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Around the Home: Fresh fruits and veggies easy to add to meals
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It’s an easy season to include more fruits and vegetables in your daily routine. Whether it’s a salad or smoothie, garden produce offers a variety of recipe possibilities.

And sometimes the simpler, the better.

Wouldn’t you agree a good old-fashioned tomato sandwich can easily compete with a burger?

Looking for a great snack? Sliced fresh strawberries are very tasty and refreshing.

Parents don’t have to worry about strawberries melting and creating a mess like chocolate if it’s warm outside.

Sliced apples, pineapples, grapes and bananas also are great choices. Just add some yogurt and toasted oats and you’ll have your own parfait.

Outdoor gatherings aren’t hard to find right now. Just glance at the front covers of popular magazines. They are showcasing picnic and barbecue foods and ideas.

By the way, the Fourth of July will be here soon. So, keep in mind if you’re taking food to a cookout or reunion, plan ahead.

Here are some helpful tips from UGA Extension:

* Place food in a cooler in the coldest part of your car.

* Keep coolers out of direct sunlight.

* Avoid frequently opening and closing the lid.

* Use ice or gel packs to keep coolers cold.

* Keep raw meats well-wrapped and separated from ready-to-eat foods.

* When barbecuing away from home, make sure a clean water source is available to prepare food and clean items.

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The UGA Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Hall County has been busy this summer. We’ve visited adults and children at Gainesville Middle School, Action Ministries and Tower Heights Community Center. May and June included time with area groups/organizations such as Randy and Friends Inc., Goodwill of North Georgia Career Center, the American Red Cross and Family Promise. They’ve enjoyed “Food Talk” recipes such as chicken divan, four-fruit smoothie and munchy mix.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on