Cloverbuds in the Kitchen: School Edition

August is a busy time for families as we go on final vacations and start back-to-school shopping. It is easy to get busy and forget to spend quality time together as a family. A great way to remedy that is to have Cloverbud-age youth help out in the kitchen. Some easy ways to do that are: packing school lunches together, selecting/choosing a new fruit or vegetable to try at the grocery store, or making a snack together. Another great activity is to plan a menu together so that your Cloverbud feels a part of the family decision-making process. The MyPlate Kitchen has all types of recipes that your family can try without purchasing many extra or unusual ingredients.

A favorite recipe for family members of  all ages is the Peanut Butter Dip that can be enjoyed with any type of fruit or try it with vegetables like celery. This recipe requires only 3 ingredients: Yogurt, Vanilla and Peanut Butter. It can easily be modified to accommodate allergies or picky eaters. Encourage your Cloverbud to be creative and try different flavor combinations like Greek yogurt or almond butter. This recipe also highlights the important nutrients it provides such as fruit and protein which are two important parts of a healthy MyPlate.

Looking for other healthy, fun MyPlate activities? Visit this past blog post to view other fun ways to get Cloverbud members excited about nutrition!

4-H Healthy Living: Are We Practicing What We Pledge?

With health as the 4th H and with a variety of healthy living projects, 4-H as an organization recognizes the importance of promoting and establishing healthy habits for its members. However, some aspects of 4-H have yet to embrace health promotion.
In 2016, a survey study was conducted to 4-H club leaders about club practices related health. The survey results below showed that although some practices align with health recommendations, the majority of 4-H clubs surveyed were not serving healthy foods and beverages nor allowing time for physical activity during club meetings.

• Over 90% of clubs served water and not quite half served 100% fruit juice (45.6%), but other beverage offerings included fruit-flavored drinks such as Kool Aid (50.5%), artificially sweetened fruit juice (36.9%), and soda (33.3%).
• Cookies and baked snacks were the top food items served at club meetings; fruit was the third most served food item, followed by chips and pizza.
• A majority of clubs (59%) hold fundraisers involving food items; top items sold were baked goods, pizza, and candy bars.
• Only two-fifths of clubs always and less than half sometimes allotted time for physical activity.
• Club leaders identified limited time, lack of interest, lack of space, and physical disabilities of club members and leaders as challenges to implementing healthy living activities.

4-H volunteers have the opportunity to help children meet guidelines for physical activity and healthy eating by regularly incorporating healthy living activities into 4-H club meetings. For example, to increase physical activity, try including active movements into already existing activities such as icebreakers and roll call. Try to keep MyPlate in mind by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and unsweetened beverages as snacks during meetings. Finally, consider taking the 4th H for Health Challenge to jump start your club’s journey to healthier meetings.