Food-Themed Calendar For Summer

Getting ready for summer can mean plenty of things such as buying sunscreen, bathing suits, and shorts. But getting ready for summer can also mean looking at a monthly food calendar as well. There are national food days along with national food weeks and months.

Egg day is June 3 and there are many ways to celebrate and create your own recipes. There are deviled eggs recipes, egg salad sandwich recipes that enhance flavor, ham and egg frittatas, microwave omelets and scrambled eggs, and even tips on preparing eggs. These recipes and tips are useful in helping people avoid making a green ring around a hard-boiled egg, how to make homemade ice cream without raw eggs in it, and how to crack the date code on egg cartons. These tips and techniques are very helpful, especially on Egg Day, June 3.

Cheese Day is June 4th and is celebrated by making easy black beans and cheese quesadillas, vegetable cheese quesadillas, and spaghetti pie. There are multiple ways to use cheese in various recipes and there are also tips on how to freeze different types of cheeses, what the best types of cheeses are to freeze, how cheese is made, and even how it can be used for healthy eating.

A day kids and parents can enjoy together will be June 7 which is Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Kids will have fun helping parents make old-fashioned chocolate ice cream and can even learn how to make homemade ice cream without using raw eggs. This is very useful, especially if a family is vegan or does not eat eggs. This could also be useful if they wanted to cut down on egg consumption as well.

A fun way to spice things up on June 10 is by adding herbs and spices for flavor in foods without the added calories! There are many healthy cooking recipes that involve fresh herbs and since herbs are in season in the springtime, it is a great way to enjoy the flavor of foods. Not only do herbs and spices add flavor, but they can also be combined with different types of foods. There are herb and food combination charts and seasoning mixes to make for Herb & Spices Day as well.

For those who are new to cooking and who have been making attempts, there is even a day for you! Kitchen Klutzes of America day is June 13 and this day is dedicated to anyone who has made a mess in the kitchen. There are multiple lessons to make recipes successful and to make sure it is not a recipe for disaster. There are even newsletters including easy to-do recipes for kids as well.

Newsletters about physical activity are also available to these kitchen klutzes and how to get involved in some family fun on the run.

For veggie lovers, June 17 is national Eat Your Vegetables Day. There are tips and tricks on how to add more vegetables to your day and for help eating vegetables along with quick, easy recipes that make vegetables taste great. Making baked kale chips, black bean & corn salsa, foil-baked veggies, roasted baby carrots with garlic, vegetable pasta salad, and roasted broccoli and red peppers are all great ways to make the flavor of your vegetables pop! These are great recipes and easy ways to incorporate higher vegetable consumption, which will benefit health-wise. For those who love the outdoors, International Picnic Day is June 18. This is a great way to get outside and celebrate the beautiful weather. There are grilling tips on how to grill meats and vegetables properly and since Herbs & Spices Day has taught you ways on how to season, this would be a great opportunity to put that to use while grilling meats or veggies. There are also resources to use for practicing good food safety while having a delicious picnic as well. Keeping foods fresh and in the right temperature is highly important.

The First Day of Summer is June 20th and a great way to celebrate is by hosting a family and friends barbecue. Knowing barbecue safety practices will help things go smoothly. Cleaning, separating, cooking and chilling the meats properly will make the barbecue twice as delicious and fun. If you and the kids decide to go camping, there are even ways to eat healthy in the wilderness. Making foil packet potatoes on a camping trip could really bring the family together. There are also ways to handle food safely on the road and practice good food safety that way as well, such as planning ahead by bringing a cooler

Men’s Health Week is June 13th-June 19th Men’s Health Week is established for the purpose of raising the awareness of preventable health issues and the diagnoses and treatment of disease in boys and men. This week leads up to Father’s Day and educational newsletters are available online. There is also a Men’s Health Month as well.

There are many months and times to be celebrated such as Beef Steak Month, Dairy Month, Ice Tea Month, Vegetable and Fresh Fruit Month, Papaya Month, and Turkey Lover’s Month. There are recipes for each month available online and tips and tricks for these as well. For more information on how to celebrate the national food days, weeks, and months, visit the site listed in the references.

Taylor Davis

Taylor is a student intern working with EFNEP at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Pitt County Center.

Source: For more information on daily, weekly, or monthly food calendars and recipes, check out this site :


Red Light, Green Light

There has been a lot of research recently about the need to change our strategies when it comes to convincing our children to eat healthier and try new foods.  The American Council of Exercise (A.C.E.) published a quick list of tips and tricks, some old some new, that show parents optimum ways to introduce their children to different healthy foods and meals. Amongst the popular tricks like eating as a family, modeling healthy habits, and limiting the amount of television, were some tricks that read rather interesting.  New ideas for this life’s generation of children included: letting children choose their portion sizes, exploiting similarities, and making healthy eating fun.  Studies show that if you allow your children to choose how much of a food they put on their plate they are less likely to develop “picky eater” habits and can grow into eating the food on their own accord.  By exploiting similarities, parents can introduce their families to foods that are similar to foods they have already accepted.  If they have grown to enjoy a certain vegetable, as a parent you are more likely to introduce other new foods of similar shapes, colors, and tastes.  Lastly comes making healthy eating fun.  The article suggests growing foods you consume in a garden so the children feel a sense of accomplishment, allowing them to help cook or shop for the foods you eat so they feel more involved and can learn to truly appreciate food for what it is: a way to fuel our bodies.

With the concept of making healthy eating fun in mind I ventured out to find innovative ways to do just this, without having to till up the ground.  Research shows children’s’ minds work differently that adults, and finding ways to introduce a sense of competition, accomplishment, or intrigue into meal planning.  A registered nurse by the name of Rebecca Frager published an article through Cafe for Healthy Eating, that delves into the ways of adolescent healthy eating.  She presents options to aid in getting your children to eat more fruits and vegetables such as: growing a family garden, adding fruits and vegetables to dishes you already eat (i.e. sandwiches, tacos, etc.) and, serving raw fruit and vegetables or salads before a meal when children are most hungry.  The suggestion I found most interesting was her idea to correlate healthy and non healthy eating with visual cues.  She presents and idea called “Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light”.  By associating foods by these slogans it teaches children the value of food in a way they will understand.  By giving children colorful and different ways to look at food, they will be able to choose healthy foods on their own.  Green light foods include fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and protein sources.  Yellow light foods include white bread, frozen yogurt, canned soups, and some desserts.  Lastly, red light foods include packaged foods, foods with high preservatives, and highly processed options with low nutritional value.  Allowing children to associate foods with these colorful cues allows them to talk about it in their own language and simply associate healthy and unhealthy foods with a color rather than a parental command.trafficlighteating