Tips and Recipes

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Breakfast Bowl

In celebration of #WorldEggDay – try out this breakfast bowl! Mix it up and include your favorite veggies and seasonings.

Makes 1 serving | Serving size: 1 bowl


  • 1 scoop of cooked grits (about 1/2 cup)
  • Small handful of sautéed peppers (about 1/4 cup)
  • Small handful of sautéed onions (about 1/4 cup)
  • Handful of scrambled eggs (about 1/2 cup)
  • Sprinkle of reduced-fat shredded cheese (about 1/8 cup)


  1. Cook grits according to package directions.
  2. Cut and sauté onions and peppers.
  3. Scramble eggs (cooked to 145 ̊F).
  4. Add cooked grits, onions, peppers, and eggs to a bowl.
  5. Top with shredded cheese.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 246 Calories, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 4g, Protein 13g, Total Carbohydrate 30g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Sodium 368mg.

Pizza Pocket

You may have seen this viral food trend. Check out our version of this easy handheld meal. Even better, it has all five groups!

Are you team pineapple on pizza or not?

Makes 1 servings


  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon ham, diced
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mozzarella cheese


  1. Make a cut half way up the tortilla.
  2. Spread tomato sauce on the bottom left quarter of the tortilla
  3. Add the pineapple, ham, and cheese to separate quarters.
  4. Fold the tomato sauce section up over the top quarter. Fold this double section to the right and then one final fold so you have a wedge.
  5. Spray a pan or skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Add the tortilla wedge to the pan. Cook until golden brown and cheese is melted, flipping the tortilla at least once.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 186 Calories, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 2g, Protein 9g, Total Carbohydrate 26g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sodium 473mg.

Pasta Salad

When the temperatures rise and appetites seek something refreshing, a plate of hot pasta might not be the first thing on your mind. This is where the charm of cold pasta salad steps in. This delightful dish not only caters to your pasta cravings but also keeps you fueled with a burst of flavors and nutrition perfectly suited for the lively summer vibes.

Makes 6 servings | Serving size: 1/6 of recipe


  • 8 oz Whole Wheat pasta (try elbow macaroni or orzo)
  • 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved (or diced roma tomato)
  • 1 Medium Cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 Colored Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup Herb Olive Oil Dressing (or low-fat Italian dressing)*
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil.
  2. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  3. Once pasta is cooked. Drain water and rinse with cool water to cool the pasta down and then place in the refrigerator uncovered to finish cooling.
  4. Wash all vegetables.
  5. Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
  6. Peel the cucumber. Cut the cucumber, bell peppers, and celery into small/medium dice.
  7. Combine all vegetables into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  8. Cover vegetables with 1/2 a cup dressing.
  9. Toss the vegetables well with the dressing.
  10. Add the cooled pasta.
  11. Finish by mixing in the parmesan cheese.
  12. Serve chilled.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 316 Calories, Total Fat 17g, Saturated Fat 3g, Protein 9g, Total Carbohydrate 34g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Sodium 250mg. Excellent source of vitamins A and C. Good source of calcium and iron.

Kids in the Kitchen

Kids preparing food on counter


Getting kids involved in the kitchen and familiar with preparing food is important. It sets an example for a healthy lifestyle and creates an interest in food and cooking. Help your kids develop a love of healthy foods by teaching them to make meals as a family.

Benefits of Cooking Together

  • Picky Eaters: Children who are involved in creating their meals are more likely to eat the food on their plate.
  • Help Kids’ Physical Development: Simple kitchen tasks like stirring, washing, peeling, whisking, and squeezing can help children develop fine motor skills.
  • Build Healthy Habits: Home-cooked meals promote an overall healthier diet.
  • Promote Bonding: Cooking as a family allows connections to be built through quality time.

Getting Started in the Kitchen

  • Start simple: Begin with easy recipes with just a few steps.
  • Assign roles in the kitchen: Adjust the tasks you assign to each family member based on your child’s skills and age.
  • Supervise: Make sure kids know the rules of kitchen safety and provide help when needed.

Tips for Teaching Kitchen Skills

  • Help kids stir by holding the bowl and placing one hand over their hand as they hold the spoon.
  • When kids chop foods for the first few times, help by guiding their hand with yours. Start by cutting soft foods with a plastic knife or dull table/butter knife.
  • Let kids pour out pre-measured ingredients to start. Then try helping them measure small amounts of dry ingredients before moving to wet ingredients.
  • Place your hands over older kids’ hands while using a grater, watching their fingers carefully so they do not get cut or scraped.

Check out this article for specific kitchen tasks based on your child’s age!

Written by: Lauren Hinze, EFNEP Student Intern

Blueberries for Health

blueberries in bowl

Blueberries have many vitamins and minerals that help lower blood pressure, manage diabetes, protect against heart disease, and prevent cancer. They are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C boosts your immune system, while vitamin K helps your blood clot properly. These little berries are low in calories but high in nutrients.

Blueberries are one the top antioxidant foods. Antioxidants can prevent or delay some types of cell damage, which could lead to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. They help to protect healthy cells in the body.

Tips When Eating Blueberries:

  • You will get the most health benefits from eating fresh, uncooked berries. Heat can impact the antioxidant content, so raw blueberries are the best way to eat this fruit.
  • Remember to rinse and wash the berries before eating to remove any debris or residue that may be on the surface.
  • If stored properly, blueberries can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. For peak flavor and texture, eat them within a week.
  • Blueberries can last up to 10 months in the freezer.

How to Add Blueberries to Your Diet:

  • Use blueberries as a topping on oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal. This is a quick and easy way to eat a serving of fruit and boost your fiber intake in the morning.
  • Add into a smoothie or smoothie bowl for a cooling mid-day summer snack.
  • Mix fresh or dried blueberries into a salad for a little sweetness.
  • Make ice cubes with blueberries or add frozen blueberries to your water. To mix up how you drink water, adding frozen berries can create new flavors to your water to help you stay hydrated.

Sources: USDA

Written by: Lauren Hinze, EFNEP Student Intern

© 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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