Cheers! What’s on Your Holiday Drink Menu?

The following article was published in The Sojourner’s Truth, volume 58, issue 10, December 4, 2019, written by Patrice Powers-Barker. For more information about The Sojourner’s Truth please read the paragraphs at the end of the article.

Holiday Drinks. When it comes to the wintertime season and the end of the year with events and parties, there are many reminders about what NOT to eat or drink during this busy time of year. It is important to remember that many holiday drinks might be high in calories or even fat. For example, some drinks like eggnog or coffee shop drinks can be high in fat, sugar and calories. Cornell University offers a reminder, “cheers to good health – quench your thirst with low-calorie options”.  Let’s switch one word and offer “Cheers to good health – quench your thirst with healthy options.”

As a reminder, if you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. The recommendations are up to one drink a day for women and up to 2 drinks a day for men. This article will focus on options for non-alcoholic drinks for any time of the day and for a wide variety of people, including children. Whether you are hosting a group or preparing your own drink, there are easy ways to keep it healthy and dress it up for this busy time of year.

A few benefits of healthy, winter drinks:                            mug warm cider

  • Keeps you hydrated
  • Adds additional nutrients to your day
  • Doesn’t add hidden calories to your day
  • Encourages you to enjoy yourself, your company and the chance to relax

Water. Certainly, water is a valuable drink for everyone but not everyone prefers a glass of plain water. This is a good time to make a pitcher of infused water and store it in the refrigerator. Use fruits that are on sale or in season. Add slices of citrus fruits or apples. Add berries. Have a drink of sparkling water or add some sparkling water to a glass of 100% fruit juice for a fruit flavored spritzer.

Warm Drinks. When it comes to hot drinks, people often have their favorites. Whether you are a coffee drinker or prefer hot tea, consider adding additional options to your day. Whether you’re an adult who loves a hot cocoa or you’re making plans for the children’s drink options, hot chocolate can be a good way to add some calcium to the day. If you have not enjoyed a cup of hot tea recently, check out all the options at the grocery store. There are so many different kinds and flavors especially when you look at herbal teas!

Hosting a party? Cranberry Apple Cider is easy to make. Try this warm drink in the slow cooker.  Just add a bag of fresh cranberries, a couple whole cinnamon sticks, a few whole cloves and a 64 oz bottle 100% apple juice to the slow cooker.  Let it warm up on high or keep it on low for the day.

If you are hosting a party, consider making it easier on yourself to serve hot drinks by using a hot beverage carafe. University of Nebraska Extension points out that some guests may prefer a hot drink like coffee or tea either before or after a meal. In order to have hot beverages available over a period of time, carafes can help keep drinks hot and fresh tasting for hours. It beats making several small amounts of drinks or letting it sit around too long to either color off or on the heat source for an undesirable flavor. They offer this tip: Preheat the carafe by filling it with hot water while you prepare the hot beverage. One the drink is ready, empty the hot water and fill the carafe with your beverage. The hot water heats it up to help keep your drinks warm for longer. Some coffee makers come with carafes. When purchasing a new one, look for a carafe that easy to use and clean.

Festive drinks. Sometimes these holiday specials are called “mocktails” if they’re made without the alcohol. These are nice to have for those who are young or not drinking alcohol at holiday parties.  Like the spritzer mentioned above, it can be as easy as combining 100% fruit juice and sparkling water. In addition, add some tasty garnishes such as berries or fruit slices.

Enjoy.  I know many people live a fast-paced life and it seems to speed up at the end of the year!  If you can take a few minutes to yourself to quietly enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea, the “to do” list will still be there in 10 minutes. Whether you choose a mocktail or choose to indulge in a high calorie or alcoholic drink, enjoy the taste of the drink and the company around you. If you are rushed or feeling stressed out, remind yourself to grab a drink of water.

Sources: Nebraska Extension, Cornell Extension, Produce for Better Health Foundation,  Utah State 4-H Food and Nutrition

The Sojourner’s Truth. Since 2008, OSU Extension, Lucas County has partnered with The Sojourner’s Truth to share a monthly nutrition and health related article. The Sojourner’s Truth is available in many ways: find it weekly around Northwest Ohio at local business, purchase an annual subscription and/or find it online at

From their website:  “The Sojourner’s Truth is an innovative weekly newspaper serving the African-American community in the northwest Ohio area. The Truth started publication in April of 2002 and has grown to a readership of over 70,000 readers today.

