Tag Archive: Family

4-H Family Guide

This article will help you know what to expect at your first club meeting.

Is your family new to 4-H?  Welcome!  We are glad you chose us to help your child reach his/her fullest potential.  Here are a few basics to help you become familiar with 4-H as you begin your journey with us:

  • The 4-H year starts September 1st through August 31st.  Whatever your child’s age is on September 1st is his/her “4-H Age” and determines his/her eligibility for certain programs.
  • There are four age divisions in 4-H (you can find policies for participation based on age here):
    • Cloverbuds (ages 5-7)
    • Juniors (ages 8-10)
    • Intermediates (ages 11-13)
    • Seniors (ages 14-18)
  • Youth can participate in 4-H through a variety of methods (camps, school programs, after school programs, and clubs).  Youth can participate in all or just one of these delivery modes, or types of 4-H memberships.
  • To join a club, you will want to enroll through 4HOnline.  Many counties offer an Open House, or Kickoff night where families can preview the different types of clubs available in their community. Some clubs offer a variety of projects, while other clubs focus on a particular project (like archery or sewing) or a project area (like animal science or leadership).  Some clubs meet all year and others may only meet for six consecutive weeks (SPIN clubs- special interest clubs).  If you are not sure which club is the best fit for your family, schedule an appointment with your local UF IFAS 4-H Extension Agent.

Talk to your local 4-H Agent to decide which club best suits your family.

Preparing for your first club meeting:

  • There is no uniform for 4-H, but some clubs will order shirts for youth to wear when they go on field trips or compete in contests.
  • Clubs typically open with icebreakers, or get to know you games (especially at the beginning of the 4-H year).
  • The club business meeting lasts about 1/4 of the total club meeting and is always opened with the American Pledge and the 4-H Pledge.  Check out this video to learn the 4-H Pledge. During the business meeting, youth will give committee reports, discuss and vote on club business, and announce other 4-H opportunities.  Clubs made up of primarily Cloverbud members do not have elected officers, but encourage members to take turn leading the pledges and helping with the business meetings.
  • The first club meeting is the organizational meeting.  During this meeting, youth will plan the club calendar and elect officers.  If it is a new club, they will also select a name for the club.
  • Once the club calendar is set, about half of the club meeting time will be spent on educational activities.  This may include a guest speaker, field trip, or a hands-on activity to learn about a subject or project area.
  • Every club participates in at least one service project each year, decided on by the club members.
  • The last 1/4 of the meeting is usually spent on recreation- this can be icebreakers or team building activities.  Sometimes, it is just a time to socialize while enjoying light refreshments.

What is the role of the parent?  4-H is a family affair, offering many opportunities where both child and parent participate in common interests.  This not only strengthens the club, but strengthens family ties. When parental support is positive, the club is likely to become stronger, larger, and more active because parent volunteers help broaden the scope and reach of the club.  A few ways parents can support and strengthen the club include:

  • Arriving on time and being prepared (if working project books, make sure your child has theirs)
  • Offering to help with a club meeting or activity
  • Sign up to help with refreshments
  • Offer to share a skill or knowledge that you have by becoming a 4-H project leader

We are glad to have you as a part of our 4-H Family and look forward to getting to know yours!


Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/21/4-h-family-guide/

Is a Rabbit Right for your Family?

Rabbits are a popular small animal project- but is it a good fit for your family?

With spring in the air, you may be interested in getting a real live bunny.  There are a few things to consider before bringing a bunny into your family:

