Category Archives: Family and Consumer Sciences

Your Money, Your Goals

Summer 2018 Training Dates & Locations (9am-4pm)

  • Thursday, July 5 Kent County Extension Office
    69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE
  • Wednesday, July 18 New Castle County Extension
    461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE
  • Wednesday, July 25 Sussex County Carvel Research and Education Center
    16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE

Registration information online at:

Lunch & Snacks provided; Fee of $30 payable to University of Delaware covers cost of refreshments and some program materials. Toolkit is free.

For more information: Contact Maria Pippidis, or call 302-831-1239.

Training Topics

  • Financial Empowerment
  • Starting the conversation
  • Emotions, values, culture and money decisions
  • Saving for Emergencies, Bills and Goals
  • Tracking and managing income and benefits
  • Paying bills and other expenses
  • Getting through the month-managing cash flow
  • Credit and Debt
  • Consumer Protection
  • Financial products, services and providers

Training Purpose

To provide you with:

  • An orientation to Your Money, Your Goals, a financial empowerment toolkit for Social Services programs developed by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • An overview of the training for case managers and other frontline staff
  • The tools, knowledge and confidence to provide this training to your constituency or in your community

Dining with Diabetes and Money Minutes

Dining with Diabetes – Following a careful meal plan is the first step in controlling blood sugar. This is also the hardest step in diabetes control. This program helps those individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes learn strategies to manage their diabetes through menu planning, carbohydrate counting, portion control and label reading. Taste testing healthy recipes demonstrates that you don’t have to give up good tasting food if diabetic.

3 new series’ will be offered this winter and spring throughout the state, designed for people with diabetes and their family members.  These classes will include diabetes education, cooking demonstrations, and tasting of healthy foods.  After each lesson, participants will take home recipes and knowledge about how to manage diabetes in their lives.

Because of generous funding through the Sussex County Health Coalition and the Greater Milford Lions Club, residents of Greater Milford and Sussex County can attend the classes free of charge.

  • Dover-August 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2018 with a reunion on November 7, 2018 from 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Wilmington-August 30, September 6, 13 and 20, 2018 with a reunion on December 6, 2018 at 10:00 am – noon
  • Georgetown-October 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2018 with a reunion on January 16, 2019 from 6:00-8pm

Please view and download the brochure below (no online registration):

Contact Kimi Moore for more information

Financial Management Initiatives
(each of the links below has information that describe program initiatives, respectable web links and publications if applicable)

Your Money, Your Goals-A Financial Empowerment Toolkit for Social Services Programs Training Opportunity – This one day session provides training for individuals who may find themselves in need of resources to support their clientele regarding financial topics. This training will cover topics such as how to manage cash flow, dealing with debt, understanding credit reports and scores, as well as others. Cost: $30 per person.

Money Management Workshops and Web Resources – Reaching family members when and where they need it, we provide financial management educational programs on a variety of topics held during the evening or during the day at places of employment. Topics include budgeting, credit, saving and investing, communicating about money and helping families manage finances across the life cycle.

For more information on Financial Management programs contact Maria Pippidis

Puzzled by Product Packaging: Enriched vs. Fortified?

Fortified and enriched are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but have very different meanings. Fortified foods have had nutrients added that were not originally present without processing. Foods are often fortified with nutrients when Americans have shown the struggle obtaining adequate amounts from the nutrient’s natural sources. Here is a list of vitamins that are commonly fortified in the average American’s diet:

  • Vitamin D in milk or orange juice
  • Iron in cereals
  • Folate in bread products, flour, rice, and pasta

Enriched means nutrients that were already present in a food item but lost during processing have been put back in. Grains are an example of a product that are frequently enriched to make up for nutrient loss that occurred during processing. Bread is an excellent source of many nutrients required for a healthy body. Iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate are nutrients enriched in grain products.

These terms are seen on packages and signage all over the grocery store, and it can be confusing to know exactly what you are buying if you don’t know what they mean! Being knowledgeable in the dietary lingo can help you make healthy food purchases for you and your family.

Food Safety Class for Cottage Industry Entrepreneurs

Title image memeThe University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is offering a Food Safety Training on October 2nd and October 4th at the Kent County Cooperative Extension office, 69 Transportation Circle, in Dover. In order to complete the training you need to attend BOTH sessions.

The 6-hour class will be taught by Kathleen Splane, UD Family & Consumer Science extension educator.

“This training meets the food safety requirements by the State of Delaware for those individuals who want to prepare non-hazardous foods in their own home for sale locally,” Splane said.

Examples of non-hazardous foods are baked goods such as cookies, muffins, cakes, breads, jams, jellies and preserves and candy.

The training, certification, and inspections of kitchens are required under Delaware regulations adopted in 2016 and apply to individuals, and small business cottage industries who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in residential kitchens for sale to the public.

