4-H Food and Fitness Camp features family fun, healthy eating

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4-H Food and Fitness Camp participants (from left) Trinity Methvin, Kiley Sibille, teen leader Kassie deVeer and Kinsley Sibille learn how to make granola from scratch. Photo by Tammi Arender

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Ebony Martin and her daughter Janell Howard, of St. Martin Parish, show off their chocolate-dipped banana with dried fruit at the 4-H Food and Fitness Camp at the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center in Pollock. Photo by Tammi Arender

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Bonnie Sellers and her 10-year-old son, Mason, of Iberia Parish, cross the finish line in a “tape race” where parent and child are taped together. It’s one example of fun physical activities at the 4-H Food and Fitness Camp. Photo by Tammi Arender

(03/23/16) POLLOCK, La. – 4-H’ers from throughout Louisiana learned that fitness can be fun and healthy eating doesn’t have to bust your budget during the LSU AgCenter 4-H Food and Fitness Family Camp March 18-20 at the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center in Pollock.

The camp was open to 4-H’ers and their parents.

“If the parents aren’t on board, it’s really hard for kids to make changes,” said Jessica Stroope, LSU AgCenter healthy living extension associate. “We want the parents to buy in because that creates a real change for the whole family.”

Twenty-two fourth- through sixth-graders, most accompanied by one or both parents, participated in activities conducted by the 4-H State Food and Fitness Board members and their advisers.

Sessions included hands-on lessons in nutrition, food preparation, food safety and fitness. Lessons were developed by the 4-H State Food and Fitness Board teen members under the coordination of faculty advisers, Stroope said.

“I started out showing livestock in 4-H and liked it, but when I discovered the health, nutrition and fitness program I really got excited,” said Alexis Cole, teen board president.

“The teen board comes up with ways to show the younger students that fitness can be fun,” Cole said. “It doesn’t have to be about working out and eating boring food.”

One of the guest presenters at the weekend event was Jennifer Duhon, with the Southeast United Dairy Association. Duhon talked about how to eat healthy on a budget.

“We’re hoping the families will take this back to their schools’ health and wellness committees and be able to incorporate it into their daily lives,” said Duhon, who also represents the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60! Program.

The 4-H Food and Fitness Family Camp was made possible, in part, by a grant from ConAgra Foods.

“The ConAgra grant supports the food and fitness programs along with the 4-H parish efforts throughout the state,” Stroope said. “It focuses on nutrition and food budgeting skills for families. They want to involve the parents, but the focus is fourth- through sixth-graders and teen educators.”

For Jennifer Anderson and her 10-year-old son, Sawyer, it was a bonding time.

“I think it’s great that we get to do this as a family activity,” said Jennifer Anderson, of Natchitoches Parish. “We as a family like fitness, and we like to cook and learn all kinds of new things, so we get a chance to do that together at this camp.”

Additional information about LSU AgCenter 4-H youth programs is available online.

5/11/2016 2:48:57 PM
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