  1. First consider what purpose you have for the rabbit.  Do you want a pet, a rabbit to show, a rabbit to breed, or one for meat?  Depending on how you answer the question will depend on what breed you choose.  There are many options.  The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes around 47 different breeds.
  2. Rabbits come in various sizes, shapes, fur types, and colors.  Rabbit range from 2 to 20 pounds.  There are several fur types to consider with normal fur being most common to unique fur that require special consideration.  Satin fur is known for its luster and sheen.  Angora fur is distinctive because of its length and its woolen consistency.  Rex fur is a dense fur type, noted for its velvet softness and thickness.
  3. There are five shapes of rabbits: commercial, compact, full arch, semi-arch, and cylindrical.  The most common is the commercial shape.  This type is found most often in meat rabbits.   The compact is similar to the commercial but has a shorter, more compact body.  A rabbit that has a full arch shape is taller than they are wide and have longer limbs.  Semi-arch breeds are not as common, are pear-shaped.  The cylindrical shape is only found in only one bread, are long and slender.
  4. Rabbits have an array of color.  Some breeds are only recognized in one color and other breeds are recognized in multiple colors.  It would be helpful for you to spend time reading about the different breeds as well as spending time with breeders or others who have rabbits.  Make sure you look for healthy and lively rabbits who have glossy coats, clear, bright eyes, and clean teeth and ears.
  5. Rabbits are fun to keep buy need lots of care and daily exercise.   They need a roomy cage to in live. Do not use a cage with a wire bottom as the wire hurts their paws.  Cages should be washed out once a week with warm, soapy water and rinsed with clean water.  Rabbits are like us, they don’t like living in dirty cages.  Remove wet bedding and droppings every day.  Keep unscented wood shavings in the bottom of the cage.  They should have fresh water and hay available at all time.  Food should be put in heavy bowls so that they cannot tip them over and fed two small meals a day.  Wash their water bottle and food bowls every day.
  6. Rabbits can be a lot of fun as they are friendly and love to be stroked.  You must be a good pet owner and learn to look after your rabbits properly, they may live for up to 10 -12 years.  Caring for a rabbit will help you learn how to be responsible for a living animal and how to treat animals properly.

Check with your local 4-H office to see if there is a rabbit club for you to join.  You may choose to join the club to become more knowledgeable about rabbits before you become an owner.  You then would be able to make informed decision about the perfect breed for you and your family.  If you have a passion for rabbits, consider becoming a 4-H rabbit project leader to inspire the next generation of rabbit owners and breeders.  Contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit florida4h.org for more information.

4-H Rabbit Project Page

Online 4-H Rabbit Project Book

North Florida Fair Rabbit Show



Author: Monica Brinkley – brinkley@ufl.edu

Monica Brinkley has served as an Extension Agent since 1985 in Jackson, Calhoun and Liberty Counties. She currently is the County Extension Director, Family and Consumer Science, and 4-H Youth Development Agent.

Monica Brinkley

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/04/14/is-a-rabbit-right-for-your-family/

Family Guide to Fair Exhibits


It’s that time of year again, Fair Season! The delicious smells of the midways, the sights and sounds of carnival rides and livestock in the arenas. During Fair Season, youth throughout the state dress up with pride in their 4-H green attire and prepare for what’s to come…Fair Exhibits! Fair Exhibits can range from artwork to plants to animals and finally the epic fair booths. What is most important in all of the categories for youth and adult exhibitors is knowing:

1. What counties are allowed to participate?

2. What and how many categories you may enter?

3. Exhibit requirements.

Here, we’ll cover preparing for fair booths and animal exhibits but you can find multiple links below for the state and local fairs with more information on exhibit entries and requirements.

FAIR3Fair booths are the highlight of static displays at the fair! Organizations like 4-H use fair booths to visually communicate with potential clients and members to make them aware of what we offer. In order for this communication to be effective, you must prepare yourself a checklist. First, research the fair you want to enter and determine the deadline and registration requirements. Second, determine if you’re receiving a booth premium. If so then determine how much the fair pays out for booth space. These questions are not intended to portray you as selfish, but you will need to determine how much your club is willing to spend on supplies based on the premium could receive. Third, determine the size of your booth. Often times being outside of booth boundaries or what is allowable can be a point deficit on the scorecard so definitely research this prior to committing. Fourth, pick your theme and layout for the booth. This is also a great time to get commitments from members and parents on helping with the preparation, setup and breakdown of the booth. Delegate tasks so everyone feels like they have contributed. Fair booths can be a great way to create a sense of Belonging in your club by having all members feel like they’re part of the 4-H Family! Check out Exhibits and Displays” below for a full checklist and more information!


