4-H Healthy Living Programs

4-H Health Rocks! is a program based on decision-making and appropriate health knowledge with its beginning-level curriculum targeted at youth ages eight to twelve, and intermediate level targeted at youth ages twelve to fourteen.

This experiential education program is facilitated by adult and teen leadership teams to help youth gain these key skills, such as:

  • critical thinking
  • stress management
  • handling peer pressure
  • effective communication

Special emphasis is placed on drug, alcohol, vaping, and tobacco use prevention. The program also includes components that bring youth and adults together as partners in developing community strategies to prepare young people to make healthy choices.

Developing life skills, such as communicating with others, dealing with stress, and critical thinking, help youth develop internal strength to resist risky behaviors. Health Rocks! is designed and implemented on the belief that prevention programs that incorporate experiential learning, life skill development, and decision-making will truly reduce tobacco and drug use in our young people.

What better way to celebrate National Nutrition Month than with a 30 day activity guide! Follow along the guide for simple ways you can celebrate. There are links to recipes and resources throughout the guide. Check out the 2024 guide here.

The following cooking demos are open to any 4-H member wanting to participate. If funds are available for participants to receive a grocery gift card, the funds are only provided for Tennessee 4-H Members.

Southwest Cooking Demo with Liz Sparks, Arizona 4-H to cook tortillas, potato tacos, salsa, and baked churros. Here is a grocery list of ingredients to cook these recipes. Also, check out the featured video produced by UTIA Marketing and Communications here.

Beef Cooking Demo with Janna Sullivan, TN Beef Council to cook beefy sweet and sloppy joes + beefy pb & j wraps. Here is a grocery list of ingredients to cook these recipes.

Pork Cooking Demo with Phyllis Ferguson, TN Pork Producers Association to cook pork nachos. Here is a grocery list of ingredients to cook these recipes.

Dairy Cooking Demo with Cindy Cooper, The Dairy Alliance to make five different smoothies.

Ice Cream Demo (special edition in celebration of June Dairy Month) with Cindy Cooper, The Dairy Alliance to make ice cream in a bag and an ice cream recipe using fruit and yogurt. Here is a grocery list of ingredients to cook these recipes.

Mediterranean Cooking Demo with Kristen Johnson, PhD, RDN, Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences, to make salmon and veggies with healthy dessert options. Here is a grocery list of ingredients to cook these recipes.

Outdoor Meat Cookery Demo with a 4-H Volunteer and Outdoor Meat Cookery coach to make grilled chicken, veggie shish kabobs, and grilled corn. Here is a grocery list of ingredients to cook these recipes.

Over the Fire Cooking with Scott Reese, Extension Specialist to cook hobo meal packets and an apple crisp packet. Mr. Scott also goes through building a charcoal fire and shared a Dutch oven dump cake recipe to try. Here is a grocery list of ingredients to cook these recipes.

Charcuterie Boards with Dr. Lori Gallimore, Extension Specialist to make three different charcuterie boards. Here is a grocery list and recipe cards for each of the three boards: The Pick-Apart Pizza, The Tennessee Tailgate, and Ole’! The Fiesta Foodie. Curious how you might display your creations? Check out the final product photos: Pizza, Tailgate, and Fiesta.

Allergy Friendly Snacking with Lauren Woods, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, FCS Extension Agent, Grainger County.

Bites in a Jar Demo will be offered by guest Brigitte Passman, County Director and 4-H Extension Agent, Tipton County along with Tipton County 4-H Members. This demo will feature items that can serve as tasty treats for serving during the holidays or even for you to give as a gift.

Food Scene Creations Demo will be offered by a returning guest, Dr. Kristen Johnson, PhD, RDN, Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences. Find the instructions and ingredients here. The 4-H Clover template mentioned in the recording can be found here.

Soup Cooking Demo is offered by guest Lynne Middleton, Extension Specialist. The recipes for each soup and side are available here.

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness campaign. Red Ribbon Week began after the death of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was brutally murdered by drug traffickers in Mexico. After his death, people wanted to honor his sacrifice. In 1985, celebrations began in California where Camarena grew up, and in 1988, the National Family Partnership started the first national Red Ribbon Week.

You can celebrate Red Ribbon week with help from the Red Ribbon Campaign Website. Share how you are celebrating on social media and use #RedRibbonTN and tag us on Facebook @Tennessee4H and Instagram @tennessee_4h

Applications for the 2024-2025 Healthy Living Ambassador Program are now open.

The program year for 2024-2025 is August 1st, 2024-July 31st, 2025. Students are welcome to reapply for this program is they are a current Healthy Living Ambassador. 

The Tennessee 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador program is designed for teens who have a passion for healthy living. Each county can appoint up to five ambassadors to represent their county. Healthy Living Ambassadors are committed to serving their county with healthy living programs and advocating for health living practices. Ambassadors work with their 4-H or FCS agent(s) to assist with their county’s healthy living needs. These ambassadors are an asset in accomplishing the goals and outcomes of the 4-H Healthy Living Mission. The benefits of serving as a Healthy Living Ambassador include enhancing and promoting 4-H Healthy Living educational experiences; enhancing your understanding of 4-H Healthy Living Programs; networking with peers and healthy living leaders and gaining leadership and public speaking experience. Potential opportunities available to Healthy Living Ambassadors include attending healthy living events, assisting with 4-H cooking competitions, helping implement the 4-H Health Rocks grant, and networking with allied health professionals. 

The deadline to apply for this year’s program is Friday, June 14th, 2024.


  • Must be in 9th-11th grade as of January 1st, 2024
  • Must be involved in a 4-H Project
  • Have an interest in healthy living and wellness


  • All Healthy Living Ambassadors are required to attend an orientation training (Dates TBD)
  • Healthy Living Ambassadors will need to acquire 10 volunteer hours over the 2024-2025 program year
  • HLAs are required to attend 4 online monthly meetings

Application Link: tiny.utk.edu/HLAapplication2425