Category Archives: Family and Consumer Sciences

At the Grocery Store Fill Your Cart Like MyPlate

Grocery cart with several grocery items in it including milk, vegetables, eggs and bread.As we go into the grocery store we are bombarded by thousands of wonderful, tempting sights and smells, some healthy and some more flavorful than healthy. We’ve all heard that we should use a list when shopping to keep our grocery budget in check but in our fast-paced lives today, it’s hard to take the time to make that list. So when faced with preparing meals at home we may not have the best ingredients on hand because we have been tempted by options that might not have been the healthiest. Filling your shopping cart to mimic the USDA MyPlate icon can be a quick way to insure that you have the supplies on hand for tasty, healthy meals.

MyPlate is a visual that shows proportionally how much should be eaten from each of the food groups in order to consume enough nutrients to maintain good health.  Unlike the Food Guide Pyramid that Americans found confusing, this simple visual seems to click with consumers.  The cart in the picture is MyPlate with real food to mimic the proportions needed.  The website choosemyplate.gov is full of great information including more specifics of how much should be eaten from the different groups based on gender and age. There are also great tools, tips and recipes on that site.

Doing a little math can assure you have enough of the right foods in the house to eat according to MyPlate. If you shop once a week you can calculate the amount of food from each group needed based on how much is needed daily.

Choose My Plate LogoOne of the most eye opening parts of MyPlate relates to the protein group.  You will notice that it takes up a very small portion of the cart.  When we think about what’s for dinner we always think about the main dish-hamburgers, chicken, fish and then side dishes are a second thought.  Americans need much less food from the protein group than most of us consume. When the comment is made “it costs too much to eat healthy”, it’s always good to remember that we can save by spending less on the protein group.  Not only buying less meat but also using non-meat sources of protein like eggs and beans can be easier on the budget.  For a family of four with mom, dad and two teenage girls, a total of 7 pounds of meat products need to be purchased for a week.  If non-meat sources are used like beans, peanut butter and eggs, you can find the conversions on choosemyplate.gov.  Only buying 7 pounds of meat each week can be easy on the food budget.

You will notice in the grains group of the shopping cart you see plenty of whole grains.  The grains group is an important source of complex carbohydrates for energy, B vitamins, minerals and fiber.  By consuming half of your grains in whole grains, you will be starting to meet your fiber goals for the day.  For that same family of four, 133 grain equivalents are needed at the store of which 67 should be whole grains.  This may sound like a lot but ½ cup of pasta is one grain equivalent.  Check choosemyplate.gov for what counts as a grain equivalent.

The largest portion of MyPlate is the vegetable group.  Many Americans feel they need to eat fresh vegetables in order to get the nutrients they need from this group.  That is not true as frozen and canned are nutrient packed and much more economical. Keeping the freezer and cabinets full of vegetables provides options that are ready to eat with little or no preparation.  Mom, Dad and two teenage girls would need 56 cups of canned, frozen or fresh vegetables per week.

Biting into a fresh apple can help you meet the nutrient needs supplied by the fruit group but just like the vegetable group, canned and frozen fruits are great to have on hand.  Select canned fruit in their own juice and fruit that is frozen without added sugar.  The family of four would need 35 cups of fruit each week.

In addition, don’t forget about the dairy group.  Although it is off to the side, it’s important to consume dairy products every day to meet your daily calcium and vitamin D needs.  Although some foods like broccoli contain calcium, you would need to consume 4 cups of broccoli to get as much calcium in a cup of fat free milk. Purchase fat free or low fat dairy products to keep the calories and fat in check. The family that is mentioned would need 63 cups of milk each week if that were the only source of their dairy foods.  In the dairy section of choosemyplate.gov you will find other products besides milk that count towards your dairy consumption.

Planning ahead and shopping like MyPlate will assure less trips to the store, which can save money, and also assure that the right amounts of healthy foods are on hand for the week.  Of course, there is always room for the occasional treat that doesn’t really fall into any part of MyPlate.   Everything in moderation-Happy Shopping!

Written by Kathleen Splane May, 2018

What’s in Your Lunchbox?

