Healthy Lifestyles


Throughout the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program, more than 120,000 youth participate in healthy lifestyles programs, encompassing the food and nutrition, health and safety projects.  Through food and nutrition project activities, youth learn to make healthy food choices, improve energy and alertness, and gain knowledge of nutrients.

Youth also learn how to improve physical, intellectual, emotional and social health through participation in the health project. Specifically, youth learn about the importance of physical activity, proper hygiene, dental care, healthy snacking, vaccinations and sleep. Knowledge of how to reduce disease and illness risks is also explored.  Participation in the Walk Across Texas Program helps youth establish the habit of regular physical activity.  Safety concerns related to health issues, such as first aid, CPR and emergency preparedness, are also addressed in the 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Program.

As a part of the learning experiences, youth also share with others what they have learned by presenting educational presentations to various groups and participating in community service activities that help promote good health practices in the community.


  • Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum – link
  • Nutrition Voyage: The Quest To Be Our Best – link
  • Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness Youth Curriculum – link

Winning with Nutrition

The goal of implementing the Winning with Nutrition Curriculum is to provide youth athletes in the 7th thru 9th grades an opportunity to learn about proper nutrition, dietary needs, supplements, hydration and healthy methods to increase physical performance.

  • Winning with Nutrition Curriculum (4-H F&N 1-1) – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Informational Flyer – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition: Eating for Excellence Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Hydration Station Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Game Day Dining Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Game Day Dining Jeopardy Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Performance Robbers Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Fads and Facts Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition Student Evaluation – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Evaluation – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Agenda – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Powerpoint w/ Notes – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Evaluation – PDF

Balancing Food and Play

The Balancing Food & Play curriculum was designed to improve knowledge and behaviors related to snacking on fruits and vegetables, drinking milk with meals and water with snacks, encouraging at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and limiting screen time to two hours or less per day.  For more information on accessing the Balancing Food & Play curriculum, visit

Educational Opportunities

Walk Across Texas

Walk Across Texas is a free, eight week program designed to help people of all ages support one another to establish the habit of regular physical activity.  The program is implemented throughout the year in Texas counties.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has also partnered with the Texas Education Agency to offer Walk Across Texas to youth and employees in Texas school districts.  For more information on Walk Across Texas, visit

Food Challenge

The 4-H Food Challenge is a contest that allows 4-H members to demonstrate their culinary knowledge and skills. From a set of predetermined ingredients provided, teams of 3 to 5 4-H members must develop a recipe and prepare the dish within 40 minutes. Teams then make a presentation to a judging panel, explaining the preparation steps, serving size, food safety concerns, nutrition value and cost of the dish.

  • 4-H Food Challenge Manual, 2014-2015  – PDF
  • Major Show Contest Opportunities - PDF

Educational Resources

  • Altering Recipes for Good Health – PDF
  • FightBac – Fight Foodborne Bacteria Brochure – PDF
  • MyPlate – 10 Tips to a Great Plate – PDF
  • Nutrient Needs at a Glance – PDF
  • South District 12 Video:  4-H Food Challenge – The Supply Box – link

Agent Resources

  • Food Challenge Planning Checklist – PDF
  • Food Challenge Evaluation (also available at – PDF
  • Foodie Fanatics Food Challenge Resource – PDF

There will be 4-H Food Challenge opportunities at the Major Stockshows. Youth will compete in the contest as individuals.

Healthy Lifestyles Invitational

The 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Invitational provides youth in the intermediate and senior age divisions the opportunity to participate in a competitive event and utilize the knowledge and skills gained through participation in 4-H healthy lifestyles programs. With a set-up similar to the Consumer Decision Making Contest, the healthy lifestyles invitational consists of two parts: (1) Judging – participants will be presented with a scenario and must individually rank the four products/choices based upon the situation at-hand; (2) Presentation – teams are presented with a scenario and must work together within a given amount of time to analyze the situation, develop a solution and make a team presentation to a panel of judges.