“The Truth is a newspaper that is published by, for and about the African-American community. We strive to bring our readers in-depth information about education, business, arts, cultural activities and local and national politics. We also pride ourselves on maintaining a proper objectivity about the news we present and up-to-date opinion and editorials on things that are of importance to the community”

From Comfort Zone to Growth Zone

3 circles to demonstrate 3 zones

From Comfort Zone to Growth Zone was presented by two Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educators, Melissa J. Rupp, Fulton County  and Patrice Powers-Barker, Lucas County on Wednesday October 23, 2019 at the 2019 Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Conference.  The theme of the two-day conference was Growing Our Comfort Zone. The goals for the annual FCS conference:

  • Enhanced ability to create meaningful connections and relationships that enable strong internal and external collaborations
  • Clarify and strengthen our roles within Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Find new ways to relate and adapt to diverse audiences
  • Identify and examine what you would define as your comfort zone and determine ways of reaching outside that zone

The goals From Comfort Zone to Growth Zone lunchtime group activity focused on identifying and examining personal definitions of comfort zones in a non-judgmental way. Comfort zones are not good or bad. After identifying some personal zones, colleagues were encouraged to envision ways to help others when they are making the stretch to grow from the comfort zone to a growth zone.

This activity was inspired by the group training offered by Scott VanderWey, Associate Professor and Director, 4-H Adventure, Washington State University Extension. He presented in Fulton County Ohio in the summer of 2019. He shared a wide variety of resources including the workbook, Building Successful Learning Communities, Educator’s Handbook, 2019, Washington State University Extension. The information on comfort zones is on page nineteen of the handbook.

This link outlines the 4-H Challenge Model including the previously quote on “comfort and growth circles” and the simple theories of education: Adventure-Based Learning, Experiential Education, Full Value Contact, Comfort & Growth Circles and Challenge by Choice. In addition, this blog notes Challenge by Choice as one of the five elements of Brave Space. The goal of Brave Space is to create a supportive environment for all members to participate in dialogue.

Live Smart Ohio Blogs:


4-H challenge model. Washington State University Extension. Retrieved from

Ali, D. (2017). Safe spaces and brave spaces: Historical context and recommendations for students affairs professionals. NASPA Policy and Practice Series. Issue 2. Retrieved from:

Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From safe spaces to brave spaces: A new way to frame dialogue around diversity and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.). The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (pp. 135-150). Sterling, VA: Stylus. Retrieved from:

Building successful learning communities, Educator’s handbook (2019). Washington State University Extension. Retrieved from

Franc Cyr, L. (2004). Bulletin #6103, Effective Communication, GroupWorks: Getting things done in groups. University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from

Naden, Y., & Stark, M. (2017). The pedagogy of discomfort: Enhancing reflectivity on stereotypes and bias. British Journal of Social Work, 47 (3). Retrieved from

Navigating for Success Lesson 1: Getting acquainted and facilitating learning (2017). Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University.

Seery, M. D., Holman, E. A., & Cohen Silver, R. (2010). Whatever does not kill us; cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99,6. 1025-1041

Torretta, A., & VanderWey, S. (2019). Creating group norms by using full value commitments in experiential education programming. Journal of Extension, 57 (3), 3TOT8. Available at

Treber, M. (2015).  Are there connections between stress and your heart health? The Ohio State University, Live Smart Ohio Blog. Retrieved from

Tugend, A. (2011). Tiptoeing out of one’s comfort zone (and of course, back in). New York Times. Retrieved from

White, A. (2009). From comfort zone to performance management. Understanding development and performance. Retrieved from

Zembylas, M., (2015). ‘Pedagogy of discomfort’ and its ethical implications: The tensions of ethical violence in social justice education. Ethics and Education 10 (2):163-174.

Extension Educators Partnering with Local FCS Teachers

In Ohio, OSU Extension work is divided by counties across the state. There is not necessarily an FCS Educator in every county. In an attempt to build a stronger working relationship between FCS Extension staff and FCS teachers, this post will “collect” ideas, suggestions and ways to continue to connect and strengthen our work in the community.

2019 Contacts:  Melissa J. Rupp, Fulton County and Patrice Powers-Barker, Lucas County 

photo of hear and connecting with "heart and soul" of FCS, the teachers


The current team of FCS Extension Educators in Northwest Ohio designed presentations to share “about” and “how to” organize an annual one day FCS Teacher In-Service. The 2019 team would like to acknowledge and thank all of the former FCS Extension colleagues who started the educational event and kept it going for over 20 years. We think the work they started is worth continuing and worth sharing with newer staff and colleagues.

