National Nutrition Month

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Yes, it sure is!  I’ve got the info to get you eating healthy for the month and easily continue through the year.  I know you thought 31 days would be a breeze, but 365 days of nutritional intake can take your health to a new level.  For starters, it is important to know the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables for the day. Fruits and vegetables are important in your everyday diet because they provide the body with numerous vitamins and minerals.  Adult men and women should make sure they are getting at least 2 cups of fruits per day and 3 cups of vegetables per day. Children should make sure they are getting 1 to 1 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables for the day. So how can you incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet?

Here are some tips to help increase the fruits and vegetables into your diet:

  1. Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk and fruits of your choice.
  2. Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves, or mandarin oranges.
  3. Place colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack on the run.
  4. Stuff an omelet with vegetables.  
  5. Examples of vegetables to include in your omelet are peppers, tomatoes, carrots, or onions.
  6. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.
  7. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms, and onions
  8. Make fruit your dessert. An example of fruit as a dessert would be cutting a banana lengthwise and topping it with a scoop of low-fat yogurt.

Do these ideas make you want to eat more fruits and vegetables? Yes….No…Maybe? If it didn’t stimulate your appetite, let’s see if the suggested recipe below will bring excitement.

Chili is a quick and easy dinner to make. I’m going to tell you a secret about the chili…it contains vegetables and it is healthy!  This is a secret that you should pass on to family and friends.


1 can beans, low-sodium undrained (pinto, kidney, red, or black 15.5 ounces)

1 can corn, drained (15 ounces, or 10-ounce package of frozen corn)

1 can crushed tomatoes, undrained (15 ounces)

 chili powder (to taste)


1) Place the contents of all 3 cans into a pan.

2) Add chili powder to taste.

3) Stir to mix

4) Continue to stir over medium heat until heated thoroughly.

5) Refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe from:

Enjoy and come back soon to see what is being cooked up!

-Aerial Woody, EFNEP Intern

EFNEP Celebrates International School Meals Day

March 14th is the date of celebration of the seventh annual International School Meals Day (ISMD). ISMD was started in 2013 to raise awareness among people around the world about the importance of healthy eating and good nutrition. The day is celebrated globally using a food stories theme. The stories are used to communicate the culture of peoples and their desires for a healthier future.

In 2017, one North Carolina Elementary school celebrated ISMD using the media application Skype to communicate with a farmer in Malawi, Africa. The students learned about growing maize in Malawi and how the maize was used to make nsima, the staple food of Malawi. The lesson taught the class the importance of healthy eating and the various attitudes toward food in other countries. In 2018, ISMD in Scotland was used to demonstrate the importance of healthy meals. ISMD, as a part of a larger effort was used to collect and publish recipes for healthy eating from young people from several countries. ISMD is an excellent opportunity to highlight the importance in school meals. Without the breakfast and lunch served at many schools in the United States, students might not be able to eat healthy. Meals served at schools around the world are important in providing nutrition and a healthy diet to many students.

-James Wynne

EFNEP Intern

Mini Meatloaves


1 lb lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken

1 ½ cup salsa

1 egg, lightly beaten

¼ cup dry bread crumbs

¼ cup finely chopped onion

Dash of black pepper

Non-stick cooking spray


Heat oven to 350 F

Combine all ingredients, saving half of salsa for topping

Divide into 5 equal portions and shape into flattened loaves.

Spray baking dish with non-stick spray and place loaves in dish

Spoon half of the remaining salsa on top of loaves and bake for 20 minutes

Take out of oven and spoon remaining salsa over top and bake for another 10 minutes. Be sure ground beef meatloaf reaches 160 ̊F or 165 ̊F for ground turkey or ground chicken.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

150 Calories, Total Fat 4.5g, Saturated Fat 1.5g, Protein 22g, Total Carbohydrate 7g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sodium 170mg.

Excellent source of Vitamin C. Good source of iron.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash


2 cups sweet potato, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh cranberries (can substitute dried cranberries)
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp nut butter
2 tbsp honey


Wash sweet potatoes and cube. Heat olive oil in sauce pan. Sauté sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Add cranberries, sprinkle in cinnamon and continue sautéing until sweet potatoes are fork tender. In a separate bowl, combine honey and nut butter. Plate sweet potato hash and drizzle with nut butter mixture. 

For this recipe and more more check out Plants for Human Health Institute

EFNEP Supports Healthy Hearts

Did you know heart health is important at all ages, not just for when we get older? February is American Heart Month, and this means that all of us, both men and women, should be concerned with keeping our hearts healthy. But how do you know if you are at risk of an unhealthy heart? The CDC has put together a list of risk factors to help you better understand.

The good news is there are many ways we can improve our overall health and keep our hearts strong. Here are a few below:

One thing to remember is that heart health is important for your lifetime. Making changes to how we eat and stay active can be challenging. However, together, we can support and encourage each other. For American Heart Month 2019, make a pact with others to be heart healthy. Share the ways that you’re being heart healthy throughout the month by using #OurHearts and tagging #EFNEPworks on social media.


Tamale Pie Recipe

Makes 8 servings


1 pound ground beef, completely browned, crumbled and drained

                      (Can substitute ground turkey or chicken)

1 cup low-sodium whole kernel corn, drained

1 can low-sodium black beans, drained

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon chili pepper

1 cup salsa

½ cup low-fat cheddar cheese, grated

1 8.5 ounce box of Cornbread mix, cooked accordingly to package directions

Non-stick cooking spray


1.Preheat oven to 375 ℉.  Lightly spray or grease a 2-quart casserole dish or baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked ground meat, corn, black beans, green pepper, chili powder, and salsa.  Mix well.

3. Put in casserole pan and top with grate cheese

4.  cornmeal mix according to the directions, pour over meat mixture.

5. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving

323 calories, Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 5g, Protein 19g, Total Carbohydrate 3g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Sodium 455 mg.