Tips and Recipes

En Español

Picnic Food Safety Tips

family picnic
As the weather gets warmer, you may start thinking of planning a picnic.  Here are a few simple rules to assure that your food remains safe to eat:

  • Take only the amount of food to be eaten to avoid having leftovers.
  • Pack the perishable foods in a cooler with ice and freezer packs and keep your cooler in a shady spot.
  • Moist disposable towelettes are great for cleaning your hands.

Check here for more ideas:  

MyPlate: Teaching Kids of All Ages to Use this Resource

The website, is filled with information to support a healthy diet and lifestyle. Did you know the website has a section specifically for kids called MyPlate Kid’s Place? It is loaded with kid-friendly information and activities that are fun and engaging. Take some time with your children and visit to learn more.

There are 4 sections to the site:

  • Games (filled with fun interactive games that make learning about healthy eating fun)
  • Activity Sheets (print out word scrambles, crossword puzzles, coloring sheets and more)
  • Videos/Songs and,
  • Move More (provides links to information about ways to be more active)

MyPlate site


Could you have diabetes?

Does diabetes run in your family? Do you carry extra weight? Are you 45 or older?  I walked around for a couple of years with diabetes and did not know it.  I also walked around a couple of years acting like I did not have diabetes, when I knew I did.  Diabetes can be prevented and even if you have it, can be controlled.  You can act only if you know for sure.  Today is Diabetes Alert Day.  As a first step take the test at .

Talk with your doctor and then you can know for sure.

finger prick

Submitted by April Reese.

April Reese leads the Health Systems and Community Connections Unit of the Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch of the N.C. Division of Public Health. In this capacity she leads statewide diabetes and hypertension initiatives.

Cantaloupe and banana fruit smoothies

Many of us did not grow up drinking smoothies, but if you like cantaloupe and bananas, then you have got to try this smoothie. It really is tasty and easy to make. Bananas

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 ripe cantaloupe, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place the unpeeled banana in the freezer overnight.  Remove banana from the freezer and let it sit until the skin begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove the skin with a paring knife. (Don’t worry if a little fiber remains.) Cut the banana into chunks.
  3. Combine in a blender or food processor with cantaloupe, yogurt, dry milk, orange juice, honey and vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth.

The fresh combination of banana, cantaloupe and low-fat dairy in this smoothie packs a powerful punch of potassium, calcium, vitamin C and beta carotene.
Makes 1 serving and takes maybe 10 minutes tops to make.

Original Recipe from:

Kid-Friendly Individual Pizza


  • 1 whole wheat pita round
  • 1 ½ tablespoon low-sodium tomato sauceKid-Friendly Individual Pizza
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup low-fat shredded cheese, divided
  • variety of veggie, fruit and/or meat toppings


  1. Place the whole wheat pita on a cookie sheet.
  2. Spread tomato sauce evenly over pita.
  3. Sprinkle seasoning over sauce.
  4. Top with ½ of the cheese.
  5. Layer toppings
  6. Sprinkle remaining cheese over toppings.
  7. Bake at 400˚ F for 10 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve with a cold glass of milk.

© 2024 North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)