Previous Presentations and Resources:

  • Ignite presentation at 2019 annual OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences conference on Extension Educators Host Annual Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher In-Service Day, Thursday October 24, 2019.  Coming Soon: Ignite PowerPoint
  • NEAFCS (National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences) annual session 2019 presentation link. 

Extension Celebrates “Dine In” and FCS Day

The goal of this page is to help Extension professional celebrate Dine In Day with their local community. In addition, OSU Extension FCS professional hope to make county, state and national connections to celebrate Dine In and FCS day on December 3rd.

Lucas County Ohiophoto of gnome statue and table settingIf you are looking for information about celebrations in Lucas County, please visit and follow The Ohio State University Extension, Lucas County on Facebook.  Share your stories and photos on social media and use the national #FCSday #healthyfamselfie and local #LiveSmartLucas.  In addition, you can follow #LucasTheGnome on our county Extension Facebook page.


I'm dining in round logo Extension Colleagues and Community Partners – If you are looking for ideas to lead, coordinate and promote Dine In Day  in your own community, please complete the informal survey below and then visit the Idea Starter Page below. The survey is a short six questions and at the end it will bring you right back to this page. LINK TO SURVEY 


This list cannot cover all of the great material available online but it focuses on Cooperative Extension, Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences and national community partners including, but not limited to AAFCS (American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences) and NEAFCS (National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences). This blog is just a starting point from the point-of-view of a county Extension Educator.  For this national celebration, AAFCS coordinates many national partners and collects the list of participants – make sure you and your local partners sign up to be counted and share your story on social media.

Idea Starter Dine In Day

If you’re looking for something easy to hand out at programs, AAFCS has a business card size promo piece for Dine In day.  Use Avery 5371 Business Cards (10 per page) for easy printing.  Print, double sided/flip on short edge. Dine In Day Promo – Business Card


The promotion of Dine In Day is a collaborative effort from the local level to the national level. If you have any questions about the information posted on this blog, please email Patrice at and she will help connect you with the right person at OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences. For information on the national celebration, please visit AAFCS at

Extension Educators Host Annual Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher In-Service Day

Family and Consumer Sciences staff from Northwest Ohio are pleased to present at the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) 2019 Annual Session in Hershey, PA.

Presentation Description: As one way to connect with local teachers, a team of Extension Educators offer professional development and resource sharing by planning, teaching and evaluating an annual FCS Teacher In-Service Day.

photo of puzzle and quote on collaboration

Additional Information:

2019 Northwest Ohio FCS Teacher In-Service resource list


Abdul-Rahman, F., Jeffcoat Bartley, S. (2013) “’Let’s Talk’: Collaboration between family and consumer sciences extension and teachers”  Journal of Extension.

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

Bowers, J. and Myers, L. (2018) “Filling the educator pipeline: National partnership to recruit, prepare and support family and consumer  sciences educators”. Techniques.

Eva, A. (2019). “What happens when we listen to teachers’ stories. Teachers of Oakland wants to change the conversation about  education by humanizing teachers. Greater Good Magazine, Science Based Insights for a Meaningful Life.

Franck, K., Wise, D., Penn, A., & Berry, A. (2017). Preparing future professionals for holistic family and consumer sciences programming. Journal of Extension, 55(6), Article 6FEA4. Available at

Harder, A., and Zelaya, P. (2017), “Identifying assets associated with quality extension programming a the local level” Journal of Human  Sciences and Extension.

Using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale to Evaluate an Extension Program

The Mindful Wellness team is pleased to present a poster, Ignite and discussion table at the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) 2019 Annual Session in Hershey, PA.

Description: This presentation will share the results of using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale with adult participants of Mindful Wellness, a program designed and taught by Extension Educators.

poster presentation on MAAS

Poster presentation

Handout for discussion table

The last five minutes of the Ignite presentation included a short mindfulness practice adapted from Chris Bergstrom’s Three Senses, Mindfulness Activity for Kids, Teens and Grown-ups.


