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News, Notes & Updates

The New York State (NYS) 4-H Healthy Living program engages youth and families through hands-on educational activities that promote a culture of health and well-being within a positive youth development framework. Rooted in the ecological model of Urie Bronfenbrenner, our Healthy Living program is a holistic one that emphasizes nutrition and fitness, social-emotional wellness, and prevention of injury. Choose Health is an initiative of the Cornell Cooperative Extension and NYS 4-H, with a primary focus on healthy eating and active living among youth, families, and communities.


Quick and Tasty Recipes for Healthy Youth and Families!
NYS 4-H Healthy Food Guidelines: Making Healthy Choices Easier! 

Signature Programs and Resources

Curriculum: Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness (CHFFF): Wendy Wolfe, Cornell University (8-12 year olds)

This is a newly developed FNEC curriculum aimed at 8-12 year olds that targets those behaviors research shows to be most important for preventing childhood obesity and chronic disease. It also supports the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA’s MyPlate initiative. The curriculum uses experiential learning to teach healthy eating and active play, and was written using the “4 A” dialogue approach for more effective retention and application of information and skills.

Teen Leader Program: 4-H Choose Health Action Teens (4-H CHAT) 

In 4-H CHAT, teens are recruited and trained to help teach our Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness (CHFFF) curriculum to younger youth in after-school programs, summer camps and other settings. This initiative is the result of a collaboration between Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program and Cornell’s Division of Nutritional Sciences. The program integrates youth civic engagement with efforts to encourage healthy lifestyles by engaging teens in teaching healthy eating and active living to younger youth.  

For Club Environments in Particular: 4-H Club Choose Health Officers*

Choose Health Officers highlight the the 4th H in 4-H, Health: We pledgemy health to better living) by instituting roll calls tied to an activity, issuing an activity challenge for members with tips on how to reach a healthy activity goal by the next meeting, helping the recreation leader with active games and promoting healthy snacks at club meetings. This effort is supported by 4-H professionals' training via a live and recorded webinar, leader and officer training materials, and research-based and tested evaluation methods. *We are working to revise this resource for the 2017-18 program year. 


Programs, Curricula, Activities
Reliable Websites for Health Information


From our partners at Act for Youth Center for Excellence, this toolkit is highly recommended for any/all youth work. This toolkit and affiliated curriculum (PYD 101) was developed in partnership with the Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team.

Adolescent Development Toolkit

This toolkit presents selected web-based resources that explain and describe adolescent development. These resources were assembled by the Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team, a collaboration of Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York State 4-H Youth Development, and external stakeholders, with two goals in mind: to inform and educate youth work professionals, and to provide material that can be used to educate other community groups and sectors.

Positive Youth Development 101 (PYD 101)

The Positive Youth Development 101 curriculum offers an orientation to the youth development approach for professionals new to the field of youth work. Use this free curriculum to provide professional development to new youth workers, supervisors and administrators, funders, and community volunteers.

The 4-H Learning Experience (NIFA 4-H): A Framework for Learning and Teaching in 4-H


Reliable Websites for Health Information
Program Resources
Social-Emotional Wellness



Founded in 1999, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) is a public health practice and resource center on health promotion for people with disability. NCHPAD seeks to help people with disability and other chronic health conditions achieve health benefits through increased participation in all types of physical and social activities, including fitness and aquatic activities, recreational and sports programs, adaptive equipment usage, and more. NCHPAD actively works to create healthy equity for people with disability by providing individualized information, referral and consultation services to people with disability, families, caregivers, policymakers, community members, health care practitioners and public health professionals through an expansive array of web-based materials and health communication endeavors. NCHPAD is creating local level sustainability and inclusion through Inclusive Health Coalitions across the United States that promote community and individual behavior change focusing on leadership and planning strategies which support community health inclusion. 

Sample Resources:

"For Educators" 
Adaptive Sports


The campaign supports the implementation of guidelines and programming to empower people with disability to lead healthy, active lifestyles. Commit to Inclusion supports the implementation of the Guidelines for Disability Inclusion to assist in the updating of community health program and policies to be inclusive of the needs of people with disability. Commit to Inclusion supports the establishment of programming like I Can Do it, You Can Do It! (ICDI) to help facilitate access and opportunities for children and adults with disability to be healthy and active.

9 Guidelines for Disability Inclusion
I Can Do It, You Can Do It! (ICDI)


(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Across the nation, gaps in health are large, persistent and increasing. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. It acknowledges that it's hard to be healthy without access to good jobs, homes and schools. It requires concerted effort to increase opportunities to be healthier for everyone - especially those whose obstacles are greatest.