Simple Acts of Kindness

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Everyone thinks of Valentine’s day as a time to shower the ones close to them with love and presents. It’s a day for classmates to give and receive valentines, couples to trade gifts, and chocolates to be shared in offices. Although it is always nice to receive recognition for our actions, giving without the expectation of anything in return can be even more rewarding.randomactsofkindness

Doing a little extra for a friend or even a stranger can makes everyone’s day better. This week is National Random Act of Kindness Week; a week devoted to doing more good deeds in your community. Acts of kindness do not need to involve much money or time in order to be meaningful. In honor of this selfless celebration, we have compiled a list of easy things you can do to make someone’s day a little brighter. Try a few out or create your own way to celebrate!

  • Offer to babysit for parents who deserve a night out.
  • Pay for the toll of the person behind you.
  • Let someone jump ahead of you in line at the supermarket.
  • Donate clothes or canned goods to your local shelter or food pantry.
  • Let a manager know when an employee has shown you excellent customer service.
  • Call your parents, or other family members you do not get to see often.
  • Give a thank you card to your mail person.
  • Offer to cook dinner for a friend.
  • Write a letter to someone deployed.
  • Volunteer at your local senior center.
  • If possible, donate blood to a blood bank.
  • Pay for someone’s dinner at a restaurant.
  • Hold the elevator door.
  • Keep an extra umbrella at your place of work for someone in need.

Tag #DE4HealthyLiving in a social media post of your random act of kindness this week to possibly be featured on our blog or Instagram!


Market Mastery


A trip to your local Farmer’s Market in the Summer is a great way to involve the whole family in a fun and holistic healthy living activity! Delaware Farmer’s Markets sell inexpensive locally grown and in season produce as well as other market items like meats, eggs and cheeses from near by farms. As if the delicious local foods weren’t enough, many of the markets also have entertainment and activities that are fun for all ages. Music, crafts, recipe demos (shout out to UD Cooperative Extension), and there are even Kid’s Days. Click here for the Delaware Farmer’s Market Guide to find a market near you.

Delaware 4-H wants you to make the most of your market experience by following these three simple tips:

  • Know what’s in season.

When it comes to produce, looking for items that are in season will maximize the quality of the product and help minimize your cost.

Summer Seasonal Fruits

Sweet summer fruits are a great way to refresh and cool off after a hot day outside. The bright colors also make them fun to eat and to add to salads with summer vegetables.

Summer Vegetables

  • Show up early or late.

The market will be less crowded at these times. We recommend arriving at the very start of the market to ensure the best selection of items or arriving later in the market for the best prices. Check the Farmer’s Market Guide (link is above) for times.

  • Plan your recipes ahead of time.

Having recipes in mind when you head to the market will make it easier to select items. Here are some delicious in season chef-developed and kid approved summer recipes from the USDA:

Share your Farmer’s Market experience with us by posting to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #DE4HealthyLiving or #FarmDE




September is Hunger Awareness Month

hunger-awareness-month-510-x-339Did you know?

In Delaware, 1 in 8 people struggles with hunger and in our country, 16 million youth aren’t getting the proper foods they need. Hunger + no food = poor nutrition. Poor nutrition is a very serious issue in youth because they need those vital nutrients to stay healthy so that they can grow and function at their full capacity during these crucial years.

Volunteering at the Delaware food bank is a good place to help those in need. Encourage your family to sign up to volunteer at the food bank once this month. It is located in Newark. Our Up for the Challenge program focuses on teaching youth about proper nutrition so they can make smart food choices when given options. Anyone 13 and over can become a Healthy Living Ambassador to help combat issues of hunger in our state.

For those that are in need, a good way to get cheap and healthy food is to visit a local farmer’s market. Buy only produce you think your family can eat in one week and freeze the rest or plan to come back to the market next week. Produce is great because they can often be used as snacks as well as in every meal of the day. Beans are a great and healthy source of protein and when in cans, are inexpensive and have a long shelf life. Yogurt is a great and cheap breakfast and snack option that youth tend to enjoy to help get in their dairy, and adding fresh fruit to it makes it a really nice sweet treat. Freezing whole grain breads is an easy way for them to last longer.

Take this month to learn how you can help combat hunger in your state!



Through the Grape Vine…

This is Healthy Habits with Kyle Merritt and today’s topic is Grapes. Grapes, also known as “the Queen of fruits”, are a kind of berry. They have a leathery covering and a fleshy inside, similar to blueberries. With more than 8,000 varieties, grapes are the most popular fruit.  Grapes…

  • Strengthen your bonesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Reduce chance of heart disease
  • Help with your digestion system
  • Prevent exhaustion
  • Prevent Diabetes
  • Prevent cavities
  • Improve blood cholesterol
  • Prevent breast cancer
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Wow! Look at all the benefits of the grape. They are delicious, and healthy, so eat your great grapes!

