University of Maryland Extension

Food & Nutrition

Food, glorious food! For some it’s a sensory pleasure, for others just a fact of life, but for all of us eating has an important impact on our health and wellbeing. The University of Maryland Extension offers programs, technical assistance information on food-related subjects ranging from nutrition and healthy eating, food safety and preservation.

Cecil County Food and Nutrition Programs

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Tammy Pryor is the Nutrition Assistant with the Cecil County Extension EFNEP. Her program, a series of educational meetings that include hands-on food preparation demonstrations, help families with young children to improve nutrition habits, follow recommended food safety practices, and manage food dollars.

The Family Consumer Sciences Educator and conducts a variety of programs related to healthy eating, including:

  • Grow it--Eat it--Preserve it (see below for a description)
  • Small Steps to Health
  • Smart Snacking and Think Outside the (Lunch) box!
  • Stretching Food Dollars and Eating Healthier

For information on these program opportunities, please contact the Cecil County Extension Office.

State-wide Programs

Up for the Challenge: Lifetime Fitness, Healthy Decisions
Up for the Challenge is a physical activity and nutrition curriculum, developed by UME educators and distributed to over 120 Army installations worldwide to be used by Army Child and Youth Services (CYS) staff in military after-school programs for youth, ages 5-18. Currently being updated, trained Extension educators are using the curriculum to youth in after-school and in-school settings to positively influence fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity.

Project ReFresh
Research indicates that obese children are more likely to become obese adults. Childhood overweight and obesity are related to poor dietary quality, marked by low fruit and vegetable consumption and high consumption of added sugars and fats. Less than 10% of school-aged children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

UME educators are working collaboratively with school food service staff and teachers to make low-cost cafeteria environment changes and incorporate classroom-based nutrition education with the goal of positively influence elementary students’ fruit and vegetable preferences, attitudes and consumption.

Grains Nutrition for Youth
Diets rich in whole grain foods have a protective effect against several forms of cancer and heart disease. Like fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods are a key component of a healthy diet. Grains Nutrition for Youth blends nutrition education and agriculture literacy and targets youth through two programs: a school-based educational program, “Grains All The Way” and an outdoor enrichment program, “Kids Growing With Grains”. The programs focus on the health benefits of eating whole grains while exploring whole grain production, manufacturing, processing and utilization. The programs are offered through collaborations with administrators and teachers in public and private schools, as well as local grain utilization boards.

Grow it--Eat it—Preserve it
In Maryland, food preservation has become a hot topic with increasing numbers of consumers interested in learning up-to-date, evidence-based techniques and safe procedures for preserving foods at home. The Grow It—Eat it—Preserve it program is designed to give consumers information and hands-on experience with food preservation techniques, so that they can make informed decisions about growing, harvesting, processing, preparing, serving and storing food to maximize food safety and reduce the incidence of Maryland food borne illness.

For information on these and other food and nutrition programs, please contact the Cecil County Extension Office.

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