Tips and Recipes

En Español

Sweet Potato Fries

sweet potato fries with fresh thyme

1 sweet potato, unpeeled and washed
1 teaspoon oil
optional spices (see below)
Optional Spices:
For additional seasoning and variety, you could add

  • cinnamon and sugar
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • curry powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • your favorite non-salt seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cut potato into fry-like strips: First cut the potato in half length-wise, then cut into thick slices. Lie the thick slices down and cut them into strips.
3. Put the strips on a cookie sheet and add 1 teaspoon of oil. Season with any additional seasoning and then stir to coat them. Make sure none of the potatoes are touching each other on the cookie sheet. *Have your kids help with this step!
4. Place potatoes in a 450 degrees oven for about 20 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.

Mini Pizzas

For a fun after school snack, top half of a whole wheat English muffin with salsa or tomato sauce, and low fat cheese. Microwave on high until cheese is melted.

Try also adding other toppings:
green bell pepper
fresh tomato
left over cooked chicken or ground beef
1 pepperoni cut into quarters

Walk with a friend

Finding someone to workout with is a great way to stay motivated. Be active with friends, coworkers, your kids, spouse, or neighbors!

Schedule specific days and times in your calendar to walk with a friend. You will be less likely to cancel if you plan ahead, and your friend will help hold you accountable. You wouldn’t want to cancel on a friend for lunch because you were tired, so don’t cancel on them to walk!

Two mothers and their childrens in prams

Save money-Buy in bulk!

Save money by buying extra when non-perishable foods are on sale. Foods that last include rice, beans, cooking oil and frozen vegetables. Remember to check unit prices. Bigger packages are often cheaper per unit. And don’t forget your coupons.

If you don’t have room in your pantry (or in your budget!) for a bulk item, consider “going in” with a family member or friend and splitting the cost and product. Make sure to store all foods in air tight containers such as gallon zip bags or plastic containers.

Easy Oatmeal

Basic Oatmeal Recipe:


*For an on-the-go version, cook oats directly in a microwave-safe tupperware container, or glass mason jar. Keep small plastic zip bags mixed with chopped dried fruit, brown sugar, nuts and spices to grab on the way out the door.

1 cup old fashioned oats
2 cups water (or milk)

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, add oats and water (or milk). Stir together.
2. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the oatmeal begins to thicken. If the oatmeal is about to boil over, it’s done!
3. Carefully remove bowl from microwave (the bowl may be hot).
4. Add any additional toppings (see below)

Sweeteners: (pick one and add 1 or 2 tablespoons to your oatmeal)
brown sugar
maple syrup
fruit jams or jellies
chocolate syrup
chocolate chips
fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc)
chopped fresh apples
sliced bananas
dried fruits (raisins, apricots, apples, figs, etc)
canned peaches, chopped
Protein and Crunch:
1 tablespoon peanut butter
small handful chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts)
granola cereal
vanilla yogurt

Create different toppings combinations for fun and delicious breakfasts! Make up fun names for your different recipes to get kids excited. Share your fun names and topping combinations below!

© 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)

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