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Youth poster contest helps promote heart health

North Dakota youth will have a chance to demonstrate their creativity and knowledge of heart health in this spring's "Eat Smart. Play Hard." Poster contest.

The contest is open to North Dakota youth ages 8 to 19 as of Sept. 1, 2013. Posters will be judged in two age divisions: preteen (ages 8 to 12) and teen (ages 13 to 19).

The NDSU Extension Service, NDSU Extension's Center for 4-H Youth Development and the North Dakota Academy of Dietetics are sponsoring the contest.

The posters should educate and promote the idea of living a heart-healthy lifestyle. The posters also should inform North Dakota youth and adults about the importance of healthful food choices and regular physical activity to heart health.

This year's posters must be centered on a theme that directly relates to eating healthful foods and playing hard to promote heart health. This could include the importance of taking part in 60 minutes of physical activity each day or eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

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 "We hope this activity empowers our young North Dakota citizens with an opportunity to promote healthful eating and physical activity among their friends and families," says Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist.

Posters will be judged on their general appearance and how well they present messages about nutrition and/or fitness and the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Winners in both age divisions will receive $50 for first place, $35 for second place and $15 for third place. All entrants will receive a certificate of recognition and a small prize.

"Children are remarkably creative, so this is an opportunity for them to use their artistic skills with a health-promoting message," Garden-Robinson says.

Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2014. They should be dropped off at the Center for 4-H Youth Development or mailed to the Center for 4-H Youth Development, Attn: Eat Smart. Play Hard. Poster Contest Entry, 219 FLC, NDSU Dept. 7280, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050.

Contest rules are available at The entry form is at

"Eat Smart. Play Hard." is a U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service initiative that focuses on making America's children healthier. It provides practical suggestions to help children and their caregivers eat a healthful diet and be physically active.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
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