4-H makes Idaho healthier
“We made whole-wheat pancakes at home.”
“At a summer migrant program, teachers shared that during lunch their students were being very conscious about their food options — reading labels on milk and juice containers and discussing low-fat amounts.”
“During an Eating Out lesson, a child, surprised at the fat in one meal, suggested a fruit smoothie instead of a shake.”
These are just a few examples of the kinds of impacts the 4-H Food Smart Families program had on Idaho kids in 2014.
Food Smart Families
U of I Extension 4-H Youth Development delivered the innovative healthy living program in partnership with U of I Extension’s Eat Smart Idaho—an educational program for the Gem State’s food stamp recipients. 4-H Food Smart Families integrates 10 trained college interns, U of I Extension nutrition advisors and 19 teens into teams to be advocates for healthy living. Most of the teens are 4-Hers trained with 14 hours of hands-on lab instruction.
4-H teens each spent 20 to 100 hours sharing what they’d learned with 2,581 children in schools, recreation departments, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, summer migrant programs, summer feeding sites for low-income families, housing authorities and 4-H programs across Idaho. Each child learned to make healthy snacks, took home 15 healthy recipes and learned ways to exercise more.
The teams used Up for the Challenge, an evidence-based healthy living curriculum from University of Maryland Extension. Survey results document a change in knowledge in food safety practices, hand washing, label reading for sugar and fiber contents, importance of a nutrient-rich diet and being physically active.
4-H delivered the continuing program thanks to a $166,000 grant from the National 4-H Council and ConAgra Foods Foundation.