4-H’er talking to the judge of the Rabbit Show at Walton County Fair.

Animal Exhibits are widely known, loved, and expected at fairs. The fair gives many people the opportunity to see, learn and interact with animals they may not normally have access to. Most importantly, livestock exhibits and shows give youth the ability to gain Mastery through 4-H Project Learning which is highly experiential and teaches youth a multitude of life skills. Preparing animals for exhibit at a fair is similar, but also different from preparing other types of exhibits:

First, research the fair’s deadlines and registration. Often there are deadlines for acquiring ownership of your animals. Be sure to check for these acquisition and birth date deadlines in advance to ensure the ability participate. Second, check the vaccination and health certificate requirements for your animal and secure an appointment with a veterinarian to have this completed. Third, be on time or early to check in. Sometimes there is only one Agriculture Inspector and a long line of exhibitors. With some animals they have to do on site blood testing, so be prepared with your paperwork and be patient. Last, determine if the fair provides the food and bedding, and whether exhibitors are required to care for their animals daily. This is not only important for the nutritional well-being of your animal but also for their emotional well-being.

If you’re a fair veteran, 4-H alumni, or just someone interested in benefiting the youth of your community, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office to find out how you can become a 4-H Volunteer and share your expertise…everyone has one!  Next week, 4-H Agent Angel Granger will share her top 10 tips for showing a pig at the fair.

Helpful Links:

Florida Panhandle Fair Opportunities:


Author: Jena Brooks – brooks15@ufl.edu

Jena Brooks

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/13/family-guide-to-fair-exhibits/

Breaking Bread: Feeding Family and Friends

“Breaking bread”, or eating a meal with others, is a deeply personal way to foster a sense of belonging. Food is a social glue; it brings us together for conversation, a time to catch up, a chance to connect with loved ones, and it fills our bellies as well.

If you wish to “break bread” (with actual bread), here are some nice, tasty bites of information.bread 2

  • The hypnotic, heavenly, warm, welcoming aroma of freshly baked bread makes many of us feel that all is right with the world and provides a sense of comfort.
  • Researchers have found that the smell of baking bread triggers a positive mood that leads to a higher degree of benevolence, kindness, and concern for the welfare of others.

“Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands, and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances”. – Melissa Hill, Something from Tiffany’s

  • A fascinating thing about bread is that though it is often viewed as a “poverty fuel”, it can feel like a luxury to even the most monetarily wealthy of individuals.

“”There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread”. – Mahatma Gandhi

  • If you’re going to break bread with bread, go for healthy whole grain varieties for plenty of good-for-you minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Break bread for a healthy life.


Author: Angela Hinkle – ahinkle@ufl.edu

Angela Hinkle is the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Agent in Escambia County.

Angela Hinkle

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/01/breaking-bread-feeding-family-and-friends/

4-H Grows Family Tradition for Four Generations

“When I was growing up 50 some years ago in West Gadsden County, I had no idea that the people that were a part of my everyday life would someday chart my path for the future.”

Angel (Clark) Granger showing her steer in Gadsden County, igniting a lifelong passion for 4-H.

Angel (Clark) Granger showing her steer in Gadsden County, igniting a lifelong passion for 4-H.

I didn’t realize until recently just how deeply my roots are tied to 4-H. Not only does my family represent four generations of 4-H (with the addition of my granddaughter joining this year), but because there were people I took for granted that were absolutely engrained in Extension and 4-H.

