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Around the Home: Food Talk offers fun advice
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Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean sacrifice and suffering.

How does a serving of Fiesta Quesadillas, Peach Crumble or Confetti Chicken Salad sound?

These are some of the recipes families are enjoying through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Food Talk series.

The free program, offered by the Hall County Extension office, shows families how to eat healthy on a budget. We cover a variety of topics ranging from food safety to planning "stress-free" mealtimes.

It’s OK if you don’t know how to cook. We’ll show you how to prepare meals in 15 minutes or less.

The cost per serving is inexpensive, and you’ll receive attendance prizes such as measuring spoons and refrigerator thermometers at each session.

And the best part: You can sample recipes during the sessions. We have main dishes, desserts and salads, too.

Participants who complete their sessions receive a special Food Talk cookbook plus a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension EFNEP certificate.

Busy schedule? That’s OK. Parents who are super busy can really benefit from the program. We offer quick and easy snack ideas that children love.

We also show parents how to save time and money and reduce stress. Our sessions include tips on preventing hypertension and stretching your food dollars.

Food Talk has received strong support from local schools, agencies and organizations.

We’ve held sessions for a variety of groups such as the Heart-2-Heart Girls Mentoring Group, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, Greater A Manger Community Outreach Center, Family Ties, First Steps and Good News Clinics.

Special sessions are available for schools, child-care centers, places of worship, youth groups and organizations.

Presentations and sessions also are available for staff meetings, workshops/trainings and employee health fairs. We offer special programs for child care and food service employees.

Food Talk also is a great resource for outreach ministries and community programs, too. We work around your group or organization’s schedule. Home visits are available, too.

Ready to make difference in your community?

I encourage you to visit INK (Interactive Neighborhood For Kids), 999 Chestnut St., and paint a bowl to donate to the Georgia Mountain Food Bank Fifth annual Empty Bowl Lunch.

The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 15 at First Baptist Church on 751 Green St.

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank, an affiliate of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, addresses hunger, health and quality of life by serving those in need.

It works with partner agencies in Hall, Dawson, Forsyth, Lumpkin and Union counties to distribute food.

So for as little as $7, you can add your own unique creative touch to a bowl. Make sure you tell an INK staff member that you’d like to paint a bowl for the GMFB event.

The bowls are made and donated by individuals, businesses, civic and church groups, art students, artists and potters.

Guests at the lunch get to take a bowl home. It’s a visual reminder of the individuals who are dealing with a lack of food or food resources in our community.

For more information: www.gamountain 770-967-0075, 770-536-1900 or

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the Hall County Extension Office and can be reached at 770-535-8290.

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