1…2..3.. Help!

February is a big month for those in winter sports. Basketball is having it’s tournaments to determine the state champion, swimming and diving will have states, and wrestling will have their huge tournaments to determine the best in the region, state, and eventually nation.

Lose weight now

Time to start that diet

This week is national eating disorder awareness week, and with the end of the month quickly approaching we wanted to address wrestling’s secret.. eating disorders. It is commonly known that wrestlers on a weekly basis will either have to go up in a weight class or down, depending on where the coach wants them wrestling. If that is not bad enough, if they are over their weight class entirely they will eventually have to lose that weight and quick.

Wrestlers will eventually turn to purging or better commonly known as bulimia in order to lose the weight. Wrestlers also have a tendency to binge eat to gain weight, or to stop eating entirely to lose weight (anorexia). They have also been known to take diuretics or laxatives to clear the body of the food entirely. All of these are extremely harmful to the body, and puts wrestlers at a serious risk for heath related problems.

What isn’t being talked about is that when we develop an eating disorder, if we don’t get the help we need for it we might have that eating disorder for life. We have built an addiction, and our addiction is one that causes self harm. 4-H wishes you the best of luck in your tournaments but we want you to especially be safe, but we most of all want you to…EAT!

If you think that you or a friend may be suffering from an eating disorder click here. Or if you want more information about wrestling, weight cutting, and bulimia click here.


In a recent study it was said that 30 million people suffer from eating disorders. Women account for 20 million of that number (2/3) while men take up 10 million (1/3).

anorexiaEating disorders are “any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa)”. Basically that means the act of eating and then purging (vomiting) or abstaining from eating entirely.

Two common ones are bulimia nervosa more commonly known as bulimia, and anorexia nervosa or more commonly known as anorexia. Bulimia is the eating disorder that requires the individual to purge after they eat. By require I do mean the mental need to purge the body of the substance that they just ate entirely. Anorexia is the lack of abstaining from nutrition completely. The person will not eat or drink in order to lose weight. While in some cultures this may be considered as fasting, and is required for some religious holidays, anorexia is the act of eliminating food and drink 24/7.

While we may think we look better on the outside, what we do not see is actually what we are doing to our insides. With the lack of nutrition and water, you begin to not only lose fat but you will lose muscle as well. Your bones will eventually become weak, and brittle. You will feel fatigued, and your heart rate will slow to a dangerous rate to where heart failure is a major risk. If your body isn’t hydrated, or you haven’t had water for a long period of time you will suffer from severe hydration which will result in kidney failure. While you may think this will not happen to you, the chances that it will are extremely high.

The truth of the matter is, is that in today’s society the idea of perfection is painted across all media platforms (social media, magazines, television, movies) but perfection is always to good to be true. Most of the time those images that we see and aspire to be like are edited or entirely fake.

Just recently famous fighter Ronda Rousey came out about a photo shopped photo showing her on a late night television show, and how she was against it showing side by side photos between the real one, and the fake one. If that isn’t crazy enough, the celebrities that we aspire to be are suffering in there own way. Demi Lovato, and Ke$ha have come out and have stated that both had to be treated due to having had bulimia.

The fact of the matter is that we are all perfect in our own way. We all have our own talents that make us unique. We do not have to aspire to be perfect because we already are.

If you think that you are or a friend are suffering from an eating disorder, the best thing to due is to tell a trusting adult, or to talk to a physician. Don’t keep it inside, because if you do it might already be to late.

For more information on eating disorders click here.


Calling All Youth Bloggers!


Youth Voice Youth Choice is looking for youth, ages 13 through 19, to contribute to our blog between now and April 15th! blog-pic-b2c

We’ve got some suggestions on topics, like National Nutrition Month (March) or Alcohol Awareness Month (April), but we’d like to hear from you about any topic concerning youth and living healthy today! Even stories about something you’ve overcome are welcome!

In addition to the possibility of YOUR POST being published in our blog, we’re offering $15 Wal-Mart gift cards to the first selected 20 bloggers.

Any youth, any state, any healthy living topics! We want to hear about it!

If you’re interested, send your blog entry, along with your name, age, state, school district, phone, and email to:

Breanna Banks

VIEW THE FLYER: Youth Voice Youth Choice Blog Contest Flyer