Archive for the ‘mealtime’ Category

Progress on Children Eating More Fruit, Not Vegetables

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The amount of whole fruit* children, 2-18 years old, ate increased by 67% from 2003 to 2010 and replaced fruit juice as the main contributor of fruit to children’s diets. Experts recommend that most fruit come from whole fruit, rather than juice. The amount of vegetables children ate did not change from 2003 to 2010. Moreover, in 2007- 2010, children did not meet recommendations for the amount of fruit and vegetables they should eat.

To read more about this article please see the Centers for Disease Control’s website.

Packing Healthy Cold Lunches for School

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

School will be starting up soon and some parents will be packing cold lunches for their children. has some great ideas for healthy snacks and meals for your kids.



Springtime in Maine

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Spring has sprung in Maine. Gardening season is here which means more time spent outdoors so beware of ticks and lyme disease. It’s also the time of year when families gather for picnics and barbeques. Listed below are just a few publications from the Unversity of Maine Cooperative Extension’s online publications catalog:

#4278 Barbecue and Tailgating Food Safety
#4279 Food Safety for Camping and Hiking

#5047 Ticks
#2367 Lyme Disease
#5108 Insect Repellents
#5110 Mosquito Management

Thanksgiving Preparations and more

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The month of November is the start of the winter season which can also bring question on several different topics such as Thanksgiving, food safety, balsam fir tipping, and another heating season to name a few.

Cooperative Extension has a variety of publications available that may interest you. 

Here are just a few publications that you may be interested in……..

#4213  Helpful Hints for Handling Turkeys for Thanksgiving
#4107  Basics for Handling Food Safely
#4214  General Food Safety Tips for Preparing Food
#7011  Balsam Fir Tip Gathering
#7012  Making Balsam Fir Wreaths
Maine Home Energy Series

You can find many more when you visit Cooperative Extension’s online Publication Catalog

Coupon Clipping Tips

Friday, September 2nd, 2011
clipping coupons

We all want to save money and time on our grocery bill. If you are a coupon clipper, here are some tips to follow to increase your savings:

Check all kinds of sources for coupons. The Sunday paper, on store shelves, inside or attached to products, magazines, coupons by mail, online and even a text. Note: there is an annual fee for some of these on-line services. Some of these have a higher value, which equal more savings! As they say, buyers beware of what you are signing up to purchase.

There are coupon sites that give you additional information on stores that have special savings codes (such sites as RetailMeNot).

If you select to print FREE coupons, you might be asked to give your email, cell phone number or date of birth, just be mindful of who you are sharing this information with or know how it will be used.

Be aware as you might start getting up solicited phone calls or unwanted emails. Simply reply by asking them to remove your number and stop the calls or emails. Sites such as or will promote free coupon, but you will need to download software and agree to their licensing requirements. There are some sites that will have free printable sites; while other sites may even have time sensitive dates or be location specific. So be sure to read the details.

Go directly to the store’s website. This might be the quickest and safest way to really save.

Watch for multiple ways to save. This simply means saving multiple times with multiple offers with just one purchase. For example, some products have a coupon on their website that you can print and save on your purchase; then cut the UPC code from the item and for every 10 you mail in you will get a free coupon for the product. Some yogurts offer this option. Participating schools get $.30 for each label and they match the 1st $100. So while saving money you can help your local schools out too!

Take advantage of store coupons and look for unadvertised sales. Often people do not realize that you can use a store coupon on top of a manufacturer’s coupon to maximize your savings. More often than not you can actually get stuff free! Look for unadvertised specials and clearance prices while shopping. Pair them up with coupons and you will find yourself racking up the free and cheap.

Get Organized. Make sure you find something that is comfortable and convenient to use to store your coupons. Use a binder for easy viewing and storage. Using envelopes with clothes pins, divided up by categories can be a simple way to get started. Be organized to save time and take advantage of saving money.