  • 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Invitational Manual – PDF
  • Universal A Scantron – PDF

2015 Contest Resources

  • Fight BAC Food Safety – PDF
  • Fads and Facts – PDF
  • Fast Food Meals – PDF
  • Food Safety On The Move – PDF
  • Home Food Safety Mythbusters – PDF
  • Nutrient Needs at a Glance – PDF
  • Seven Steps to a Heathly Home – PDF
  • Teen Safety in Cyberspace – PDF
  • Tobacco Cessation – PDF
  • What is Physical Activity? – PDF

Sample Classes from 2014 Invitational Contest

Food Show

The theme for the 2014-15 Food Show will be Bringing Texas to the Table. The 4-H Food Show gives youth the opportunity for educational and personal development and recognizes members who excel in the 4-H Food and Nutrition Project. The Food Show is an individual contest in which a 4-H member prepares a dish in one of the contest categories and presents it to a panel of judges. During the presentation and interview with the judges, 4-H members exhibit the knowledge and skills gained through the 4-H Food and Nutrition Project, such as preparation steps, nutrients found in the dish, the functions of various ingredients, personal dietary needs, healthy substitutions, and cost analysis. Click here for more information and resources available for the Food Show.

2015 State 4-H Food Show Guidelines – PDF

Nutrition Quiz Bowl

A Quiz Bowl helps 4-H members enhance and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a competitive setting. The Quiz Bowl involves teams of three or four members. Two teams compete against each other at one time, answering questions related to the subject matter with the use of an electronic buzzer system.  Click here for more information and resources available for the Nutrition Quiz Bowl.

Recipe Rally

In the 4-H Recipe Rally, intermediate and senior 4-H members are challenged with selecting, creating, and/or altering a recipe and submitting a video, via YouTube. The video should highlight the 4-H member demonstrating the preparation of the recipe while also highlighting nutrients, food safety practices, serving size and cost analysis, as well as their inspiration for selection or creation of the recipe. The theme for the 2014 contest is Breakfast.

  • 4-H Recipe Rally Overview and Guidelines – PDF
  • You Tube Instructions – PDF
  • Online Entry Form (deadline: March 1, 2014) – link

Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes

The 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes provides an opportunity for youth, volunteers and County Extension Agents interested an opportunity to work together for additional recognition at Texas 4-H Roundup. Points for participation, and additional points for contest placing, will be given for each healthy lifestyles related contest.  The county with the most points will be awarded the Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes!

  • Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes Overview – PDF

Leadership Opportunities

4-H Fuel Up To Play 60 Healthy Living Ambassador

The Texas 4-H Youth Development Program is offering youth the opportunity to serve as 4-H Fuel Up To Play 60 Healthy Living Ambassadors.

This ambassador group is replacing the current healthy lifestyles advisory board. The purpose of the ambassador program is to:

  • Promote the purpose and goals of the 4-H healthy lifestyles program through Fuel Up To Play 60;
  • Empower youth by giving them the opportunity to provide leadership to the 4-H healthy lifestyles program as it relates to Fuel Up To Play 60;
  • Equip youth to serve as a leader to implement the Fuel Up To Play 60 Program in local schools;
  • Provide educational experiences that will enable 4-H members across the state to become knowledgeable and skilled in the healthy lifestyles subject matter;
  • Coordinate events that will provide learning opportunities for the development of leadership and effective citizenship related to the healthy lifestyles projects; and
  • Help each ambassador experience personal growth and achievement, as well as be of service to others.

Requirement for ambassadors include:

  • Membership as a Texas 4-H Fuel Up To Play 60 Healthy Living Ambassador shall be open to all 4-H members regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, national origin and disability.
  • Youth must be at least 15 years old at the beginning of the 2014-15 4-H year (as of 8-31-2014).
  • Ambassadors will serve a two-year term, with terms beginning in the summer prior to the start of the 4-H year.
  • Ambassadors may serve consecutive terms but must re-apply if they wish to renew membership.
  • Ambassadors are required to participate in an ambassador training, which will take place in July of each year and include planning for the upcoming 4-H year. For 2014, the training will be held June 30-July 1in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
  • Ambassadors are expected to attend all face-to-face and online meetings as well as complete the plans and submit reports as required.
  • Any costs associated with participating in ambassador trainings and/or meetings, including travel and registration fees, are the responsibility of each individual ambassador.

4-H Fuel Up To Play 60 Healthy Living Ambassador Application – PDF

4-H Health & Safety Officer Handbook

Youth have the opportunity to serve as a health and safety officer within their 4-H club, ensuring 4-H members understand the importance of good health and safety by leading health or safety related activities. A handbook is available to assist officers in planning and recording activities.


Dr. Courtney Dodd
Assistant State Leader – Programs and Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist
4180 Highway 6
College Station, TX 77845
Phone: 979-845-6533
Fax: 979-845-6495


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