First Lady and 4-H teach ways to get healthy

Stop by the 4-H Foods Exhibit at the fair and see how our 4-H foods superintendents, Twilla Brown and Lori Queen, are highlighting the nationwide Let’s Move! campaign, started by First Lady Michelle Obama. As she stated, “In the end, as first lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me. This is a passion. This is my mission. I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition.”

It’s an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. Let’s Move! will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that will engage every sector impacting the health of children and will provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better and get healthy.

The four pillars of the first lady’s Let’s Move! campaign are:

• Empowering parents and caregivers.

• Providing healthy food in schools.

• Improving access to healthy, affordable foods.

• Increasing physical activity.

It’s going to take all of us — governors, mayors, doctors, nurses, businesses, non-profits, educators, parents — to tackle the challenge once and for all, so “Let’s Move” to end the epidemic of childhood obesity together.

As you view the 4-H Foods exhibit in Building 21 North, pay close attention to the two new foods classes that 4-H’ers can enter: the 100 percent Whole Grain Food (the exhibit must include whole grains only) and the Modified Food (food must be modified from the original recipe to nutritionally enhance the food product). Also, take time to stop by the Let’s Move display, pick up a pledge and enter to win a Let’s Move T-shirt, provided by a mini-grant from LiveWell Lawrence.

I hope by now you’ve taken a few minutes to go onto the Let’s Move website at and see everything that is being featured. One of my faves is the Let’s Cook section under the “Eat Healthy” tab. In this section, chefs from across the country visit the White House kitchen to create nutritious and affordable menu plans for busy families. With one shopping list, a little preparation and dinner recipes to take you through the week, Let’s Cook makes it easier to eat healthy at home.

Here’s one of the menus that was provided by Chef Marvin Woods, cookbook author and TV chef. Go on the website to view the video of him offering cooking tips on the week’s menu.

Turkey Meatloaf

3/4 pound ground turkey

3/4 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 celery stalks, chopped

1/4 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place turkey in large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, add the milk and oats. Pour the egg mixture into the meat mixture and combine. Add celery, onions, garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, season with salt and pepper combine thoroughly. Form into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Basil and Ricotta

1/2 pound whole wheat penne pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 medium onion minced

1/4 cup red peppers medium chop

1/4 cup button mushroom

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 cup ricotta

1/2 tablespoon basil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup broccoli florets

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and pasta. Cook penne until al dente

(to the bite). In the interim, using a small saute pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes without color. Add the mushrooms and saute stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes or until mushrooms start to become soft. Set aside. Using a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese with basil and lemon juice. Just before pasta is finished cooking add broccoli to the water for 1 to 2 minutes. When broccoli and pasta are done drain well, add cheese mixture and toss well to combine.

The cost of this full meal is $2.48 per person or $9.90 total cost.