It's officially the fall season, which means it's time for tailgating. Here's how to keep food safe to eat at your next tailgating event:
1. Keep it Clean: Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. Use disinfecting wipes to clean tables.
2. Cross-contamination: When packing your cooler, securely wrap all meats to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods.
3. Pack a Thermometer: Use a food thermometer to ensure your barbecued meat has been grilled to a safe cooking temperature. Keep meat warm by putting it on the warm part of the grill rack.
4. Keep Foods Cold: To avoid food borne illness, always keep cold foods on ice or frozen gel packs in the cooler. Be sure to pack leftovers in clean containers and then store them in the ice-cold cooler.
- Author: Elena Smith
- Editor: Emily Harris
Fresno and Madera Counties' UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program has a long standing partnership with the Fresno State Dietetic Internship Program. This blog post is part of our Intern Reflections Series.
My two weeks at UC Cooperative Extension with the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program have been packed with both new and familiar experiences, and I can truly say I have enjoyed every minute. I was reminded of how much I enjoy educating children and I learned that teaching adults has its own benefits and challenges. I've worked with children quite a bit in the past, so I was very excited to be able to teach a MyPlate lesson to children at a local elementary school during my time at UC Cooperative Extension. After my first day, however, a majority of my time was spent sitting in and assisting with classes for adults at Jobs and Beyond. I had never taught a group of adults before, so I was nervous when I was told that I would be helping with an entire, four-class series. Despite my nerves, I had a great experience with Jobs and Beyond. The adults were very receptive, and I realized that there is a large need for nutrition education in this age group.
Exposing children to nutrition information early in life is important, but parents are the ones who do the grocery shopping and make the decisions regarding whether to buy healthy or unhealthy foods. The more information they receive, the easier it will be for them to keep themselves and their families healthy. I received more experience with “real world problems” during my time at Jobs and Beyond. The class participants asked great questions like, “Which is better, canned or frozen vegetables?” and ,“My mom defrosts her meat on the counter, is that okay?” I learned that food choices and food handling information is passed down through generations. Being able to answer questions like these and provide explanations that could be passed on to others made me feel that I was making a difference.
Most importantly, I learned that working at a community site, you can't just be a teacher. You must also have the skills of an artist, a mechanic, a fitness instructor, an IT service person, and above all, a problem solver. While at UC Cooperative Extension, I had to think through my ideas for projects from different perspectives, trying to anticipate problems that could arise. With some help from the UC CalFresh staff, I was able to take the ideas I had and make them more realistic for their setting. In making my nutrition corner, a nutrition education poster that will be placed in a school, I experienced a few complications that required different skills and problem solving, including one issue that now allows me to add "laminator mechanic" to my resume. I quickly discovered that it is important to look at things from a child's perspective and anticipate how to make the poster stay together despite the chaos of a school hallway or lunchroom. I learned that it is important to stay calm, try as many solutions as you can think of, and ask others for help when needed. Overall, I had a great experience working in community nutrition alongside the helpful and enthusiastic staff at UC Cooperative Extension in the UC CalFresh program.
- Author: Emily Harris
September brings both National Food Safety Education Month and the end of summer. As we wrap up this great time of year, let's take a look at ways to keep our food safe and avoid food waste as we enjoy the last of our BBQ's, swim parties and warm-weather adventures.
1. When serving food at a buffet, keep hot food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Keep cold food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often.
Once we've finished preparing our food, it's easy to set it out for our families and friends to dig in without thinking about it staying fresh. Make sure your hot foods stay hot and your cold foods stay cold when you serve.
2. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F).
Make sure to put all of your perishable foods in shallow dishes and place them in an ice chest or refrigerator within the recommended time frames above.
3. Use most cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.
Add leftovers to your weekly menu as soon as possible so you don't waste food or eat food when it is no longer safe. For more information about leftovers, click here.