I was the first child of Nelson and Karen Clark. I grew up on a farm raising cattle and goats. My grandmother was Ruby Scott Clark and everybody called me “Little Ruby” when I was growing up. She taught me how to string tobacco, garden, ride horses, drive a car, and how to make hoecake. My Granny’s best friend was Miss Elise Lafitte, County Home Demonstration Agent in Gadsden County during the 1950’s. She introduced my aunt, Shirley Clark, a now retired FCS Agent, to my uncle, Scott Clark. My cousin Bernard Clark was an Extension Agent in Gadsden County who is in the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame. My uncle Charles Rowan was an Ag Agent in Dixie and Pinellas Counties. If you read the chapter regarding Gadsden County in the book commemorating the 100 year Anniversary of 4-H in Florida, “Florida 4-H, A century of Youth Success”, you will see my Dad, my sons and me highlighted for our three generations of 4-H participation.

Growing up, I never tried to figure out what Extension was or why we had 4-H, it was just always there. My 4-H Agent growing up was Dickie Bentley. She made monthly visits to Greensboro Elementary School to teach us about record books and 4-H projects. I learned about veterinary science, public speaking, and how to give a demonstration. I still have every ribbon and pin I earned.

I left high school in the eleventh grade to help save the family farm from foreclosure. I soon married my husband Anthony and we moved to Tallahassee to work. In 1985 we bought 10 acres from my Dad, and we moved back home. In 1988 my second child, Cody was born. From the time they were old enough to tote a bucket, my husband and I worked the farm with my dad and taught our sons the value of life on the farm and family traditions.

I have a 4-H Exhibitor Card that was my Dad’s for ears of corn he entered as a 4-H Exhibit, as well as pictures of him showing cattle as a

Angel still has her father's 4-H exhibit card for corn he grew and exhibited at the fair. circa 1956

Angel still has her father’s 4-H exhibit card for corn he grew and exhibited at the fair. circa 1956

4-Her. He made sure that I had those same opportunities in 4-H. He bought steers, hogs and feed for me to show as a child, and later also for my oldest son Cole. He and proudly watched Cole work with and show his first steer in 1994.

Sadly, I lost my Dad three months later. He was only 54 and had spent his whole life trying to keep our farm going. I watched my Dad struggle every day, working as a barber, a school bus driver, and a farmer to make ends meet. He bought cheap cattle, made poor decisions regarding crops, nearly lost everything to bankruptcy and soybean disaster, but he never gave up. I vowed the day I buried my Dad that I was going to find a way to help other people like my Dad, I just never dreamed it would lead me into Extension.

Angel's sons, Cole and Cody Granger, also grew up in the 4-H family tradition and reply on many of the skills they learned in 4-H in their jobs as civil engineers.

Angel’s sons, Cole and Cody Granger, also grew up in the 4-H family tradition and reply on many of the skills they learned in 4-H in their jobs as civil engineers.

After dad’s death, we continued what he started by keeping the boys in 4-H. I became the livestock club leader. My husband also volunteered to keep our boys active in 4-H showing cattle, hogs, and horses, and competing in county events until they both graduated high school. Both of my sons will tell you that 4-H played a huge role in making them the men they are today. They were part of clubs that had inclusive environments, they had opportunities to meet new people and were both able to use the skills they mastered to be successful in not only their college careers, but as professional engineers today.

After my sons finished high school and started college, I decided it was time to finish my education as well. Both of my sons graduated with degrees in Civil Engineering and I graduated with a degree in Agriculture with Emphasis in Animal Science. I had dreams of

Nelson Clark showing a steer, circa late 1940's/early 1950s

Nelson Clark showing a steer, circa late 1940’s/early 1950s

becoming an Extension Agent and working with farmers and families to help them make good decisions and have access to resources. After two years, I was hired as the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Jackson County (ironically my Granny was born and raised in Bascom, a small town in Jackson County). After a successful 32-year career with the Florida Department of State, I set out on another exciting 4-H journey. Every day I strive to honor the memory of my Dad (who would have been 76 years old this month), my Granny, and my other family members who have been part of the legacy of Extension. Most importantly, I strive to make a difference in a young person’s life just like my 4-H Agent did.

Are you part of a 4-H family tradition?  If not, consider starting one today.  4-H offers a broad spectrum of projects and activities to serve a variety of interests, skills, and knowledge.  Contact your local UF IFAS Extension office or visit http://florida4h.org to enroll as a youth member or adult volunteer!