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity provider.

<< Download Training Flyer Here >>

To register for the training, please email Jan Unflat  or call 302-730-4000.

Join UD’s Master Food Educator Class of 2018

Be a part of one of Delaware’s fastest growing volunteer forces! Become a Master Food Educator!

Michael Hadley, one of Extension’s Master Food Educator expert volunteers

Many people have heard about Extension’s Master Gardener program, but did you know there is a similar volunteer program focused on food and health?

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will hold 2018 training classes on Mondays and Thursdays from March 5 to April 12, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 the Kent County Extension office, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, Delaware, 19901. Applications to the program are due by Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

The Master Food Educator (MFE) program is designed for individuals who have an interest in nutrition, food preparation, health, wellness and the education of youth and adults. University of Delaware Cooperative Extension educators will provide participants with the information and training needed to help expand the nutrition education efforts across Delaware. The volunteers work in local communities and with organizations assisting with the ongoing initiatives of our organization.

“The UD Cooperative Extension staff of health educators is a small group and the need for our work to help Delawareans is great,” says Kathleen Splane, program leader for Extension’s Family & Consumer Science program.  “Our Master Food Educator volunteers impact the health of Delawareans in many ways– creating programs, delivering programs, and doing behind the scenes work for us such as food preparation for cooking demos.

Splane said that during the 2017 program year 29 Master Food Educators volunteered to support 48 workshops, 46 public events and assisted in judging nine events serving over 1,548 hours to Cooperative Extension’s outreach efforts. “These dedicated volunteers invigorate me as they are so dedicated to the mission of Cooperative Extension,” Splane said.

Since the inception of the program in Delaware, Master Food Educators have staffed educational displays at locations such as the Delaware State Fair, Ag Day, health fairs and expos at schools and businesses. Additionally, Master Food educators have assisted with or conducted workshops or demonstrations on topics such as food safety, foods selection/preparation, nutrition and diet and stretching your food dollar. They have also offered school-based educational programs and assisted with the development of new educational resources.

“Becoming a Master Food Educator has enhanced my life both personally and professionally,” volunteer Gail Hermenau said.  “It was through the MFE training that I increased my knowledge base about health and nutrition and learned new ways to share that information using a variety of teaching styles.”

Hermenau credits the huge impact the program has had on the community, adding that the experience instilled in her both the confidence to share this information with members of her community and the freedom to use her creativity in engaging new audiences.

Registrations for the newest Master Food Educator Training courses are now open. Applications are available on the Master Food Educator website.

Individuals who are interested in nutrition, diet and health issues, want to learn, would enjoy working with and helping others or want to be affiliated with a professional organization are perfect candidates for this program.  

For more information, contact: Cheryl Bush New Castle County 302-831-1327

Courses are open to the public without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, age or national origin. This program provides participants 30 hours of training in the areas of nutrition, diet, health, food safety, food selection and preparation. Cooperative Extension is looking to those who would be willing to take the course and then volunteer 40 hours of time over the next year. Volunteers may choose how they give back time but suggestions might include assisting with the presentation of workshops such as Dining with Diabetes, Eat Smart for a Healthy Heart, Stretching Your Food Dollar and others or participating in other public programs sponsored by Cooperative Extension.

On-Farm Food Safety Training

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is offering On-Farm Food Safety Training on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kent County Cooperative Extension office, 69 Transportation Circle, in Dover. The fee is $50.

The class will be taught by Kathleen Splane, UD Family & Consumer Science extension educator.

“This training is ideal for anyone who wishes to sell allowable products grown from their farm,” says Splane.

Participants will learn how to identify potentially hazardous and non-potentially hazardous foods; understand foodborne pathogens and ways to control them; reduce the risk of foodborne illness; evaluate their plan for controlling potential microbial problems; and understand state regulations on farm-produced, non-potentially hazardous food items.

Non-potentially hazardous food items include baked breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, non-chocolate candy, jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, fruit butters, fruit pies, herbs in vinegar, honey and herb mixtures, dried fruit and vegetables, spices or herbs, maple syrup, sorghum, popcorn, caramel corn, peanut brittle and roasted nuts.

The training, certification, and inspections of farm kitchens are required under Delaware regulations adopted in 2006 and apply to farmers who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at DDA-listed farmers’ markets, on their farm or at a roadside stand on or near their farm. On-farm kitchens will be inspected by appointment after participants complete the training and pass a written test.

To register for the training, please email Jan Unflat or call 302-730-4000. Download the Flyer in PDF here.


DINING with DIABETES offered from UD Cooperative Extension in 2018

Master Food EducatorsHave you ever experienced feeling trapped or caught, as in a spider’s web?

For some persons with diabetes, that feeling may be common – and it may be the reason why education about the disease and the important role that nutrition plays help significantly to detangle from the web.

