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.
I think that one thing that everyone looks forward to during the holidays are all the food traditions. If you start asking someone what they love about Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’m sure food would be in the top two or three things mentioned. So picture in your mind the perfect holiday meal. Maybe it’s turkey with all the fixings or a nice ham and homemade rolls. Now imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t have it this year. The sad truth of the matter is that there are 16 million children that don’t have consistent access to food. I’m not talking about a having to skip out on a huge holiday meal, they struggle just meeting their everyday nutrition needs.
4-H and United Healthcare are working together to change that with the 4-H Food Smart Families4-H Food Smart Families program. They have a two-pronged approach which is really smart.
- They connect families with nutrition resources in their area. The program targets families eligible for the SNAP and WIC programs.
- It’s not enough to just give out food. So they also work to educate families and children on budgeting, nutrition, and food preparation skills.
Teaching kids to cook is such an important life skill. My son is taking Family and Consumer Sciences(Formerly known as home-ec) at his middle school. His school is the only one in the district that still offers it. This is his teacher’s last year before retirement and when she leaves it will cease to exist at all. You just can not learn cooking, nutrition, and budgeting in a traditional educational environment anymore and that’s why programs like 4-H Food Smart Families are so vital.
Since 2011, the program has delivered services to 340,000 youth and their families across 14 states. The goal is to eventually expand and grow the program across the entire 4-H Extension network. That would cover every county in the country. How amazing would that be?
I haven’t done a health update on myself in awhile, but I’m happy to report that after losing 275 lbs in about 19 months, I am finally at a healthy weight. I have learned so much about health and nutrition over the last two years and I’m so happy to be able to model a healthy lifestyle for my kids. One of my favorite things to do is go to the market and pick out fresh produce with my son. We go every Wednesday before school. It’s great one-on-one time and we pick out the foods we are going to eat as a family. Having that sense of ownership has really helped him expand his palette. He was always my picky eater and now he’s eating his veggies on the regular.
Here’s a fun idea for a family activity that you can try. Buy whatever fruit is in season. That’s when you can find great prices on lots of different varities and we have a taste testing. My kids who can sometimes turn their nose at new foods LOVE getting to try different varieties and rating them. We’ve done melons and apples before. Tonight we tried two different persimmons and that was an adventure. I’ve never tried them before either.
Taste tests are a fun family activity that provides a healthy snack and a great learning opportunity for kids!
Curious if 4-H Food Smart Families is in your area? Ready to find out how you can get involved? Learn more about the program here: 4-H Food Smart Families4-H Food Smart Families