Closeup photo of a ham sandich with tomatoes and lettuce.Recently in the News Journal there have been articles about the closure of several popular Delaware eateries as a result of poor food handling and unsanitary conditions.  But did you know that these same problems exist in people’s homes and can lead to the same outcome of food-borne illness?  This time of year when more lunches are being packed it’s important to keep food safety in mind. And coincidentally September is National Food Safety month.  Here’s some things to keep in mind to pack a safe lunch.

Separate: Don’t Cross Contaminate:

  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a different one for meat and poultry
  • Discard all food packaging and food bags after use.
  • Perishable leftovers should be discarded after lunch.
  • Clean the lunch box after each use with warm soapy water

Wash All Produce:

  • Rinse fresh fruit and vegetables under running tap water prior to packing them for lunch
  • All fresh fruit and vegetables need to be rinsed prior to use or consumption including all organic produce and those with skin and rinds that are not eaten
  • Blot dry with a single use paper towel or a clean towel

Keep Everything Clean:

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before packing a lunch and before eating lunch.
  • Wash utensils and countertops before and after preparing each food item
  • Encourage children to wash their hands prior to eating lunch at school but pack a moist towelette or hand sanitizer to be safe.

If Packing Cold Food-Keep Lunches Cold:

  • Keeping food cold slows bacterial growth
  • Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in temperature danger zone (between 40 and 140° F)
  • Keep perishable food items refrigerated until time to leave home
  • Include a frozen gel pack or frozen juice box
  • Use an insulated lunch bag or lunch box
  • Do not let lunch sit in a warm place such as the car or in the sun

If Packing Hot Food-Keep Lunches Hot:

  • Use an insulated container to keep food like soup and stew hot
  • Fill container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then fill with piping hot food.
  • Keep container closed tight until lunch time
  • Keep hot food at or above 140° F
  • Perishable food items will stay safe for only 2 hours at room temperature.

There is great consumer food safety information at this site http://www.fightbac.org/ or feel free to contact me, Kathleen Splane with questions

Separate: Don’t Cross Contaminate:

  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a different one for meat and poultry
  • Discard all food packaging and food bags after use.
  • Perishable leftovers should be discarded after lunch.
  • Clean the lunch box after each use with warm soapy water

Wash All Produce:

  • Rinse fresh fruit and vegetables under running tap water prior to packing them for lunch
  • All fresh fruit and vegetables need to be rinsed prior to use or consumption including all organic produce and those with skin and rinds that are not eaten
  • Blot dry with a single use paper towel or a clean towel

Keep Everything Clean:

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before packing a lunch and before eating lunch.
  • Wash utensils and countertops before and after preparing each food item
  • Encourage children to wash their hands prior to eating lunch at school but pack a moist towelette or hand sanitizer to be safe.

If Packing Cold Food-Keep Lunches Cold:

  • Keeping food cold slows bacterial growth
  • Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in temperature danger zone (between 40 and 140° F)
  • Keep perishable food items refrigerated until time to leave home
  • Include a frozen gel pack or frozen juice box
  • Use an insulated lunch bag or lunch box
  • Do not let lunch sit in a warm place such as the car or in the sun

If Packing Hot Food-Keep Lunches Hot:

  • Use an insulated container to keep food like soup and stew hot
  • Fill container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then fill with piping hot food.
  • Keep container closed tight until lunch time
  • Keep hot food at or above 140° F
  • Perishable food items will stay safe for only 2 hours at room temperature.

There is great consumer food safety information at this site http://www.fightbac.org/ or feel free to contact me, Kathleen Splane with questions ksplane@udel.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Money Minutes

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 pippidis@udel.edu

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:
http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/personal-financial-management-initiatives/

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, pippidis@udel.edu 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

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 kamoore@udel.edu

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 p.m.at 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 http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/nutrition/dining-with-diabetes/

If you have questions contact:

Kathleen Splane, MS             ksplane@udel.edu

Kimi Moore, RD                     kamoore@udel.edu

Cheryl Bush, MS,RDN,LDN   cbush@udel.edu

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