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences team offers a 5 session, 2 hour workshop series, Dining with Diabetes, at locations throughout Delaware.  We can help through our unique design of workshops that deliver information about diabetes presented in the first half of the class by a registered dietitian/nutritionist or a certified diabetes educator.  Ample opportunities for participants to ask questions, share their story and support each other as the group learns successful strategies to manage diabetes are provided throughout the series of workshops.  In every class, a camaraderie develops that engages each diverse group of men, women, caregivers, and supporters, whether newly diagnosed or having been dealing with diabetes for a number of years.  Truly unique to Dining with Diabetes, the second half of each workshop provides a recipe demonstration, tasting, and the recipes to take home. Whether it’s the holidays or other times during the year, who couldn’t use fresh, delicious, healthy new recipes to prepare meals that can help manage blood sugars and go easy on the wallet?

The total fee for the four classes is $50.00. Couples are welcome to attend for $50.00. Through generous funding from the Sussex County Health Coalition.

An added bonus for Dining with Diabetes participants is a session that is scheduled about 3 months later for the same group of participants to have a reunion and see how their goals and steps to managing their diabetes have progressed.

Curious and want to learn more?  To access more information and receive a registration brochure for our 2018 classes access our link

If you have questions contact:

Kathleen Splane, MS   

Kimi Moore, RD           

Cheryl Bush, MS,RDN,LDN

Workshops scheduled:

New Castle Cooperative Extension, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE 19716: March 20, 27, April 3, 10 from 6-8pm- reunion July 10
Call: 302-831-2506

Kent County Cooperative Extension, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE 19901: February 20, 22, 27, March 1 from 6-8 pm- reunion June 19
Call: 302-730-4000

Sussex County Cooperative Extension, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947: May 16; 23, 30, June 6 from 10am-12- reunion August 2
Call: 302-856-7303

What is Policy, Systems and Environmental Change?

Policy, systems and environmental (PSE) changes are strategic and deliberate ways of addressing public health issues. Traditionally, health education programs focused on individual behavior change, assuming that if you teach people what will make them healthy, they will find a way to do it. Unfortunately, being healthy is not just about individual choices. Where you live affects how you live and you simply cannot make healthy decisions if healthy options are not accessible and easily available. By changing laws, rules and environments, PSE strategies ensure healthy choices are practical available and accessible.

This video, produced by our colleagues at the University of Minnesota explains PSE.

Policy Change

  • Policy Change: A formal written statement of position, decision or course of action such as laws, ordinances, resolutions, mandates, guidelines, regulations or rules. Policies are often intended to reach large groups of people and can sometimes have unintended consequences.
  • Examples:
    • A tax on unhealthy food (soda tax)
    • A law allowing residents to plant community gardens on vacant lots
    • The USDA Smart Snacks rule for all foods sold in schools
    • Delaware Public Health Person-in-Charge Food Safety rule
    • School wellness policies
    • Joint-use agreements with school districts to ensure playgrounds are open to the community on weekends and over school breaks
    • Purchasing cooperatives for corner store owners to make healthy foods more profitable

Systems Change

  • Systems Change : An organizational procedure such as a process or method, involving the infrastructure of an organization or community; can involve resource allocation, job duties, etc. Policy changes normally create systems changes
  • Examp les:
    • Healthy cooking training for church kitchen staff (baking versus frying)
    • Teaching locally grown produce procurement to institutional buyers
    • The development and implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Plans (HACCP) or food safety plans
    • The adoption of guidelines for “healthy” meetings by worksites

Environmental Change

  • Environmental Change: Physical, observable changes in the built, economic and/or social
  • Examples:
    • School and community gardens
    • Farmers’ markets (intentionally placed for convenience and access)
    • Municipal planning projects to ensure better pedestrian and bicycle access to main roads and parks
    • The installation of water fountains in a hospital lobby to increase drinking water access for hydration
    • Mobile farmers ‘ markets that accept SNAP benefits to eliminate transportation barriers
    • A family member learned about healthy eating and as a result the family is now eating healthy

To learn how policies, systems and the environment influence one family’s health, please view this video from our friends at the University of Minnesota.

Friends of Extension honored at 2017 conference

Individuals, partners, and organizations were honored as “Friends of Extension” on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, at Delaware Cooperative Extension’s First State Innovate and annual conference held at Delaware State University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Center in Dover.

Extension staff from Delaware’s two Land-Grant universities, the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, meet annually for a day of professional development, networking and use the opportunity to recognize valued support from the community.

The awardees were nominated by extension professionals across the agriculture, 4-H, FCS and horticulture departments and were presented by Donna Brown, interim director of extension for Delaware State University and Michelle Rodgers, associate dean, and director of University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.

“The Friend of Extension Award is the highest recognition presented to a non-extension person, business or organization and is designed to recognize the truly outstanding support and personal involvement in extension efforts,” Rodgers said.

