North Dakota youth will have a chance to show off their creativity and knowledge of good health and nutrition 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, 2011. 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 Dietetic Association are sponsoring the contest.
The posters should educate and promote the idea of living a healthy lifestyle. They also should inform North Dakota youth and adults about the importance of healthful food choices and regular physical activity.
This year's posters must be centered on a theme that directly relates to eating healthful foods and getting regular physical activity, with a special emphasis on healthy skin. Participants can learn more about the role of nutrition and sun protection in maintaining healthy skin from "Nourish Your Skin," an NDSU Extension publication available at www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn1572.pdf.
"Many children do not consume the recommended amount of colorful fruits and vegetables, and they do not reach physical activity goals," said Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist. "We hope this activity gives children the opportunity to be advocates for healthful eating, physical activity and sun safety for their peers, families and communities."
Posters will be judged on how well they present information, general appearance and effectiveness in educating others about healthy lifestyles. The prizes are in the form of gift cards for a chosen retailer. Winners will receive a $50 card for first place, a $35 card for second place and a $15 card for third place. All entrants will receive a participation prize.
"In our past poster contests, children and teens have shown great creativity in promoting health messages to their peers and others," Garden-Robinson said.
Some past poster contest winning entries can be viewed on the "Eat Smart. Play Hard. Together" website at www.ndsu.edu/eatsmart.
Entries must be postmarked by March 15. They should be labeled Attn: Eat Smart. Play Hard. Poster Contest Entry, 219 and either dropped off at the Center for 4-H Youth Development, FLC, 1310 Centennial Blvd, or mailed to Center for 4-H Youth Development, Dept 7280, Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050.
Contest rules are available at www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/4h/GroupProjects/PosterContestRules.pdf. The entry form is at www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/4h/GroupProjects/poster_contest_submission_cover_sheet_2011-12.pdf.
"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.