New Year Nutrition

With the new year fast approaching, it is important to set positive goals for yourself to achieve as 2018 begins. Here are some quick and simple nutrition tips and goals to have as new years resolutions to start off a new year with healthy nutrition and yummy foods.NewYearNutritionArticle

  • Eat breakfast everyday! Your first meal can help to get the body energized in the morning. Include important nutrients in breakfast that might be missed later in the day. Carbohydrates are going to provide that good boost of energy. Fiber in breakfast, like oatmeal or cereal, helps to eliminate cholesterol and keep you feeling full until lunch. Calcium and vitamin D rich foods in breakfast, like milk and yogurt, help to build strong bones and a strong immune system. If you are in a rush, grab a quick on-the-go breakfast like a granola bar or fresh fruit.
  • Read the labels! Food labels provide us with a wealth of information about a product. Nutrient contents and even a full list of all the ingredients. Checking food labels for key percentages or ingredients is a simple way to become more mindful of the products you consume. Check for the magic number of 10%. If an item has more than 10% of healthy nutrients like fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium or iron, it is a good source of nutrients; if an item has more than 10% of nutrients like saturated fat, sodium, or cholesterol it may not be the most healthy item.
  • Drink more water! Water helps to keep the body hydrated and a hydrated body can perform all of its necessary functions much more easily. Water aids in digestion and keeps skin looking young and glowing. Try carrying a water bottle around with you. Bottles with cool designs or shapes can make it more personal to carry with you and having it there will force you to take more sips. 

Adopting simple and basic nutrition techniques is a great way to start establishing healthy habits!


Disguise your Fries

Sweet potatoes are a power packed functional food that can be used to replace the standard potato in recipes for a bright and sweet kick. 

They are high in Vitamins B6, C, A and D which all help to support a healthy body. They are also anti-inflammatory and contain minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. These nutrient dense tubers help our immune systems, bones and teeth, eyes, muscles, blood, heart, and even help to give us natural energy and stress reducing effects!

Try this easy and fun Sweet Potato Fritter recipe with eggs on top for breakfast or as a snack with a Siracha Mayo dipping sauce! Yum!

Sweet Potato Fritters

  • 1 medium sweet potato (grated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oilfritters
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Whisk egg in medium bowl and then add grated sweet potato, olive oil and salt & pepper.  Mix to coat the sweet potato. Add coconut oil to a skillet and heat. Ball up 1 large tablespoon of sweet potato mixture and place in skillet using a wooden spoon or spatula to flatten ball to a patty shape. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. 


Fire Safety and Prevention

As we all know, summer is a time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. Although I know everyone deserves a break from responsibility, it is important for the whole family to remember to keep up with easy actions to keep summertime fun safe. 4-H is here to remind you of a few key steps to make sure your home and family are prepared for the dangers of a possible house fire. The most frequent cause of house fires are cooking fires. Remember to be attentive to food, and remember to put a lid on grease fires, never water. Another common cause of house fires are dryer fires. Do not forget to clean the lint trap after every use, and frequently check the dryer vent area for buildup.

FireSafetyPic2It is best to have an up to date plan if the worst happens, and there is a fire in your home. Have all family members practice a fire drill twice a year. Everyone should be comfortable executing the plan at night and during the day. During the drill, make sure everyone has two different exit paths out of the home, and that all doors are shut behind them in order to stop the spread of fire. Lastly, remember to never go back into a burning building. We hope you use these tips to have a safe and fun-filled end to the summer.

Written by Health Rocks Program Coordinator, Mariah Gillespie


Healthy Food Choices – Healthy New Year!

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released a collection of tips on how to improve your health in the new year! There is no better time then the present to improve your health. Let’s take a look at one of them.

Make Healthy Food Choices

This includes having a balanced diet. MyPlate is a helpful way to remember how much of each food group that you should eat.

About half of your daily intake of food should be fruit and vegetables, the protein food group should be a bit less than 1/4 of what you eat each day. has a helpful calculator on their website if you want to know how much food that equates to. For example, if you have a 2,000 calorie diet, then you should be eating about 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. The website has tools for all different ages, and you can even download a checklist of how much you have eaten!

The CDC also recommends a lower intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely stop eating some of your favorite foods that have a lot of these nutrients (such as chocolate), but you should have small portions and only eat them once in a while. You can also try healthier versions of those foods, like cooking with low fat cheeses.

You can find the Healthy New Year article at the CDC website.

Fall into Health

autumn-wallpapers_063027581_28As the weather gets colder, don’t let your mind and body do the same. We all experience that weird shift in energy when the seasons change. Don’t let it drag you down but rather, see it as a chance to start anew with the new season.

Three ways we love to do this are:

  1. Exercise! Regular physical activity helps to balance out both the mind and the body! When your hormones are in balance, you will have more energy when awake and sleep better at night. Your appetite will increase and so will your mood!
  2. Food! Eating properly is especially important during the changing seasons. As weather changes, our bodies are more susceptible to common illnesses like the cold. Pay attention to what you are putting into your body so that you can have all those vital nutrients to keep your immune system going strong.
  3. Relax! Taking time for yourself to relax and appreciate all your hard work is so important. As we start to experience darker and colder nights, cuddle up with a good book on the couch and a warm cup of tea, or take a nice long warm bath with essential oils. You will feel the difference immediately.

Taking care of yourself is one of the most important lessons we have to learn in life.

Why not start now?

What a Peach!

This is Healthy Habits with Kyle Merritt and today’s healthy topic is peaches. The peach is a member of the rose family. There are two main kinds of peaches, clingstone and freestone. A large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. 


  • Sources of Vitamins A and C
  • Rich in Potassium, Fluoride, and Iron
  • Good for digestion
  • Reduce hair loss
  • Prevent cancer
  • Produce healthy eyes
  • Improve skin
  • Low in fat
  • Delicious

Wow! Look at all of the benefits of the peach! They are super powerful and can make an impact if you choose to eat them. Try them baked with honey for a delicious summer treat. Enjoy your super peaches!