Using Brave Space for the 2019 “Growing Your Comfort Zone” Conference

Many Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) professionals, especially those who teach community nutrition programming like the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) are familiar with the acronym VOICE from Navigating for Success (NFS) by Cornell University.  VOICE is used as a set of guidelines during the NFS staff training as well as for staff to use when teaching nutrition programs in the local community. The VOICE concepts are summarized here:

  • Every participant chooses their comfort level for speaking in front of the group. They will not be called out and they are encouraged to participate in small group discussion.
  • The facilitator will give time for all participants to consider their responses and not rush to the next question.
  • Everyone will work to make the class welcoming for participation as well as letting all participants know what is happening at every given moment.
  • Start and end of time.
  • Encourage one another in class as well as in encouraging one another in ways to approach challenges related to the lesson topics outside of class.

For the 2019 OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences conference, it is recommended that FCS adopts the guidelines of “Brave Space” to balance the conference theme of “Growing Your Comfort Zone”. Why this set of guidelines?

  • Brave space guidelines and VOICE complement one another.
  • Not everyone attending the 2019 FCS conference will have been trained in Navigating for Success. This will offer a common set of guidelines for all conference attendees.
  • Brave space describes “the practice of safely fostering challenging dialogue within the classroom environment” (Ali, 2017). Although brave space has most often been used on campuses and university classrooms, the workshops and lessons at a state-wide conference are designed as professional development with goals of on-going learning like that of a classroom. Since the concept of brave space is related to “service-learning and community engagement programming” (Ali, 2017, p8) it also fits well with outreach and extension.
  • For Extension colleagues who are interested in learning more about brave space, a list of references and links are provided for on-going work and research.

list of 5 brave space elements

“Brave spaces are used today in classroom settings as a mechanism to create supportive environments so that all students may equally participate in challenging dialogue. The creation of brave spaces is never without the risk of discomfort for those participating, but they allow for a more enriching and extensive dialog while simultaneously providing tools of support for those who are most vulnerable. The purpose in providing these tools is to enhance – not detract from – participation and academic growth” (Ali, 2017, p9).  While the conference planning committee doesn’t anticipate that the conference will be difficult or unpleasant, the topic of “growing our comfort zone” could bring up topics and scenarios that are new and possibly uncomfortable.

What are the five elements of brave space?

  1. Controversy with civility
  2. Own your intentions and your impact
  3. Challenge by choice
  4. Respect
  5. No attacks (Aroa & Clemens, 2013)

A brief explanation of the brave space guidelines and how it applies to the Extension workplace, the state FCS conference and professional development.

 Controversy with civility. Varied opinions are accepted.

A common phrase is “agree to disagree.” One problem with this sentiment is that difficult conversations can be brushed off with the idea that, “no one is going to change their mind so why bother having any discussion”? The goal is not necessarily to change opinions or win a debate but to learn and seek understanding of other points of view. Controversy with civility “frames conflict not as something to be avoided but as a natural outcome in a diverse group” (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p144). In addition, the word civility “allows room for strong emotion and rigorous challenge” and that “continued engagement through conflict … strengthens rather than weakens diverse communities” (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p144).

 Owning intentions and impacts. Individuals “acknowledge and discuss instances where a dialogue has affected the emotional well-being of another person” (Ali, 2017, p3).

 Owning your intentions and your impact is a personal responsibility. It doesn’t force responsibility onto others in the way that the dismissive phrase, “don’t take things personally” might. The element of owning intentions and impacts certainly requires self-reflection which also takes time. Owning intentions and impacts isn’t necessarily the default during difficult discussions. It is not uncommon for individuals to have a defensive reaction during uncomfortable experiences. How do you best assess yourself, acknowledge your intentions and how you impact others?

In addition to self-reflection, “communicating effectively helps group members build trust and respect, foster learning and accomplish goals” (Franck Cyr, L. 2004). GroupWorks: Getting things done in groups offers a nice summary of active listening as well as direct, assertive expression. In addition, they address that feelings of anger during conflicts, “can provide information and stimulate energy that can be used positively” and there are productive ways to express and receive anger (Franck Cyr, L., 2004). It is recommended to use communication strategies such as the I-statement or I-language. For example, I feel …. (make a clear statement of how you feel); when ….. (name the specific behavior or situation that caused you to feel that way); because …. (say why the behavior or event is upsetting) (Manage Your Money, 2019). Additional phrases or steps added to I-language include: reflect the other’s perspective and end with either a suggestion or solution such as “can we try ….?”

Challenge by choice. Personal option “to step in and out of challenging conversations” and activities (Ali, 2017, p3).

This phrase has roots in youth experiential education programming and outdoor learning. It acknowledges the individual’s “right to choose the challenge to try something outside his or her comfort zone but to be respected by the facilitator and peers if ultimately deciding not to follow through” (Torretta & VanderWey, 2019). While facilitators respect and recognize that engagement in activities cannot be forced, participants will be encouraged to, “be aware of what factors influence their decisions about whether to challenge themselves on a given issue” and to “think about what keeps them from challenging themselves” (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p. 147).

