meals and less risk behavior.

The clubs provided ideas to expand the number of family meals served. They recommended having kids suggest the menus, help prepare food and clean up.

  • Barnes – Valley Friends, 11 members, 1 year, completed Family Mealtime Challenge
  • Burleigh – Clover Cakes, 12 members, 5 years, completed Family Mealtime Challenge; Silver Colts, 9 members, 13 years; Meadowlarks, 18 members, 3 years, completed Family Mealtime Challenge; McKenzie Magnums, 15 members, 10 years; Caring Hands, 22 members, 1 year; Clover Power, 15 members, 1 year
  • Cass – Cass County Crusaders, 30 members, 3 years; Lucky Clover Buddies, 15 members, 3 years, completed Family Mealtime Challenge; Valley Adventurers, 12 members, 15 years; Golden Clovers, 21 members, 2 years; Rainbow Kids, 16 members, 2 years; Rush River Livestock, 23 members, 2 years; Clover Friends, 36 members, 1 year
  • Divide – Flickertails, 38 members, 16 years; Roughriders, 21 members, 1 year, completed Family Mealtime Challenge
  • LaMoure – Cloverleafs, 30 members, 11 years
  • McHenry – Balfour Roughriders, 24 members, 9 years; Velva Guys and Gals, 24 members, 4 years
  • Mercer – Star Equestrians, 5 members, 1 year
  • Pembina – Crystal Clovers, 33 members, 1 year
  • Ramsey – Country Kids, 15 members, 2 years
  • Ransom – Tri-Country Ag, 33 members, 9 years; Heart and Soul, 20 members, 7 years; McLeod Ag, 37 members, 2 years, completed Family Mealtime Challenge; Aliceton, 41 members, 12 years, completed Family Mealtime Challenge; Sandy Critters, 9 members, 4 years
  • Richland – Helping Hands, 10 members, 6 years
  • Sargent – Busy Bobcats, 14 members, 2 years
  • Sheridan – Clever Clovers, 9 members, 1 year
  • Steele – Finley Wildlife Explorers, 25 members, 1 year
  • Stutsman – Country Kids, 14 members, 4 years, completed Mealtime Challenge; Moon Lake, 15 members, 3 years
  • Williams – Prairie Diamonds, 26 members, 2 years, completed Family Mealtime Challenge

4-H clubs interested in participating in the 2023-2024 North Dakota Healthy 4-H Clubs program should contact their county office of NDSU Extension or visit the North Dakota Center for 4-H Youth Development to become involved.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Sept. 19, 2023

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, 701-231-7187, julie.garden-robinson@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-7881, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

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