Author: amgranger – amgranger@ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/03/18/4-h-grows-family-tradition-for-four-generations/

Family Friendly Ideas to Ring in the New Year

Enjoy a high-energy game of exercise bingo as you race other teams to see who can win! This game is available at your local extension office.

Enjoy a high-energy game of exercise bingo as you race other teams to see who can win! This game is available at your local extension office.

The New Year is upon us, and it is so fun to celebrate its coming with our families.  Do you have a favorite New Year’s Tradition? If not, there is still time to plan one for this year!  Here are a few fun and easy ideas to inspire you:

  • New Year’s Eve Bonfire– roast hotdogs and marshmallows and enjoy hot chocolate by the fire.  More family friendly campfire recipes
  • Game Tournament– set up a tournament of games. You can play Minute to Win-It Style games, board games, or even electronic/video games.   Each hour until midnight, let a family member choose their favorite game to play.
  • Balloon Countdown– You will need a balloon for each hour of the countdown, depending on when you start. I recommend starting at 6PM, so you would need six balloons. Place a slip of paper with a craft, game or activity written on it. Place a slip in each balloon, then blow up the balloons and label each one with a number, representing each hour in the countdown until midnight. For example, at 6PM, have a family member pop the balloon with the number six on it, and then the family would do the activity listed on the slip of paper. Continue to pop balloons until midnight! Some of the activities you might include are: make paper hats, write down New Year’s Resolutions, make noisemakers, enjoy fireworks, etc.
  • Progressive Hors d ’Oeuvres– this sounds fancy, but is really simple. Just prepare your family’s favorite snacks. Each hour, enjoy a different snack until midnight.
  • Family Movie Night is another inexpensive favorite.  Make homemade pizza or pop popcorn and enjoy a night in with your family.
  • Fireworks can also be a fun activity, but be sure to read our tips on firework safety beforehand.
  • Balloon Drop– a nice alternative to fireworks. Use masking tape to tape together 2 lengths of netting.  Extend the tape to make a “rip cord.”  Fill with balloons and confetti and tape to the ceiling (use painter’s tape so you do not damage the paint).  At the stroke of midnight, pull on the rip cord and enjoy a cascade of celebratory balloons and confetti!
  • And finally, you can go all in and recreate your favorite game shows.  Imagine win-lose-or draw, family feud, the price is right…the possibilities are endless.

Do you have a favorite family New Year’s Eve tradition? If so, share in the comments!  We want to thank you for another great year in 4-H! If you are not currently a 4-H member or volunteer, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office for more information, or visit http://florida4h.org for more information.


Author: Whitney Cherry – cherryw@ufl.edu

Whitney Cherry is a 4-H Extension Agent in the NW District.

Whitney Cherry

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/12/25/family-friendly-ideas-to-ring-in-the-new-year/

Art and Plants Come Together at the “Art & Garden Fall Family Festival”

Art and Plants Come Together at the “Art & Garden Fall Family Festival”

The University of Florida/IFAS presents Art & Garden Fall Family Festival, October 3, at the North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC), Quincy Campus. Join us that day and discover creative ways to explore visual art and the art of gardening through demonstrations and fun activities for the whole family. Speak with experts about all your gardening questions or purchase unusual, hard-to-find, top-performing plants for our area. Take a tour of the Gardens or a trolley ride highlighting fruits and nuts that can be grown in our area. Locally grown produce and garden plants as well as arts and crafts will be for sale along with food and refreshments. Children’s arts and crafts activities will take place in a huge “Kid Zone” located in a shaded, garden area.gary knox at festival

The Art & Garden Fall Festival is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 3.

The festival takes place in Gardens of the Big Bend, located in Quincy at I-10 Exit 181, just 1/8 mile north on Pat Thomas Highway (SR 267). The Gardens are located on the campus of University of Florida/IFAS, North Florida Research and Education Center, off Pat Thomas Parkway, SR 267 at 155 Research Road, Quincy, FL. Located just north of I-10 Exit 181, 3 miles south of Quincy.

