Category Archives: youth

Food Hero’s Gardening Challenge helps kids grow with dairy and plants

Join ODNC and Food Hero with Food Hero’s Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge this spring. 38,000 free seed packets, donated by Bi-Mart, will be distributed by Food Hero to Oregon state residents as part of the program which aims to inspire kids to grow their own gardens and eat a healthy diet.

You can register to pick up a seed kit with Food Hero while supplies last. The seed packets will be available in 4 different seed kits: cool-weather vegetables, warm-weather vegetables, herb or edible flowers and flowers that attract pollinators, like bees and birds. Or you can join in with your own seeds, says Halie Cousineau, OSU Extension Food Hero state garden education coordinator.

The Food Hero Facebook page will hold weekly office hours when gardeners can ask questions, post photos and share their accomplishments, Cousineau said. Once they harvest their produce, gardeners can find more than 300 recipes using vegetables and fruits on the Food Hero website.

Children are a big part of the program. Beginning April 1, digital lessons will be released every Thursday through June 10 when school ends. The lineup includes Growing Healthy Kids with OSU Master Gardeners and a four-week lesson plan in partnership with the Oregon Bee Project. Kids will learn about how bees help make healthy food and how to identify several of Oregon’s bees.

Kids can upcycle their yogurt or milk containers and use sleeves provided by ODNC to help track the care and progress of their plants. Download yours here!

Throughout summer and into fall, participants will receive a monthly Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge email with gardening information, harvest recipes and storage tips. Challenge information will also be available in English and Spanish on the Food Hero gardening page. For more personalized interaction, participants can email challenge leaders or email or call the Master Gardeners in their area.

“We’re trying to make the program accessible to anyone, children, elders, people with special needs and the diversity of cultural populations in Oregon,” said Cousineau. “We’re encouraging people anywhere to join. We want to make a community.”

Score Big with School Breakfast!

National School Breakfast Week is a weeklong celebration of the School Breakfast Program, which provides millions of children a nutritious morning meal each school day. Milk is an important part of those balanced, nutritious breakfasts in schools, providing a rich source of protein, calcium, and other minerals to start the day. Former NFL player and Fuel Up to Play 60 Spokesperson Anthony Newman knows the importance of eating a healthy breakfast:

“Your school day is like a big football game; it takes energy,” said Newman, “you need to start the day with fuel for your body for your big game each morning.”

Even with most students attending classes from home this year, eating breakfast is an important part of the day and a great way to fuel learning and participation. 

Children who participate in school breakfast programs show decreased anxiety, less depression and less hyperactivity. A recent study showed that the breakfasts offered by these programs can improve a child’s overall nutrition by providing her/him with necessary vitamins and minerals and can reduce the risk of obesity. There is an especially big need for these programs in Oregon, since 1 in 4 children come from low-income, food insecure homes and are at risk of hunger.

Due to Covid-19, most schools are choosing to offer students grab and go meals at locations throughout Oregon. To find out more, check with your local school or school nutrition program, or visit the Oregon Department of Education’s School Meal Resource Page

Additional Resources:

IMPROVING SCHOOL MEALS FOR OREGON STUDENTS

WHAT WILL THE SCHOOL LUNCH OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?

MEET CHEF JESSICA: SERVING UP FRESH IDEAS FOR STUDENT MEALS (VIDEO)

Get Free Summer Meals for Oregon Kids and Teens

It’s summer!  And for Anthony Newman, former NFL player and Oregon Duck, that means more ways to stay healthy.  

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon has reissued a map of summer meal programs throughout the state for kids and teens from 1 to 18 years old.  Find your pickup location and enjoy free, healthy lunches all summer long. 

There’s no registration, no sign up and no charge for these meals that are often served at local schools, parks, libraries or community centers.

All meals follow USDA My Plate guidelines, to promote growth and health for kids and teens.  What a healthy and delicious activity for the summer!

To find a site near you, call 211, text “Food” to 877-877, or ask your school nutrition website for details.

