4-H’ers from clubs throughout North Dakota were recognized for incorporating nutrition, fitness and health activities into their club meetings in 2020-21.

The fourth “H” in 4-H stands for “health,” and 28 4-H clubs from 13 counties are making healthful habits part of the culture of their clubs. They were designated as Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs for 2020 to 2021.

The 4-H clubs, with a total of 558 members, earned the special recognition of being “healthy clubs” by meeting the criteria, which could include having healthful snacks, having food demonstrations during meetings and doing community service. Eleven clubs also earned extra recognition for completing the Family Mealtime Challenge.

“Many clubs have continued meeting virtually or found outdoor settings during the pandemic, such as meeting in parks or ice skating rinks. Several set healthy snack policies for their meetings,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University Extension food and nutrition specialist and Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs program coordinator.

“They learned important life skills from their club members, leaders and parents as part of their regular club meetings. They toured grocery stores and some signed a healthy snack policy. I especially enjoyed seeing the photos they submitted documenting their activities.”

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The program also provided leadership opportunities for teenage 4-H’ers. The teens can serve as role models for younger members.

To earn the Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club recognition, clubs are required to incorporate at least one nutrition or fitness activity into a minimum of six regular meetings during the year.

This was the 14th year some clubs were named a Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club. Each club member received a certificate of recognition and a small prize.

The clubs recognized this year are by county, number of members and number of years they have received recognition. Eleven Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs were recognized for completing the month-long Family Mealtime Challenge, and 804 family mealtimes were reported by the participating clubs.

Jamestown area clubs recognized include:

  • LaMoure - LaMoure Clover Leafs, 24 members, eight years; Sow and Sews, 15 members, two years
  • Ransom – Hill and Valley, 16 members, four years; Aliceton 4-H, 40 members, 10 years, completed Family Mealtime Challenge; Heart and Soul, 31 members, five years; Sandy Critters 4-H Club, nine members, two years, completed the Family Mealtime Challenge; McLeod Ag, 29 members, one year, completed the Family Mealtime Challenge
  • Stutsman - Prairie Pals, 42 members, two years, completed the Family Mealtime Challenge; Country Kids, 18 members, four years, completed the Family Mealtime Challenge

4-H clubs interested in participating in the 2021-22 North Dakota Healthy 4-H Clubs program should contact their county office of NDSU Extension.