NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Fruit Salsa & Bread Sticks & Meatballs, Oh My!

fruit salsa ingredients

Kids Cooking Camp was held in Milnor last week.  Fruit salsa and cinnamon chips, whole grain yeast dough bread sticks, and homemade meatballs were but a few of the tasty and nutritious foods that the seven camp participants prepared during the week.  What a great group of kids, and what a fun week we had together!

Campers learned and practiced a variety of basic cooking skills such as how to accurately measure liquid and dry ingredients, how to “fold” ingredients together, how to “knead” dough, and how to use kitchen knives safely to slice, dice and chop a variety of foods.   

Did you know that basic cooking skills provide a foundation for family meals, and that regular family meals are linked with many positive benefits for individuals and families?  It’s true!  Family meals provide an opportunity for shared communication, lasting family connections, and healthier nutrition. 

Additionally, family meals are also associated with reduced risk behaviors in children and teens.  Research also shows that families with cooking skills are more likely to make healthier food choices and spend less money every month on food.

Campers tried foods that were new or different to them, and many times they were pleasantly surprised that they “liked” those foods!  Did you know that the same thing can happen at home?  Family meals offer “teachable moments” to explore different foods and provide a springboard for parents to teach children healthy eating habits for a lifetime.

 The core four food safety practices of clean, separate, cook, and chill were emphasized and practiced during Kids Cooking Camp, too.  For example, campers used food thermometers to measure the internal temperature of the baked meatballs and the temperature of the water that was used for making yeast dough.  Did you know that using thermometers helps assure food is neither undercooked nor overcooked?

 Campers also dived into using MyPlate, food ingredient lists, and nutrition facts labels.  Did you know that using those resources for making informed food choices can help promote health and wellness?

With today’s busy schedules, families often do not think about what’s for dinner until it’s time to eat. However, freezer meals and slow cooker meals can be part of the solution to that dilemma!  The beauty of make-ahead freezer meals was proven when campers prepared Rice and Black Bean Burritos. 

NDSU Extension’s Family Table website, https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/familytable, offers a plethora of resources to make family meals happen for your family.  Our Facebook page, 

https://www.facebook.com/ndfamilytable/, provides additional information, plus fun challenges and contests. 

Photo Credit:  https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1275603  (downloaded 7-23-18)

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