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iCook 4-H is a USDA funded 5-year, multi-state project focused on childhood obesity prevention in Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. 

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The Healthy Campus Research Consortium (HCRC) is a multi-state USDA research team who focus on applying behavioral theoretical models to the design of practical intervention strategies which promote healthy behavioral patterns and environments among young adults. Learn more about HCRC.

The Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) is a West Virginia high school Health Sciences and STEM program committed to increasing research access and higher education opportunities for underrepresented students. As part of its community-based participatory research approach, HSTA teams up with teachers and students to improve the lives of communities across the state, making the organization a prime partner for the iCook 4-H program. HSTA is currently involved in rolling out the iCook 4-H curriculum in two areas of West Virginia. Students’ responsibilities include leading family classes, allowing them to directly invest into their own communities. This partnership promotes leadership along with a sense of community service, two key values key in these students’ and West Virginia’s future success.

iCook student holding sweet potatoCORE THEMES

iCook 4-H follows a multifaceted family intervention model to approach childhood obesity prevention from three distinct, yet complimentary, perspectives:

  1. Cooking together
  2. Eating together
  3. Playing together


The 6-week iCook 4-H program is centered around both community and age-appropriate culinary skills, physical activity, and family meal time as children aged 8-10 and their primary food preparers participated in a variety of classes.

  • Children were introduced to basic knife skills, recipe following, family play time opportunities, and the importance of family meals in their daily routine.
  • Children also learned how to create well-balanced meals and use the MyPlate tools.
  • Parents gained valuable information about meal planning and preparation to promote both healthy and more frequent family meals.

For more details, see our iCook Curriculum feedback presentation.


At the core of iCook 4-H’s mission is its innovative concept of bringing parents and children together to work toward a healthier lifestyle as a team. In addition to the intervention itself, a website platform was created to allow families from all five states to connect with each other. Participants were encouraged to post videos, pictures, and comments to share their goals and progress in their journey of cooking, eating, and playing together as a family!


iCook 4-H is currently being implemented in our five partner states and making its way out into local communities.