Healthy living project ideas for the county fair: Part 2

Spring is here, which means youth are getting ready to start working on summer fair projects. This article explores ways to incorporate healthy living projects in to county fairs.

Many county fairs have still exhibits or a home arts section in their fair book. According to Michigan State University Extension, this gives youth the opportunity to exhibit projects that are smaller and non-living. Examples of areas include crafts, arts, sewing, gardening, food preservation, photography, cooking and educational projects.

Part one in this series of articles explored educational projects. This article will explore other ways youth can exhibit healthy living type projects at the fair.

Some fairs have demonstration classes where youth can demonstrate and get judged on how well they demonstrated. This is a great way for youth to build communication and public speaking skills. Healthy living ideas can be used as a topic for youth demonstrations.

  • Youth could do a cooking demonstration on healthy snack ideas that kids can do on their own. This shows independence and responsibility as well as incorporating fun and education.
  • Youth could demonstrate planning a healthy meal including a detailed list of ingredients and the 4-H member could then make the meal.
  • Have a demonstration garden close to the building and teach youth about planning a garden and healthy foods that come from a garden.

In the foods section of the fair, there are lots of different ways youth can exhibit a project related to nutrition and healthy foods.

  • In the baking section, youth can choose a recipe using healthy alternatives to oil and butter such as applesauce or Greek yogurt.
  • In the canning and preserving section, youth can preserve and can vegetables and fruit. They can use low sugar options for jams and jellies. Youth can also explore dehydration and display some of the food that they dehydrate.

Another way for youth to exhibit healthy living projects as the fair is through the gardening section. Youth can grow a garden at home and bring in home grown fruit and vegetables to display with information about the nutritional facts about their produce. Another idea is to create a display called “seed to feed.” Plant buckets of ingredients, then harvest and process, and have a taste test of jams, pickles, salsa and tomato sauce made from the produce grown.

Part three in this series explores safety and physical fitness as areas to exhibit projects at the county fair.

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