Wisconsin 4-H teen leaders shared how to prepare healthy meals on a budget through the 4-H Food Smart Families Shopping Experience. Nearly 600 teens across the country, including over 30 in Wisconsin, are teaching healthy behaviors through UnitedHealthcare/4-H partnership
MILWAUKEE – UnitedHealthcare and the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program are fighting hunger and food insecurity by promoting budgeting and nutrition education through the 4-H Food Smart Families program.
Led by four Wisconsin 4-H teen leaders, over 500 community members participated in the 4-H Food Smart Families Shopping Experience at the Wisconsin State Fair on Tuesday, and learned tips for buying and cooking nutritious food. 4-H Food Smart Families Shopping Experience is a mock grocery store to teach participants about healthy food choices and budgeting.
“Engaging teens to become active, engaged health leaders in the community is a key component of this program, and creates the opportunity for greater individual and community impact,” said Dr. JulieAnn Stawicki, University of Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development Healthy Living Specialist. “Our partnership with UnitedHealthcare is helping drive healthier behaviors everyday.”
Teens as teachers is a key component of 4-H Food Smart Families. To date, nearly 600 teens across the country, including over 30 in Wisconsin, are engaged and educating others about the importance of eating vegetables and fruit; drinking water; choosing healthier snacks; eating breakfast; teaching their families how to buy and prepare healthier, affordable foods on a budget; and practicing food-safety principles for food preparation and preservation.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with 4-H to help kids live healthier lives and foster better health and well-being among our families and communities,” said Pam Stahl, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin.
Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has provided nearly $4 million to support 4-H programs in 13 states including its Eat4-Health program, which reached 230,000 young people and families through a campaign that trained thousands of 4-H youth health ambassadors to promote healthy lifestyles in their communities.
About Wisconsin 4-H
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization; in Wisconsin, more than 150,000 youth in urban, suburban and rural settings are involved with 4-H and other UW-Extension youth programs. Youth from five-year kindergarten to one year past high school can learn important life skills like leadership, teamwork, critical thinking and communication to help prepare them for successful futures – and they do it while engaging in fun, hands-on 4-H activities! Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development’s nearly 17,000 adult volunteers serve as mentors and role models for 4-H’ers. They help provide a safe, interactive place for youth to take risks, practice their independence and master new skills. And adults who volunteer for 4-H take a lot away from their experiences – volunteers learn and strengthen skills that help them in the workplace and become better connected to their communities.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.