4-H Curriculum Review – Home Food Preservation

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What is 4-H?

4-H is America’s largest youth development organization.  The organization gives kids an opportunity to participate in hands-on projects covering health, science, agriculture and citizenship, and do so in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors.  4-H reaches nearly six million young people across the U.S –  from every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban school yards to rural farming communities.

The 4-H programs include STEM & AGRICULTURE programs, CITIZENSHIP programs, and HEALTHY LIVING programs, and FYI – they’re great for homeschooling!

The 4‑H Healthy Living program is designed to help kids learn about living a healthy lifestyle through fun, hands-on activities and projects. The materials for this program emphasize inquiry-based, experiential learning – where kids “do, reflect, and apply”.

The Healthy Living Home Food Preservation curriculum is part of the Healthy Living Program.  The Home Food Preservation curriculum is the focus of this review.

The 4-H Healthy Living Home Food Preservation curriculum consists of four different manuals. The manuals include:  1. Freezing, 2. Drying, 3. Boiling Water Canning, and 4. Pressure Canning.

You can purchase them separately or as a bundle, with a bundle discount.  I like options and I like discounts, don’t you?  🙂

Each manual includes nutrition information, kitchen basics, the basics of the preservation procedure, and activities so kids can learn the techniques. The manuals are  between 36 and 40 pages; are for grades 3-12, beginner skill level; and are written for the youth participant.  They’re authored by the University of Idaho, using USDA food preservation guidelines.

For additional info on each manual, see below


Kids learn how to safely freeze foods and how to use the frozen foods in healthy recipes.  Activities include freezing fruit and vegetables, conducting a taste test, and creating a freezer inventory.

– 40 pages





Kids earn how to safely dry foods and how to use the foods they dry in healthy recipes.  Activities include drying fruits and herbs, making fruit leathers, and making a menu plan.  My kids like this manual, they especially like the activity of drying fruits.

– 40 pages



Kids learn how to safely preserve fruits, tomatoes, fruit spreads, and pickles, and how to use these home-canned foods in healthy recipes. Activities include canning fruit, making syrup, jams and jellies, and making pickles. Making pickles is a big hit with my kids.

– 40 pages



Kids learn how to safely preserve tomatoes, vegetables, and meats, and how to use home-canned foods in healthy recipes. Activities include canning vegetables, beans, and combinations of meat and vegetables.

– 36 pages


Each manual lists the manual’s objectives and each activity includes a short lesson followed by hands-on opportunities and questions for additional learning.  Also, each manual includes an achievement program to help kids identify their goals and keep track of their accomplishments.

FYI – here are sample pages from the four different manuals

Your role as a parent

This isn’t a curriculum that kids can do on their own. Parents do play a key role in helping their kids learn the information, skills, and safety practices behind food preservation. Also, my kids needed parental help to set goals, find resources, and evaluate their progress as they completed the manuals.

Other 4-H Curriculum Options

In addition to the Home Food Preservation manuals, there are many other 4-H curriculum/manuals/resources/kits, which cover a variety of subjects.  In fact, there are over 400 curriculum books and educational materials kits available at the national level.  All resources have been developed by experts at universities across the country, including the University of Illinois, Cornell University, Penn State, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  FYI – I really like all of the Practical Skills Curriculum (STEAM, woodworking, etc.), the Diversity & Inclusion materials, the Environmental & Outdoor Science curriculum, and the Cloverbuds materials for kids 8 and under.  Plus, I really like “extras”  like apparel & accessories and “essentials“.  I know they’re not really essentials – but if I like a product I like to go all in.  Especially with an organization like 4-H!  🙂

You can View ALL the Different 4-H Curriculum Options Here!


And 4-H Curriculum can be Found at Shop4-H.org.  


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  • 4-H Healthy Living & Foods Curriculum Review

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