Presented by the University of Florida/IFAS, North Florida Research and Education Center in collaboration with the Gadsden Arts Center, Gardening Friends of the Big Bend, the Quincy Garden Club and other area garden and arts organizations.

For more information: http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/art-and-garden/ or 850-875-7100.



Author: Gary Knox – gwknox@ufl.edu

Gary Knox is an Extension Specialist and Professor of Environmental Horticulture with the University of Florida at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy. Dr. Knox’s research interests focus on evaluating species and cultivars of woody plants for their invasive potential as well as for ornamental characteristics. In addition to research plantings, Dr. Knox is working with a nonprofit volunteer group to develop “Gardens of the Big Bend,” a series of botanical, teaching and evaluation gardens at the Center.

Gary Knox

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/09/28/art-and-plants-come-together-at-the-art-garden-fall-family-festival/

Is Your Family Immunized?


Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in worldwide.

Make sure that your family and friends are up-to-date on their immunizations. With children enrolling in or returning to school, older students entering college, and adults and the health care community preparing for the upcoming flu season, this is a particularly good time to focus community attention on the value of immunization.

Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that once were common worldwide. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that once routinely killed or maimed tens of thousands of infants, children and adults.

The viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist and can infect people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctors’ visits, hospitalizations, and premature deaths. (Sick children also can cause parents to lose time from work.)

Now, suppose you could make your child safe from some of the deadliest diseases in history and suppose that, at the same time, you also could help protect your neighbors’ children and other children around the country from the same diseases.  Finally, suppose you could actually help to rid the world of some of these diseases that have been crippling and killing children for centuries.

You can do all of these things with one of the easiest and, yet, most powerful health tools ever developed. You can make sure your children get their shots.

There are 12 potentially serious diseases that vaccines protect against:

  • Diphtheria,
  • Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio
  • Rubella (German Measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

At least one shot is needed for each of these diseases, and for some of them, several doses are required for the best protection.

For more information on immunizations, call your local Health Department or contact your child’s pediatrician. You also may visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html.



Author: Elizabeth – gorimani@ufl.edu

FCS faculty with University of Florida/IFAS Extension in Gadsden County


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/09/06/is-your-family-immunized/

24-Hours of Family Friendly Campfire Recipies

4-H Volunteers cook s'mores over the campfire at Camp Timpoochee

4-H Volunteers cook s ‘mores over the campfire at Camp Timpoochee

For many families, summer is synonymous with camping. Whether you are at 4-H Camp, a family camping trip, or a stay-at-home-vacation, cooking over the campfire is a fun (and yummy) activity that the whole family can enjoy. In support of the 4-H initiative for Healthy Living, we have selected 24-hours’ worth of delicious and nutritious food that your family can enjoy over your next campfire.

Breakfast Camporitos– this is a campfire version of breakfast burritos. Dice and sauté the veggies of your choice (we recommend onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and/or potatoes). Place sautéed veggies in a bowl for later. Next, scramble your eggs. To assemble, spoon veggies and eggs onto a tortilla, then sprinkle with cheese. You can add a bit of salsa if preferred. Wrap your tortilla burrito style, then wrap the entire burrito in foil. Camporritos can be prepared and assembled in advance, and stored in a cooler until breakfast time. To serve, place the foil packets over the campfire for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the burritos are thoroughly heated through. Serve with seasonal fruit and orange juice or milk.

Campfire Calzones (for lunch or dinner)- use store-bought pizza dough or your favorite recipe. On a 2-foot section of aluminum foil, roll out a portion of pizza dough into a circle the size of a paper plate. Next, spoon on some tomato or marinara sauce, sprinkle with basil and oregano. Working on just one half of the circle, sprinkle on 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese and add your favorite pizza toppings (we recommend pepperoni or ham, spinach, olives, and mushrooms).   Fold the half of the dough without toppings over, and crimp the edges tightly, next fold over the aluminum foil, creating an envelope and crimp the foil together securely to make a foil packet. Place your packet over the grate or coals of your campfire. Bake your calzone 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on the temperature of your fire.

