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Cooperative Extension offers healthy holiday foods course

AMANDA SEBASTIANO
Staff Writer

Substituting pumpkin pies and gingerbread cookies with vegetables and salads on the dinner table this holiday season is a goal Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences Melinda Houser is striving toward this week — hoping to get the wheels moving in a healthy direction.
Houser has been leading her Healthy Holiday Foods course for over 10 years, with the help of the Extension’s Food and Nutrition committee. This year, however, the group will reach out to some audience members to participate in last-minute preparations in making the food — a more hands-on experience than usual — showing those who attend the class how to incorporate the ingredients into the dish being made.
Thursday, attendees will be shown how to make more nutritional appetizers and holiday foods, including apple dish recipes, along with food safety tips that are listed in the recipe booklet included in the $5 registration fee.
Ideas on how to prepare food that doesn’t cost much, but is still healthy and tasty is something Houser hopes those who participate will walk away with.
“Participants will learn how to modify some recipes, and will receive recipes and taste samples that are simple to make,” Houser told the Times-News on Monday.
“Many chronic diseases are a result of not eating healthy foods and eating large amounts of foods that aren’t healthy; obesity is another issue, too.”
Ideas for meals that appeal to both children and adults will also be discussed during the demonstration.
Houser’s course will begin at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Citizen’s Center in Lincolnton. Registration was required by Monday to attend the event.

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