Looking for more ways to stay healthy?  Check out our “Stay Healthy” series with Anthony Newman with tips on how you can stay physically and mentally active, help others and make a Food Hero Smoothie!

Get Connected with Dairy Educational Opportunities Online

In light of distance learning, spring field trips have been cancelled, and all education has moved online. But, you can still visit a farm—virtually of course. Check out these links to see Oregon dairy producers (and friends) doing what they do best- making delicious dairy products for your fridge. 


In this video, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador Jaime connects us with Darleen from Abiqua Acres: Mann’s Guernsey Dairy in Marion County shows you their beautiful Guernsey dairy cows who are milked by robots! The camera even gets a kiss from the cow named Darleen. 

Also in Marion County is Oregon 1st Alternate Dairy Princess Ambassador, Taysha, who will give you a tour of her family’s dairy. Explore cattle feed, maternity pens and feeding calves with a special appearance from the cutest barn cat. 

Next, travel to Harrold’s Dairy in Lane County to visit with Bobbi, a fourth generation dairy farmer who is introducing her dairy to 8th grade students at Coburg Community Charter School through AgLink’s Adopt a Farmer Program

You can find more educational videos for your virtual classroom on the Oregon Dairy Women’s Facebook page, where Oregon’s Dairy Princess Ambassador, Jaime, and First Alternate Dairy Princess Ambassador, Taysha, will teach you about all dairy cow breeds and cow nutrition, milk from farm to table, MyPlate nutrition, and so much more in this four part series.

You can view virtual tours for all grade levels from Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom, including a look into Rickreall Dairy’s automated calf barn, and a lesson for Jr. High students on cow nutrition

And, for more educational resources highlighting dairies across the U.S., check out Discovery Education’s new STEM curriculum.

Related Links:

Stay Home, Stay Healthy

Stay Healthy with Anthony Newman

Oregon Dairy Women Classroom Resources

Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom

Discovery Education: Caring for Cows & Nourishing Communities

Anthony Newman shares healthy tips for kids staying at home

Searching for free school meals in your area? Run out of recipe ideas? Looking for ways to exercise at home? Anthony Newman has got your back.

Anthony Newman, former NFL player and Oregon Duck, tackles health issues for kids and teens in our short video series, “Staying Healthy with Anthony Newman.”

Where to Find Free School Meals

Anthony Newman shares information on where to find free school meals in your area.  Free school meals are available to ALL kids and teens age 1-18.  Not just those in school.  No ID or registration is needed at pick up.  And they’re delicious and healthy!

For more information, visit these sites:

Full listing of school meal sites at oregonhunger.org
https://www.summerfoodoregon.org/map/

• For more information call 211 or your local school district.
https://www.211info.org/food

• List of Oregon school districts:
https://www.greatschools.org/schools/districts/Oregon/OR/

Staying Active at Home

Looking for some free and fun ways to stay active at home? Anthony shares exercise tips along with some easy ways to create your own activities at home.

Try GoNoodle and Move to Learn for more fun and free activities!

Taking Care of Yourself at Home

Self-care is an important part of staying on track while staying at home. Anthony shares information on the importance of sleeping, eating well, and how kids can establish a healthy routine during this time.

Try Oregon’s Distance Learning for All for learning resources in Oregon.

Ways to Stay Connected at Home

Feeling lonely or disconnected? Anthony provides tips on how to cultivate a positive attitude while staying safe and socially distancing.

Food Hero Smoothie Recipe

Who likes smoothies? You will after watching this video! Anthony shows you how easy it is to eat healthy at home with a recipe from Food Hero, a website chock-full of easy and nutritious recipes kids can make at home.

Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Remember to Stay Safe, Stay Smart and Stay Healthy!

RELATED LINKS:

Help Spread the Word So Oregon Kids Don’t Go Hungry

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

Be a Food Hero: Cooking With Kids (VIDEO)

Dairy Community Responding, Adjusting to COVID-19 Impacts