What is DINE?

DINE, Durham's Innovative Nutrition Education program, is a school and community-based nutrition education program that serves the people of Durham, NC through all stages of life. Take a look around this site to learn more about DINE and to access some useful nutrition education materials.

Program Spotlight 

Traveling the World through Food

April 10, 2015 - As part of YE Smith’s Friday Clubs program, a group of 4th and 5th grade students took part in the “International Cooking Club”, led by a DINE nutritionist.  These students had the opportunity to learn about, cook, and taste foods from around the world.  During the third quarter, each Friday afternoon from January through March, these budding chefs’ taste buds “traveled” to different countries and explored the various cuisines.  They were also taught basic cooking skills and nutrition principles along the way.  Recipes included Tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce from Greece), Black Bean Tacos and Guacamole (from Mexico), Crepes (thin pancakes - sweet or savory - from France), Veggie Dumplings (from China), Quinoa (from South America), Mini Pizzas (from Italy), Veggie Sushi (from Japan), and Mango Lassi (from India).

Sweet Dreams!

March 12, 2015 - Does your middle school student get more than 9 hours of sleep every night? As Durham Public Schools approach the end of the year’s testing, sleep becomes increasingly important. Missing a full night’s sleep can decrease students' ability to memorize information and lead to lower grades. Recently, Carrington Middle School held a health fair about the importance of sleep. Twelve classes of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students came through the media center to learn about how sleep plays an important role in success at school and in overall health.

Our DINE adolescent nutritionist spoke to the students about the role of well-balanced meals and healthy snacking in maintaining healthy sleep habits. Students learned about avoiding caffeine and sugar before bed time, avoiding fatty and salty snacks late at night, and having a meal in the morning to break the night’s fast, or “break-fast,” to help start their days properly. Sleep is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle and we urge all parents and students to invest more time in eating right and resting their bodies. 

Staying "Alive!"

February 2, 2015 - Four times a year, the “Alive!” newsletter is sent out to 18,500 households in Durham.  The newsletter is written by nutritionists at the Durham County Department of Public Health and is full of information to help us stay healthy.  It also includes yummy recipes and a “Kids Corner” on the back.  Since February is American Heart Month, this month’s Alive! newsletter is all about ways to keep your heart healthy.  You’ll also find information about the different types of fat found in food.  If you’re looking for a heart-healthy recipe, check out the recipes for salmon, salad, and oatmeal.  Happy Heart Month!  Find this month's edition here.

DINE"s Fashion Statement

January 20, 2015 - We’re making a fashion statement!  This year, all elementary school students and teachers whose classes participate in the DINE program received fun healthy foods t-shirts.  These shirts remind us that healthy foods keep our bodies well and are tasty too!  Students can be spotted sporting these shirts at Eastway, Forest View, Holt, Merrick-Moore, RN Harris, Southwest and YE Smith Elementary Schools, as well as all around the Durham community.  Even the teachers are in on this, acting as healthy eating role models (in addition to fashion role models!).  I love healthy foods… How about you?   

Ole Guacamole!

November 26, 2014 - Would you ever think that 280+ kindergarten and 1st Grade students would scarf down guacamole? That's what happened this week at Forest View Elementary School in Durham! Thirteen classes of kindergarten and 1st grade students made their own guacamole using avocados, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and yogurt. Yes, yogurt! - which added a zing and extra creaminess to this already-creamy dish. Licking their plates clean, many students declared that they were going to make the guacamole for their families for Thanksgiving! Interested in trying out the recipe? You can find it here.

Happy Food Day!

October 29, 2014 - Last week, the DINE team joined up with the Durham Diabetes Coalition to celebrate Food Day by leading a series of grocery store tours at a local Food Lion.  Food Day is celebrated each year on October 24th to inspire us to make healthy changes to our diets and to our food policies. 

Nutritionists and Health Educators from Durham County Department of Public Health partnered with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to conduct Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters at the Store here in Durham.  Cooking Matters at the Store is a hands-on nutrition class that takes place in the grocery store!  On Friday, twenty four Durham residents were led around the store in small groups by DINE nutritionists, who taught about how to choose healthy foods while sticking to a budget.  Strategies discussed included comparing unit prices, identifying whole grains, and finding the best deals on fruits and vegetables.  The guided tours ended with a “$10 Challenge” activity, during which participants were challenged to buy a healthy food item from each of the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy), all for less than ten dollars.  It proved to be tricky, but these Durhamites were up to the challenge, and walked away with bags full of healthy groceries!

2014-2015 DINE Programming, Off to a Great Start!

October 2014 - DINE Elementary School programming is now in full swing for the 2014-2015 school year! Serving 8 Elementary Schools, (Forest View, Merrick-Moore, R.N. Harris, Southwest, Eno Valley, Holt, Eastway, and YE Smith), lessons begin with an intro to MyPlate and the food groups. Students learned about the Nutrient Superheroes and the importance of regular exercise (find the lessons here!) In addition, students participating in the cooking-based nutrition classes, learned about food safety and a "Chef's Secret" -- a cooking skill! Check back soon for more program highlights!