Campfire Veggie Dip (a tasty snack)- for this recipe, you will need a large, empty can that has been washed out. In the clean can, layer the following ingredients: Black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, fat free refried beans, and fresh cilantro. Place the can on the grate over your campfire and allow the contents to heat up. Once the cheese is melted and heated through, remove the can. Wrap the can with a festive bandana and serve the dip with carrots, bell pepper, broccoli, celery, or tomatoes.

Campfire Chili and Corn Bread in a Jar (for lunch or dinner)- in a clean mason jar, ladle a cup or two of your favorite chili. On top of the chili, place about 1/3 cup of your favorite cornbread dough (made from scratch or use a mix). You can screw on the jar lids to make the chili easier to transport. Place your jars over the campfire and allow them to back for 30-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean. By then, your chili should be thoroughly heated through. If you prefer, you can assemble this recipe in a large Dutch oven, rather than in individual jars.

Desert Campfire Cones– Stuff a waffle cone or bowl (not the regular sugar cones) with diced fresh strawberries and bananas, along with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, or even peanut butter chips. Wrap your cone or bowl with aluminum foil, and place over the grate of the campfire. Rotate the foil packet every 1-2 minutes. After 5-7 minutes, your cone should be ready to eat. If you are camping in the fall, try a variation of this technique with diced apples and caramel sauce.

To learn more about the Florida 4-H Program and our Healthy Living Initiative, visit http://florida4h.org.  If you are interested in volunteering or donating to 4-H, contact Heather Kent at hckent@ufl.edu.


Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/07/16/24-hours-of-family-friendly-campfire-recipies/

Nutrition Program Encourages Healthy, Budget-Friendly Family Meals

Parents and guardians across America work hard everyday to put food in the mouths of their families.  We all have to make choices in the foods we eat and provide for our children.  This process of planning, shopping, and preparing healthy meals is challenging, but especially for those that have limited income and resources.  These families that struggle for food security put themselves at risk for a host of nutrition-related chronic diseases including obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.


EFNEP teaches families how to shop for healthy foods, plan and cook meals, save money on food purchases, and incorporate physical activity into their lives.

Over 26% of Leon County’s population is living below the poverty level, which is much higher than the 16.5% of Florida’s total population.  In addition, a relationship between income level and overweight status has been established.  Of the adults in our county that make less than $ 25,000 per year, over 70% of them are overweight or obese.  These are scary statistics that bring the problems of poor nutrition and limited-income to light.

Having access to nutritious food is a good first step toward putting healthy meals on the family’s table.  Surprisingly, only 77% of eligible Floridians in 2010 asked for and received assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Sadly, it seems that a very large number of eligible Floridians are not getting the help that they need to feed their families.

How can parents and caregivers make the most of their food budget and make healthier choices when planning, shopping, and preparing meals?  This is where nutrition education can play a key role to ultimately improve the diet and health of the total family.  The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is offered in over 10 counties in Florida, including Leon County, and is designed to empower families to practice and adopt positive nutrition and lifestyle behaviors.  Classes are free and consist of a series of 8 interactive lessons that teach adult participants how to shop for healthy foods, plan and cook meals, save money on food purchases, and incorporate physical activity into their lives.

Classes are offered throughout the county at various community sites.  If you are interested in starting a class with your group, church, or worksite, or to find out more information about EFNEP, contact Amy Mullins, Registered Dietitian and Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at UF IFAS Leon County Extension, amymullins@ufl.edu or 850-606-5203.  Learn more about SNAP eligibility and benefits by visiting http://www.fns.usda.gov/

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Author: amymullins – amymullins@ufl.edu

Amy Mullins is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent respnsible for coordinating the Adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Leon County. Amy is a Registered Dietitian and a graduate of The University of Florida and Florida State University.


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/05/13/nutrition-program-encourages-healthy-budget-friendly-family-meals/

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