Respect. “Show respect for one another’s basic personhood” (Ali, 2017, p4).

While this element is easily accepted by most people, Arao and Clemens point out that respect might look and sound different to everyone. Some examples of respect are rooted in culture. One example they gave was the difference between not interrupting someone (in order to show respect) verses other settings and cultural contexts where “interruption and talking over one another is welcome” (2013, p148). Their goal is not to create a consensus of exactly what respect looks and sounds like but to encourage participants to be aware of “the different ways they can demonstrate respectfulness to one another” (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p148). In addition, participants are also encouraged to reflect on “how they might firmly challenge the views of someone else in a respectful manner” (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p148).

No attacks. No intentional harm on one another.

Like respect, most people accept this element as a valuable part of discussion. On the other hand, it is not uncommon to disagree on, “the differences between a personal attack on an individual and a challenge to an individual’s idea or belief or statement that simply makes an individual feel uncomfortable” (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p148). Some examples of attacks are obvious like name calling and should not be used in civil discussion. At the same time, when emotions are involved and the discussion feels heated, statements could easily be misconstrued as attacks when that is not the intention. Arao & Clemens remind participants, “that pointed challenges are not necessarily attacks, but the uncomfortable experience that may result can sometimes lead to a defensive reaction” (2013, p149) (Naden & Stark, 2016) (Zembylas, 2015). This is an example of a moment when it might be beneficial to take a deep breath and review the list of brave space elements. Ask yourself: Is this scenario really an attack or is it an example of controversy with civility? As a participant in this conversation, am I being honest about my intentions and my impact within the discussion?

The goal of brave space is to create “a climate where students are willing to ‘risk honesty’ so that an authentic exchange of ideas becomes possible” (Ali, 2017, p6). Growing our comfort zone might involve some risk but it is encouraged as a calculated risk in order to grow and learn from one another.



Ali, D. (2017). Safe spaces and brave spaces: Historical context and recommendations for students affairs professionals. NASPA Policy and Practice Series. Issue 2. Retrieved from:

Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From safe spaces to brave spaces: A new way to frame dialogue around diversity and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.). The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (pp. 135-150). Sterling, VA: Stylus. Retrieved from:

Franc Cyr, L. (2004). Bulletin #6103, Effective Communication, GroupWorks: Getting things done in groups. University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Retrieved from

Manage Your Money Lesson 1: Getting started (2019). Ohio State University Extension, Retrieved from

Naden, Y., & Stark, M. (2017). The pedagogy of discomfort: Enhancing reflectivity on stereotypes and bias. British Journal of Social Work, 47 (3). Retrieved from

Navigating for Success Lesson 1: Getting acquainted and facilitating learning (2017). Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University.

Torretta, A., & VanderWey, S. (2019). Creating group norms by using full value commitments in experiential education programming. Journal of Extension, 57 (3), 3TOT8. Available at

Zembylas, M., (2015). ‘Pedagogy of discomfort’ and its ethical implications: The tensions of ethical violence in social justice education. Ethics and Education 10 (2):163-174.

Celebrate the summer bounty of Ohio local foods

These resources are shared as part of a 2019 Your Plan 4 Health webinar  presented by OSU Extension Educators, Melissa J. Rupp and Patrice Powers-Barker. Melissa works in the Fulton County office and Patrice works in the Lucas County office. Need to connect with your local Ohio State University Extension office?  Here’s the list for each county.

tabletop of fresh summer vegetables

Resources shared in the webinar:

Recipe ideas for seasonal, local produce (mentioned in webinar):

The following sites have recipes that are user-friendly for all ages:

Utah State University Extension asks, ” Have you ever wanted to be a person who could walk into the kitchen, look in the pantry and refrigerator, and create a delicious meal out of what you have on hand?” They share a “create” series such as: Create an Omelet, Create a Sandwich or Wrap or Create a Pizza. Check out all their suggestions.