Use coupons beyond the grocery store. You can find coupons for just about anything. Restaurants, haircuts, department stores, kids’ activities, entertainment, auto care, and more!

Make the most of your coupons by following some of these ideas and tips:

  1. Don’t buy something just because you have a coupon. Use you food shopping list as a strategy to keep you on your budget.
  2. Use coupons for items that are on your shopping list. For a new product, use the coupon when the item is on sale. That could be a double savings as well as a chance for your family to try out a new item.
  3. Trade coupons with friends and family. Make it a family affair by involving your children. Ask your neighbors for their leftover coupons, too.
  4. Compare prices – another brand may be cheaper than the item with the coupon. Check unit pricing to save.
  5. Check coupons for expiration dates, sizes, and amounts you can buy. If it doesn’t fit your needs, save your money.
  6. Some stores will accept expired coupons…it never hurts to ask.
  7. Reuse envelopes to organize coupons and save time and money.
  8. After checking out, check your receipt to be sure your coupons were included. There is no savings to you, if your coupon is not credited.

NOTE: Information in this article is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned in this article. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

Green Bean Salad Recipe

Friday, August 5th, 2011
boy jumping for joy

Hey, Kids!

Try this recipe with

your parent(s).*



nutrition facts for green bean salad



1 pound green beans, cut and steamed
4 large potatoes, diced and boiled
2 scallions


2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Black pepper to taste


  1. Place the beans, potatoes and scallions in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Pour over salad. Toss gently to mix the ingredients well.
  3. Cover the salad and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Makes 6 servings

*NOTE:  Take care with kids in the kitchen!  Children should always be watched by an adult when preparing food!

For more healthy recipes:


Stopping the Food Fight: Creative Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Mealtimes can be a struggle. Do your children resist new or healthy foods? These are common complaints of many parents. There are creative ways to help broaden your child’s palate and ease any “food frustration” during family mealtimes.

Be the eater you want your child to be.

  • Role Model by setting a good example. If you want your child to eat broccoli or other vegetables, you have to eat broccoli or other vegetables. Children will eat foods they are familiar with. It is no surprise that kids will resist new foods. Give them a chance to get used to the new food. When you begin eating the new food, describe the taste and smell so they will be curious to try it.

  • A parent’s job is to offer healthy foods. A child’s job is to decide to try the foods – or not. Do not create a battle or make rules over how much food children need to eat – your child will rebel. If you don’t make a big deal out of what they eat (or don’t eat) you will have an easier time.

Bring the kids into the kitchen.

  • Get your kids involved in all aspects of preparing a meal or snack from planning, preparing, serving and cleaning up.

  • Children who help in the kitchen will try more foods, gain confidence in their abilities, and also become more responsible as they grow.

  • Keep it plain because kids might not like foods mixed together or in a casserole, so begin by offering new foods separately.

Table Time.

  • Make meal times pleasant by serving meals and snacks at the table and away from distractions. Focus on happy conversation, and not on the food.
  • Do not be a short order cook! If your child does not like dinner or does not eat what you have prepared, don’t make a separate meal. Save the uneaten dinner in the refrigerator and reheat if your child is hungry later.

  • Offer a familiar food with the meal when you serve new foods at a meal or snack.

  • Keep servings small. Do not overwhelm your child by placing large amounts of food on her plate.

  • Remember to let your child listen to her own hunger and fullness cues and eat as much or as little as she needs of the good foods you provide to meet her needs.

Food is fun!

  • Let your child pick a new or favorite fruit or vegetable at the grocery store.

  • Try a new recipe and rename it with your child’s name, such as “Macy’s Roasted Potatoes” or Steve’s Spinach Salad.”

  • Make your plate colorful when you plan your meals. That will help your child have input into the meal and be excited about eating the rainbow on the plate!

Changing attitudes about new and healthy food is not always easy, but having fun and being a role model are among the first steps. Try making small, creative changes instead of trying to change everything at once. Once you and your child(ren) have tried broccoli, then on to another food challenge!