Honorees from the University of Delaware: 

Michelle Rodgers, Hetty Francke, Doug Crouse

Hetty Francke. A volunteer with extension for 30-plus years, Francke became a Master Gardener in 1987 and a Master Composter in 1989 and she served as volunteer compost education coordinator for Delaware 4-H.



Laurie Wolinski, Dan Severson, Ken Wicks (Lazy Boy Farms), Michelle Rodgers

Lazy Boy Farm. This family farm operation in Middletown has produced fresh cabbage, potatoes, soybean, corn, and wheat since 1956. Brothers Ken and Chris Wicks, and their respective children Anna Wicks, a UD Alumna, and Michael, comprise the three-generation farm.



Michelle Rodgers, Karen Sommers, Maria Pippidis

Karen Sommers. A Master Food Educator (MFE) since 2011 with the Family and Consumer Science program, Sommers is valued for her tireless wisdom and volunteer efforts, with 175 hours served in the first half of 2017 alone.



Tracy Wootten, Pat and Alex Bohinski, Michelle Rodgers

Pat and Alex Bohinski and their staff at Southern States provide advanced training to Delaware Master Gardeners by participating in numerous meetings covering a variety of topics to keep Master Gardeners informed with new lawn and garden products, trends and problems.




Delaware State University honorees:

Donna Brown, Natasha Lamadieu, Pastor William Grimes

Pastor William Grimes. Under his leadership at the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Dover, Grimes opened his 4,200 square foot outreach center and collaborates with Delaware Cooperative Extension, helping to promote a healthy lifestyle through community dinners and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).


Donna Brown, Keesha Braunskill, Megan Pleasanton

Kesha Braunskill works for the Delaware Forest Service and serves on the state’s Urban and Community Forest Council. Braunskill offers training on tree diseases and diagnosis, tree management, tree plantings and job site safety.



Harry Thayer, Kendal & Delores Tyre (New Hope Recreation & Development Center, Inc.) Donna Brown

New Hope Recreation and Development Center, Inc. This organization led by Kendal and Delores Tyre bring STEM education to the youth they serve during afterschool and summer camp programs. The Tyre’s center and volunteer staff provide a safe place for youth where students can learn and improve their academic and social skills.



Photos by Jackie Arpie and Monica Moriak

Additional photos may be viewed on our Flickr gallery.

It’s Tailgate Season!!!

The temperature is getting crisp and the sun is setting earlier.  These changes mean tailgate season is here.  Everyone enjoys getting together with friends and family to cheer their favorite team and to enjoy food together before the game — and sometimes after the game.

Will this be a winning season on the gridiron for your team and for your tailgate party?  Just like your favorite team, you need to plan so that you and your guests enjoy tasty, safe food.  Planning is the key to keeping your food safe during a tailgate. Here are some questions to ask when planning what to serve:

  • Do you have enough coolers to keep the food cold during the trip to the game and while everything is cooking? If possible, use separate coolers for uncooked meats and ready-to-eat items such as potato salad or raw veggies or fruits.
  • Do you have sufficient containers or plastic bags to be sure juices from raw meat and poultry don’t drip on ready-to-eat items if you must store in the same cooler?
  • Do you have several inches of ice, frozen gel packs, or containers of ice available to keep perishable food like raw hamburger patties, sausages, and chicken cold?
  • Do you have a source of water to wash your hands? If none is available at the site, you can make your own portable handwashing station using a large water cooler and bucket to catch the used water. Be sure to pack plenty of soap and paper towels.
  • Do you have a meat thermometer to measure the temperature of that burger or chicken you are cooking on the grill? It’s the only way you can be sure your meat or poultry has reached a safe temperature (160°F for ground meats, 165°F for poultry, and 145°F for steaks and chops).
  • Do you have a way to keep food that is cooked before departing for the game hot (above 135°F) during the drive to the game and before serving?
  • Do you have a way to either keep food cold (below 40°F) or hot (above 135°F) if you plan on enjoying leftovers after the game?  Food left at room temperature should be eaten within 2 hours (1 hour if the game day temperature is above 90 °F and remember the interior of your car can get quite warm even on a cold day).

When you plan your tailgate, use this checklist to make sure you have a safe, winning party:

  • Clean: Soap and water to wash hands. Wet disposable cloths or moist toilettes and hand sanitizer are alternatives for cleaning hands if it is not possible to use water and soap.
  • Separate: Separate plates and utensils for raw meats and cooked meats.  No contact of juices from raw meat and poultry with ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook: Grill, fuel, cooking utensils, food thermometer.
  • Chill: Coolers, ice or frozen gel packs, clean containers for storing leftovers.

Enjoy the game knowing you followed the above safely practices for the food you served at your party.  Hopefully, just like you, your team has practiced and followed the rules of the game so they are winners, too.