Fresh from the Garden

September 2014 - Have you ever tried Squash Fries? Last week, students at RN Harris Elementary School, tasted Squash Fries made from delecata squash (a type of winter squash) that was harvested right out of the school's garden! Last April, RN Harris was awarded a Whole Foods 

school gardening grant that was used to start a school garden -- which now consists of several raised beds growing watermelon, delcata squash, corn, and tomatillos. Prepared by DINE nutritionists, students and faculty enjoyed a tasty nutrient-rich alternative to traditional fries during their lunch period on day last week. Interested in trying Squash Fries? You can find the recipe here. If you can't find delecata squash in the grocery store, substitute with acorn or butternut squash. To learn more about this program, email Kim Barrier at kbarrier@dconc.gov.  


Bok CHARD soup!?!?

October 2013 - Welcome to Forest View Elementary, our newest DINE school! This month, 8 kindergarten and 1st grade classes spent an hour harvesting Swiss chard from the school garden and using it to make "Bok Chard Soup" -- a combination of bok choy and swiss chard in a miso-soup-type broth. Seasoned with garlic, black pepper, and sesame oil, this soup was a hit all around...even at home! Several students (and parents) reported that they made the soup at home. Interested in tasting what the students were raving about? Here's the recipe.

To learn more about this program, email Becca Wright at rwright@dconc.gov. 

Holt Garden Club Gets Cooking!

MAY 2013 - Usually the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in the Holt Garden Club are hard at work tending the lovely vegetable garden in the courtyard of their school. Last week however, they took a break from working in the soil to learn how to use garden produce to create healthy and tasty meals. On the menu were Summer Rolls full of vegetables that will be harvested from the garden later in the season. They even made a delicious dipping sauce! Before jumping into the kitchen, the gardeners learned all about the six different parts of the plant we eat, and why plants are so important to us. Then, they put their knife skills to work slicing and dicing vegetables to use in the summer rolls. There was something from every edible plant part - seeds (peas), roots (carrots), stems (asparagus), leaves (lettuce), flowers (broccoli), and fruit (bell peppers)! One student expressed surprise about all the different plant parts we eat: "I learned that you can eat roots! I didn't think you could eat root because they are underground." Everyone had a blast making the rolls and enjoyed the variety of colors, textures, and flavors wrapped up in the Summer Rolls. 

To learn more about this program, email Morgan Medders at mmedders@dconc.gov. Some of the program resources can also be accessed under Quick Links.

Cooking Program at George Watts Elementary School

APRIL 2013 - This week at Watts Elementary students are making "Crepes Vert", or "Green Crepes" (using spinach to make the batter green) and filling them with fresh strawberries as a part of their healthy snacks lesson. This recipe is just one in a series of cooking classes that happen throughout the year for pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students at Watts. This year students have made Turkey Roll-ups, Plant Part Pizza, Creamy Sweet Potato Soup, Quinoa Salad, Veggie Dumplings, Black Bean & Arugula Ravioli, Root Vegetable Slaw, Green Smoothies, and Bok Choy Soup while learning essential cooking skills such as cutting, grating, pealing, sauteing, and measuring. Whenever possible, the cooking program uses fresh ingredients growing in the school's own Edible Garden to help students make the connection about where their food comes from. Not only are students are learning about healthy eating and preparing healthy dishes, they are excited about it and bringing that excitement and new interest in cooking and healthy eating home. 

"This week, my son ate something called Root Vegetable Slaw for dinner.  He learned to make it in George Watts cooking class and brought the recipe home.  Not only did he eat it, he gave me a lecture on what each vegetable is, helped me prepare it and insisted that his brothers try it too. Since starting nutrition classes, he also makes sure I pack TWO things from the “fruit and vegetable group” in his lunch every day. " - parent at Watts

To learn more about this program, email Becca Wright at rwright@dconc.gov. Some of the program resources can also be accessed under Quick Links.

Cooking at EK Powe Elementary School

FEBRUARY 2013 - Spaghetti, apple salad, beans & rice -Fourth graders at EK Powe Elementary School are learning to cook! DINE nutritionist, Barbara Rumer, and fourth grade teachers at EK Powe Elementary have teamed up to develop a eight-week cooking program that focuses on creating affordable, healthy meals, using equipment and ingredients found in most home kitchens. Students have been involved in the step-by-step processes of making spaghetti, apple salad, and beans & rice. Students have learned how to read a recipe, dice apples, and measure properly while learning essential cooking vocabulary such as "simmer", "dice", and "saute". Not only are students learning how to cook, but they are also practicing math, reading, and following directions. While the program is just in it infancy, students and teachers are already talking about it. 

To learn more about this program, email Barbara Rumer at brumer@dconc.gov

Durham County Department of Public Health Nutrition Division (919) 560-7837. This material was funded by the SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program. In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Offices of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. SNAP, or Food and Nutrition Assistance, provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutrition foods for a better diet. To find out more, call (919) 560-8000.