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.
One of my most favorite activities these days is cooking with my children. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen make good food and now they enjoy sharing these experiences with me. My daughter has the cooking bug the most out of our three children and she is only five. I look forward to the many years ahead of us that we have cooking together. I can remember cooking with my grandma when I was little and those are some of my most favorite memories.
Some children are not as lucky to have a home life where cooking and food is a priority. As a teacher, I see first hand what that can do to young minds and bodies. Nearly 16 million children live in households where they do not have constant access to healthy foods throughout the year. This is a sad reality and I love that 4-H Food Smart Families is helping families learn how to budget and prepare healthy foods all year round. We live in the middle of farm country and 4-H is an important cornerstone to not only activities in the surrounding areas but close to home as well. Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare and 4-H have partnered to teach about healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states. Have a look at this infographic about the Teens as Teachers Program.
With this program, 4-H trains over 400 youths to serve as role models and mentors in teaching other families how to shop and cook better. It is really important to start teaching children at a young age to make good food choices because those skills will travel with them for the rest of their lives to establish healthy habits.
A few of the changes the 4-H Teens as Teachers programs has seen are:
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
These are amazing numbers and statistics and it looks like families are starting to make healthier choices.
Have a look to see how Food Smart Families has impacted a teen leader.
For our family we like to be outside as much as possible and get moving. That can be taking a walk down to the pond, hiking in the back roads, going to a playground and swimming during the nice months. Pair these activities with healthy eating and you have a happy, healthy family. Starting young the kids expect to be outside as much as possible now and we love every minute of it.