4-H Youth Leaders Motivate Campers toward Good Health
Ed. Note: This article is a cross post from USDA's Blog
The Louisiana State 4-H Food and Fitness Camp is joining the Let’s Move! initiative to combat childhood obesity through improved nutrition and increased physical activity. As a camp for fourth and fifth graders designed and run by high school 4-H teens, the program motivates campers to eat healthier and move more.
This year, the 4-H Food and Fitness Camp incorporated a jungle safari-themed experience, showing campers that eating right and exercising can be fun! Dressed in wild animal costumes and surrounded by fake vines, the campers and counselors played games and learned about nutrition.
“It has really developed leadership among this group along with increasing their knowledge of nutrition and fitness,” reflects Dr. Mark Tassin, 4-H Youth and Family Development Department Head at LSU.
4-H campers enjoy incorporating fitness into a healthy lifestyle. Here, participants work to complete an obstacle course.
The counselors conducted hands-on workshops on food safety, food preparation and nutrition. During these lessons campers tried new foods, increasing the variety in their diets and exposing them to an array of nutrients. Additionally, participants were taught how to create a well-balanced plate. Counselors encouraged campers to increase fruit and vegetable intake, eat more whole grains, choose low-fat dairy, and select lean protein options.
The camp also focused on getting kids active. Campers and counselors played games, participated in sports, and danced to music. The Louisiana State 4-H Food and Fitness Camp embodies the First Lady’s initiative by demonstrating that leading a healthy lifestyle requires both proper nutrition and physical activity.
Looking to get active in your community? Visit the 4-H website to find your local 4-H office and find out what projects and activities are available for youth your age!
Jessica Larson is a Dietetic Intern for USDA Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.