Every year, 4-H clubs across North Dakota are recognized for demonstrating their commitment to learning about and practicing healthful habits by being designated as a Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club.
To earn that honor, they incorporate nutrition, fitness and health activities into their club meetings during the year.
For instance, the Missouri Valley Bunch 4-H Club in Morton County plants flowers around the county courthouse and takes care of them all summer. The 4-H’ers also have worked with residents of Edgewood in Mandan to create raised gardens.
In addition, the club holds an annual family picnic with an outdoor activity such as archery, hiking, outdoor cooking, Dutch oven cooking or volleyball. At club meetings, the 4-H’ers have learned to cook and bake, and members have taught the club how to swing dance. They’ve also gone bowling, kayaking, ice skating and swimming.
This program has been very beneficial, according to Vanessa Hoines, club leader and an NDSU Extension agent for Morton County.
“It keeps us thinking of new ways to stay active and make healthy choices,” she says.
The Clover Friends 4-H Club in Cass County has healthful snacks and answers health-related roll call questions at meetings. The youth also have had water fights; gone swimming and camping; and played lawn games, miniature golf, baseball and kickball.
“We think it is very important to encourage youth and families to adapt healthy habits to incorporate as part of their daily routine,” club co-leader Kristina Metcalfe says.
Clubs can earn extra recognition for completing the Family Mealtime Challenge, which encourages families to set a goal for weekly family meals.
“The fourth ‘H’ in 4-H stands for ‘health,’ and these recognized clubs are making healthful habits part of the culture of their clubs,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist and Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs program coordinator.
For more information:
Julie Garden-Robinson, 701-231-7187, firstname.lastname@example.org