Have leftover chicken? Use it up with the recipe below:
Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli
and Rice Bake
Image Source: tastykitchen.com
5 cups water
2 1/2 cups rice
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 cup milk (skim)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (10.75 ounces, condensed, 98% fat-free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, low-fat (grated)
2 cups chicken (shredded, cooked)
2 cups broccoli (pieces)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In large saucepan bring water to
boil. Add rice, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 20 minutes
or until rice is soft.
2. While rice is cooking combine milk, soup, salt, and pepper, mix well. When rice is done combine with milk mixture, chicken and broccoli, mix well.
3. Grease 9 x 13 pan and pour mixture into pan. Bake in the preheated
oven for 18 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for another 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Recipe Source: What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl
- Author: Nancy Zumkeller
- Editor: Emily Harris
Many people view summertime as a lazy, relaxing time of year, but not the 25 senior citizens at Fresno's Lafayette Community Center and Pinedale Community Center. These seniors spent their summer learning about maintaining a healthy lifestyle by including more fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.
Nutrition Educator, Consuelo Cid, teaching seniors at Lafayette Community Center how fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals our bodies need daily.
The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education program collaborated with Fresno's Parks and Recreation Department to offer senior citizens in the Fresno community no-cost, nutrition education classes over a 5-week period. The Eat Smart, Live Strong curriculum gave seniors tips on how to include more fruits and vegetables in their diet and how to save money while still eating healthy foods. Seniors were also able to taste quick, inexpensive and healthy recipes prepared by the UC CalFresh staff every week during the series.
Nutrition Educator, Consuelo Cid, demonstrating how to cool down after doing any physical activity with seniors at Lafayette Community Center.
The seniors at both community centers also learned about physical activity because it is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone participated in learning four new exercises at each class session along with the proper way to warm up and cool down when exercising. Participants graduated after the 5-week session with a certificate of completion from the University of California and nutrition education reinforcement items to remind them to continue on their journey towards a healthy lifestyle. These items included reusable shopping bags, cookbooks, reusable water bottles and fruit and vegetable scrub brushes. The seniors expressed how informational and fun these classes were for them, and promised to continue eating fruits and vegetables every day and participating in at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Nutrition Program Coordinator, Kristi Schultz-Sharp, with the Eat Smart, Live Strong graduates at Pinedale Community Center.
- Author: Angelica Perez
- Editor: Emily Harris
Parents at Jefferson Elementary School were thrilled to begin the Plan, Shop, Save and Cook Series. They were excited to learn about ways the class could help them save money when it comes to healthy cooking at home and also learn ways to plan healthy meals. Many activities were included during the lessons, which allowed them to apply the skills they learned. One activity had the parents first create a meal plan and then plan their shopping lists. This activity allowed them to see the food groups they were eating plenty of, and which other food groups were being left out.
Jefferson parents planning their families' meals for the week and creating their shopping lists.
As the lessons continued throughout the weeks, many of the parents were eager to share their success in balancing all of the food groups on MyPlate to ensure balanced diets. Others shared their new found awareness of store flyer sale items, which included seasonal fruits and vegetables. Many parents also learned how low their whole grain consumption was, and began incorporating more whole grains into their meals. A couple of the parents even shared that they made our enchilada casserole at home and their families loved it, not knowing that they were eating whole grain brown rice!
Nutrition Educators, Araceli and Angelica, with some of the parents from the class who received their certificate of graduation from the Plan, Shop, Save and Cook Series.
Overall the class was very successful and we had 7 parents graduate the Plan, Shop, Save and Cook Series. Many parents appreciated learning nutrition information provided during the class by mentioning how useful it was for them to ensure that they make everyday, healthy eating a positive and simple, one step at a time, change. They know that these changes will make an extreme difference in their overall health and the health of their families.
Interested in bringing an adult nutrition education class to a school or community center near you? Contact our Adult Nutrition Program Supervisor, Javier Miramontes, at 241-7531 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.