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NDSU Extension Service, Published September 17 2013

25 clubs designated 'Health North Dakota 4-H Clubs'

Twenty-five 4-H clubs were recognized for demonstrating their commitment to a healthy lifestyle and are designated as "Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs" for 2012-13.

The 4-H clubs, with a total of 436 members, earned the special recognition for making "Eat Smart. Play Hard." lessons part of their club meetings for the past year. Seven clubs also earned extra recognition for completing the "Family Mealtime Challenge."

"Eat Smart. Play Hard. Together" is a statewide campaign that emphasizes the importance of making healthy food choices, getting regular exercise and families eating together. The North Dakota State University Extension Service and Bison Athletics teamed up to launch the initiative in 2005.

"The clubs continue to use creative ways to promote fitness and health among their members and the community," says Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist and Healthy North Dakota 4-H Clubs program coordinator. "We hope these activities help inspire them to eat a healthful diet and to stay physically active for the rest of their lives."

This was the sixth year some clubs were named Healthy North Dakota 4-H clubs. This year, each club member received a certificate of recognition and a small prize.

The clubs recognized this year are listed by county, number of members and

number of years they have received the Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club

recognition:

- Barnes - Valley Friends, 22 members (four)

- Burleigh - Caring Hands, five members (two); McKenzie Magnums, 15 members

(four); Northern Colors, nine members (one); Northern Lights, 15 members (four); Silver Colts, six members (five)

- Cass - Absaraka Crows, 22 members (two); Bennett 4-H, 10 members (one); Clover Scout Buddies, 11 members (one); Dragonflies, 26 members (two); Golden Clovers, 18 members, (one); Kindred 4-H Friends, 26 members (six); Rainbow Kids, 16 members (five); Uniters, six members (five); Valley Adventures, 18 members (five); Wheatland Pioneers, 11 members (six)

- Grant - City Slickers, 37 members (two); Sagebrush Riders, 22 members (one)

- LaMoure - LaMoure Cloverleafs, 13 members (two)

- McLean - Lakeside 4-H, 36 members (two)

- Morton -- Missouri Valley Bunch, 27 members (six)

- Pembina - Helping Hands, 15 members (one)

- Ransom - Tri County Ag, 28 members (two)

- Stark - Western Roughriders, eight members (two)

- Towner - Handy-Thrifty Helpers, 14 members (six)

"It was pretty easy for our club to do the Healthy Club as we are all learning to eat better at school, and so incorporating it into our meetings was easy and fun," said Kyle Laib, a member of the Northern Lights 4-H Club in Burleigh County. "All of the kids had fun and enjoyed doing it. We all want to live a healthier life."

Clubs are required to incorporate at least one nutrition or fitness activity into a minimum of six regular meetings during the year to be named a Healthy North Dakota 4-H Club.

"We try to find ways to naturally incorporate healthy choices into our regular monthly meetings so it becomes a norm for the members," says Wendi Mizer Stachler, leader of the Kindred 4-H

Friends Club. "To begin, each year we elect a youth health leader who is

responsible for organizing and incorporating health facts, activities and ideas into each monthly meeting. The youth health leader provides a healthy tip at each meeting, interjects healthy awareness into the roll call and encourages activities that reflect healthy components. Families take turns by providing healthy options for snacks, and we've even gotten to the point where various members voluntarily give demonstrations at meetings that relate to healthy options."

4-H clubs interested in participating in the 2013-14 North Dakota Healthy 4-H Clubs program should contact their county Extension office or visit this website: http://tinyurl.com/healthy4-H.