This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
A few months ago, I shared a post about 4-H Food Smart Families and how they make a difference. This is an important topic to raise awareness about as we head into the holiday season. Nearly 16 million children live in households that don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year. Many of us will soon sit down and enjoy beautifully prepared holiday feasts while many families cannot access healthy food to eat on a typical day. This is a sad reality.
Programs such as 4-H Food Smart Families often exist within our communities and sometimes we are completely unaware! Visit the 4-H Food Smart Family site to find out how you and your family could get involved.4-H-Food-Smart-Families-Infographic
During the holidays, I love to volunteer and participate in programs involving children. Usually, through programs offered at my place of business, we have opportunities to adopt families and purchase holiday gifts on their wish list. This is always one of my favorite things to do. I’m currently awaiting a wish list to shop for a local family and make their season holiday special. In addition to purchasing items from the family’s wish list, we began a tradition in my home of baking gingerbread cookies every year to include with our package of gifts. My youngest son loves to cook and pays attention to every detail preparing cookies knowing they are for a special family during the holidays.
Working with your child in the kitchen and sharing tips on how to cook and bake healthy will have a positive impact on their life. When it’s something they do to help another family in need, it’s a memory they will cherish forever. As they grow up, these are traditions they will likely carry into the future and practice with their young family.
Since 2011, United Healthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to families in 14 states. The program has impacted more than 340,000 youth and their families. You may be wondering how 4-H engages with families. The program targets those eligible for receiving Specialized Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP) and/or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children benefits (WIC). These benefit programs teach families how to plan, shop, and prepare healthy meals on a budget. My kids may not always realize the importance of the work we do in our kitchen but my hope is they will develop a deep appreciation as they become adults and carry on the same traditions and passion for helping others.
4-H Food Smart Families currently operates in select states but as their testing and piloting is completed, the goal is to expand the program across the entire 4-H Extension network that exists in every county across the country.
I’d like to share the positive changes 4-H Food Smart families have seen:
- 90% of youth participants now think being active is fun and good for fitness
- 89% now encourage their families to eat meals together
- 87% said their families have purchased healthier foods
- 86% now eat fruit for a snack over unhealthier options
You can visit the 4-H Food Smart Family site and find out more information on how to get involved. If you have teens, 4-H offers some incredible leadership opportunities for them to get involved with Food Smart Families.
Connect with 4-H on social!
- 4-H on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/4-h
- 4-H on Twitter: https://twitter.com/4H
- 4-H on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/national4h/
- 4-H on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/national4H