Northwest Ohio FCS Teacher In-Service Day

Thursday April 4th, 2019 – the following resources are added in order of the day’s agenda:

Keynote: The Ice Cream Sundae – A Perfect Model for Food Science in the FCS Classroom, presented by Pam Snyder

CIFT Food Industry Credentials, presented by Rebecca Singer, President and CEO, Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT)

Tour of the NOCK Facility and its mission, Paula Ray, Site Manager

Thank you Danielle Arbinger for sharing about your business, Guac Shop, website (and find them on facebook and instagram guacshop419)






Success Story: Thank you Chris and Lin Lane for sharing about your business, Country Lane BBQ, LLC, facebook

Lunchtime Information: David Little, CVE Curriculum Consultant

Mindful Moments (resource from Yoga 4 Classrooms – you can purchase their deck of cards and request a free download of six cards)

Lightening Round of Resources from OSU Extension, FCS Educators


FCS Teacher Share Time

(sorry, not all linked but here are some of the resources shared by teachers)

Book on Truck Food Cookbook, make foam food trucks to decorate the room. Ties in with lessons on recipes, cost of business, etc.

NGPF next generation personal finance (podcasts for your own professional development)  (FinLit fanatics FB page for teachers using this curriculum)


Copy of weekly calendar, standard – kids can view it, it helps with subs and helps stay organized and “magic binder” with all information in one binder

Use Google – students use resources including running their own webpage for Childhood Development

Question of the day on whiteboard, up all day to see what other students wrote, 2-3 days a week, sometimes review questions, sometimes questions for fun

Lambsville, financial management class activity, Ms. Lamb is the mayor. Put it all into the packet this year.

Interior Design – made an edible color wheel – vanilla wafers, can work as team to use food colors

Documentary – The True Cost, on Netflicks, one hour 32 min, prepare students to see graphic things (how our clothes are made in third world countries). Message for our youth: you cannot disregard the clothes in your closet. If you don’t wear it, please share/donate with others who can use it.

Fill Your Bucket by Carol McCloud (books for babies, toddlers and youth). In class they decorate small buckets for this “children”

Compost Stew, (HS students like the kids’ book) for food supply unit, movie Ingredients, movie

Fetal Development, focus on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome since it’s preventable.

January is Board Appreciation Month, FCS class made the meal of 2 soups and then served to the board (including the superintendent and other administrators). They loved the meal and all of them stayed to clean up. Have made connections with them throughout the year (sometimes food, sometimes other information for them)

3 out of 5 Board Members following on FB

University of Findlay –  Adulting 101

Gifts from the Family Kitchen

This post share tips and links to resources for making economical, tasty and easy convenience foods from the kitchen. Instead of buying a box of instant soup, pancakes or seasonings, try these ideas for making your own. This is a project that the family can help with too! Children as young as toddlers can practice washing their hands with soap and water and helping mix the ingredients in a large bowl with the help of older children or adults.

mason jar with dry soup ingredientsGive Yourself the Gift of Time

Why pay more for convenience items at the store?  Make your own recipes to save money and time. These ideas can also be packaged to give as gifts for the holidays.


What Kinds of Recipes?

Use recipes from Extension (check out the links below) or look for recipes with all dry ingredients such as: uncooked rice or pasta, dry cereal, pretzels, dry beans, nuts, dry milk, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, spices & herbs. None of these ingredients will have to be refrigerated or frozen. If this is a gift, what would the recipient like best? For example, a young family might enjoy a quick snack mix while the gourmet cook would like a tasty, low-sodium spice blend.  Test out new recipes to make sure that the item tastes good, and the instructions are easy to follow.

Thrifty Shopping

Look for sales, compare costs of store brand to national brand, compare cost of smaller verses larger sizes and buy food in season when it is least costly or on sale.

Food Safety

Before any food preparation, clear and sanitize work area and wash hands with soap and water.  Make sure that containers are clean and completely dry before adding any ingredients.

Storage or Gift Containers

Use only containers that are designed to store food safely. Canning jars, for example, make great containers for food mixes.  If using canning jars, make sure they do not have chips or cracks.  Avoid containers that contain toxic metals, such as lead, copper, brass, zinc, antimony and cadmium.  Other gift containers include mugs for soup or drink mixes (put the mix in a plastic storage bag first before putting it in the mug) or salt or cheese shakers for spice mixes.  There are many choices of decorative food storage bags and containers at local discount or craft stores

Decorating Gift Containers

Your decorations can be as simple as attaching the recipe to the container or you can add scrap fabric, ribbon, or colored paper to decorate the outside of the package.  Tie on a candy cane, small whisk or measuring spoon for added decorations.

Information for this post was updated and adapted from Lisa Martin, EFNEP (2002)

Recipes Featured in OSU Extension Lucas County Classes

Additional Recipes and Resources