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.
My kids have been in the kitchen with me from the time they were able to sit in their highchairs. It started off as an easy way to keep them within arms reach while I made meals, but as they grew and became more aware, their interest in cooking with me also grew. During our busy school week I prefer they complete their homework while I pull dinner together, but on our quiet weekend days, they pile into the kitchen on to help me make breakfast. We talk about school, life, friends, and what adventure they’d like to go on next. They love to help us plant vegetables in the garden to incorporate into meals, and look forward to the fruit of their labor:
Just yesterday, my girls saw a commercial on TV showing kids who were in need of basic necessities. While we often tell our kids about people who are less fortunate, they rarely see them, so this commercial on TV was a real eye-opener and conversation starter for them. They asked questions- “Why do they look like that?” “Why don’t they have shoes?” “Why don’t they have food” “Where are their parents?” My husband did his best to answer all their questions, but the look of worry consumed them. They asked how they can help out, and even offered to take gifts off their Christmas wishlist to save money and send to these children. We explained how there are various organizations to help those in need, including the 4-H Food Smart program.
Did you know nearly 16 million children live in households that don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year? Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare and the 4-H Food Smart Families program have partnered to help families who are eligible or already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and/or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits and teaches them how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget. So far, they’ve helped over 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states. The goal of the program is to continue working on the states they are currently serving, and eventually expand it across the entire country.
There are two key components to the 4-H Food Smart Families program:
Empowering youth and their families by equipping them with the knowledge to make healthy living part of their everyday lives through nutrition education, cooking skills, and food budgeting skills to bring more affordable, nutritious foods into their households.
Connecting families with nutrition assistance resources in their community.
With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, it’s good to start thinking of those who may not have access to a warm meal on their table. Find out more about the 4-H Food Smart Families program.