Fun ways to get fit






Do you want more success in growing vegetables and fruits? Both beginning and experienced growers will benefit from the program "How Does Your Garden Grow: Learn Vegetable and Fruit Skills," which will be 7 p.m. Monday in the Grandstands Meeting Room on the fairgrounds in Garden City.

David Coltrain, Finney County agent, will present the program. He grew vegetables for more than 20 years on a commercial operation consisting of up to 50 acres of vegetables. "Experience and expertise with guidelines for more successful vegetable and fruit gardening will be offered at this meeting," Coltrain said.

The program is free, but please pre-register by calling the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670. A minimum of 10 pre-registrations are required by Friday to facilitate meeting room setup and materials required.

Tree growing tips

Everyone with an interest in growing trees effectively is invited to attend "Tips for Growing Trees Successfully" at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in the Grandstands Meeting Room on the fairgrounds in Garden City.

David Coltrain, Finney County Extension agent, will present the program. Topics include: Do's and Don'ts of Tree Planting, Planning, Selection, Planting, Fertilization, Staking, Environmental Stress, Watering, Pruning and Pest Control. Bring your questions and get them answered.

The program is free, but please pre-register by calling the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670. A minimum of 10 pre-registrations is required by March 19 to facilitate meeting room setup and materials required.

Kansas State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to a physical, vision or hearing disability, call David Coltrain at 272-3670 or email

Walk Kansas

Walk Kansas is an eight-week, team-based walking challenge that leads to a healthier life by being more physically active, making better nutrition choices and dealing with stress more effectively. The program is March 16 to May 10. Gather six people, form a team (including yourself with neighbors, co-workers, family members and friends) and set up a goal for the eight-week challenge.

Anyone can do it, you just need to track minutes of physical activity and food choices. The physical activity can be done any time of the day, and you do not have to go to a specific location.

It is a fun, motivational, inspirational and friendly competition. Join this program and be more active with friends and family, make better nutrition choices and walk away your stress.

How does Walk Kansas work? Three challenges are offered. Challenge One is the distance across the state and would require each member to reach the minimum guidelines for physical activity, 150 minutes per week. To reach Challenge Two, the team must go across and back, or five hours per week for each participant. Challenge Three takes the team 1,200 miles around the perimeter of the state, a six-hour-per-week goal for each person.

New in 2014 is the ability to show each "move of the week" on Also, there is a Walk Kansas Photo challenge. Photos can be submitted anytime between now and May 1. Information is posted on Walk Kansas website.

Information about this program is available from the K-State Research & Extension — Finney County office, 501 S. Ninth St.

Team captain registration packets include program guidelines, forms to sign and return, a daily log and more. T-shirts are available for purchase. Submit your registration materials before the deadline.

Nutrient-dense foods

A healthy eating pattern focuses on nutrient-dense foods — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds that are prepared without added solid fats, sugars, starches and sodium. Combined into an eating pattern, these foods can provide a full range of essential nutrients and minerals. Drink water instead of sugary beverages, or beverages without excessive calories. Oils contained in seafood, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils added to foods also have essential nutrients.

Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Adults should have at least five servings daily. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet also can lower your blood pressure.

Knowledge at Noon

Finney County Extension Knowledge At Noon program "Resizing for Living" will be presented by Carol Ann Crouch, Scott County family and consumer sciences agent, at 12:05 p.m. Thursday at the Finney County Public Library, 605 E. Walnut St.

Resizing can be a tremendous act of freedom. Imagine that you could live in a home with just the right amount of stuff; the things you truly love and need on a regular basis. How much time and energy would it free up to live the life you dreamed you would live. But, how do you decide what to take and what to part with. This program will help you make those decisions. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch, with beverage provided.

For more information, call 272-3670.

Family meals

Shared meals nourish mind, body and soul. Families who make the effort to schedule meals when most members can be present have experienced better communication, stronger family bond, shared learning and improved nutrition.

Some common challenges and solutions:

Challenge: You really don't have the time or skills to cook meals.

Solutions: Think simple. A shared family meal doesn't have to be a roast turkey feast. A family meal can be take-out food, such as pizza, plus celery sticks, ap¬­ples and milk. The important thing is eating together and sharing con¬­versation. For quick and easy ideas, read magazines or cookbooks or ask K-State Extension staff for suggestions on time-saving and low-cost menu ideas.

Challenge: Meal planning is difficult because fam¬­ily members don't like the same foods.

Solutions: Finding a menu that includes some¬­thing for everyone can be difficult; it can be tempting to become a short-order cook. Some families set aside one meal a month as buffet night and allow each person to make a desired item. Others let family members take turns preparing their favorite meals. Over time, adults and children will be hungry enough to eat. Continue offering a variety of healthy food choices.

Challenge: Family schedules are so busy there's no time to eat together.

Solutions: Children do better when they have a routine to their lives, and that includes mealtime. Explore ways individual schedules can be adjusted to allow mealtime together. Consider limiting the number of activities that family members participate in.

Children who often eat dinner with their families are more likely to do well in school, be emotionally content, have positive peer relationships, are less likely to have friends who drink alcohol and use marijuana, have lower levels of stress and are bored less often, and are at a lower risk for thoughts of suicide.

Source: Iowa Extension

For 4-H inquiries, questions and Health KIDS, call Barbara Addison at 272-3670 or email

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