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 Spotlights 

DINE Cafeteria Taste Tests

April 2018 - The DINE School Team has partnered with Farmer Foodshare to conduct taste tests with local produce in elementary school cafeterias. Students try a local vegetable or fruit and receive engaging educational information during their regular lunch time. Then, they vote on how they like it! The elementary schools that have participated in these cafeteria taste tests thus far include: Club Blvd., Spring Valley, Hope Valley, EK Powe, Burton, WG Pearson, Holt, RN Harris, YE Smith, Eastway, and Eno Valley. 

happy National Nutrition MOnth!

March 2018 - The idea of healthy eating may seem very challenging when your budget is limited.  Because food is a controllable expense it may be easy to skimp on when money is tight. But what if you could eat right and save money? For National Nutrition Month® 2018, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics urges everyone to "Go Further with Food." By planning ahead and managing your money wisely, you can still serve meals that are appetizing, easy to prepare, and nutritious, while maintaining a budget.

How? Most of the cost-savings starts at home. Be a smart shopper and get more for your money by deciding in advance what foods to serve for meals and snacks. Do you want to learn more ways to eat healthy on a budget along with other healthy eating topics?  Visit www.eatright.org                                                  

Durham County Department of Public Health is supporting National Nutrition Month® 2018 by hosting multiple opportunities to learn how to ‘Go Further with Food’. Please attend one of the following events:

  • Healthy Eating on a Budget, March 27th 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., lobby of 414 E. Main Street
  • Grocery Store tour, March 23rd, 10 a.m., Food Lion at 3022 Fayetteville St. Register by calling Nasim Youssefi at 919-560-7890.

To find a personalized plan that works best for you and your family, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist by contacting the DCoDPH Nutrition clinic at 919-560-7791. For more information, visit www.dconc.gov

working together with our neighbor!

February 2018- DINE Nutritionists from the Durham County Department of Public Health are collaborating with Lincoln Community Health Center to bring cooking demos to their clients.  The goal of the collaboration is to increase the nutrition knowledge of Durham families by providing healthy recipes, nutrition tips, and information to help them eat healthy on a budget.  DINE Nutritionists encourage simple behavior changes that can lead to healthier eating habits and improved health. 

DINE Nutritionists provide cooking demos, recipes, and cooking tools as incentives.  The recipes are budget-friendly, healthy, and most importantly – delicious!  Some of the recipes they have made include Delicious 15 minute Soup, Black Bean Burgers, and Homemade Spinach Mac and Cheese.  Lincoln nutritionists advertise the cooking demos through posted fliers, overhead announcements, and through clinic appointments.  DINE Nutritionists plan to continue to provide cooking demos once a month at Lincoln. 

what do kids have in common with Plants?

February 2018 - What do we have in common with plants?  We both need nutrients to grow! The Kindergarten and third grade students at R.N. Harris Elementary are learning how to grow and care for vegetables this spring.  The Kindergarten students planted peas from seed while the third graders planted transplants of green cabbage.  Over the course of the next couple of months the students will weed, water and track the plants’ growth.  In class the students will be learning the importance of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to give their bodies all the vitamins and minerals they need to build healthy bodies.  The gardening/healthy eating series of classes will end with the students learning how to prepare a recipe that incorporates the vegetables they have grown in the school’s garden. 

Shower your heart with love this valentine's Day!

February 14, 2018 - This Valentine’s Day, one kindergarten class at Club Boulevard Elementary showed their love in a healthy and delicious way! Using resources provided by DINE Nutritionist Kayla Welch, the teachers planned and carried out a “Heart Healthy” Valentine’s Day Celebration. Parents provided healthy snacks for the celebration, and the children tried new foods and found something healthy to love!

Look what DINE students are cooking this month (January 2018)!

A gathering for good

December 2017- Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation and Durham County Department of Public Health DINE Childcare partnered up to strengthen Farm to Preschool resources in Durham. A Gathering for Good dinner was hosted and 16 different stakeholders attended, offering tips, ideas and suggestions for getting more fresh and local fruits and vegetables into the hands of one of our most vulnerable populations, preschoolers. For more information about this event, contact Meghan Brown.

DINE's first-ever MyPlate Color Run

October 2017 - On October 26th 2017 the DINE team took nutrition and fitness to another level with the first MyPlate Color Run at Spring Valley Elementary School. Part race, part obstacle course, this fun and educational event emphasized balanced nutrition and the importance of physical activity.

As students and families raced around Spring Valley’s campus, they encountered seven stations. Five stations represented the food groups from MyPlate, the USDA’s healthy eating model, and two stations represented the importance of hydration and physical activity. Each station featured fun food facts, a physical activity challenge, a taste-test, and, of course, a chance to be sprayed and splattered with the colored cornstarch that gives the color run its name.

Before race start, Shawnta Wright of Mindful Bodies lead a Zumba warm up to energize the crowd. After the race, Spring Valley’s PTA provided a delicious and nutritiously balanced dinner for all well-deserving participants.

The inaugural DINE MyPlate Color Run was a huge success with all the food knowledge, physical challenges, taste-tests and color explosions. DINE and Durham Schools are already looking forward to the second annual MyPlate Color Run.

Cooking skills for the whole family!

November 2017- This month, seven EDCI LEAP Academy families and their children participated in a bilingual ,interactive healthy cooking class provided by Meghan Brown, the DINE childcare nutritionist. Families made a quinoa salad and received a bag of ingredients, donated by the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, to recreate the meal at home.

Head start children enjoying more fruits and veggies!

October 2017 - A partnership between Durham County Department of Public Health, Durham Head Start and Childcare Services Association (CCSA) is bringing healthier food items and nutrition education to the children of Durham! Children of Head Start are receiving a season fruit or vegetable each month with their meals so that they get to taste foods that, potentially, they have never tried. Durham Head Start teachers are teaching about this fruit or vegetable in class each month to further encourage their children to accept it and eat it. Also, parents are getting nutrition education about the fruit or vegetable each month so they, too, can continue to encourage health eating at home. This multi-tier approach is really taking off thanks to the great support system within these organizations!

Healthy food pantries

October 2017 - This month, the DINE Healthy Environments Program partnered with the Chronic Care Initiative, End Hunger Durham, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC to offer a series of 3 nutrition workshops for food pantry operators and volunteers. During these workshops, food pantries got to learn about various nutrition topics such as eating a balanced diet and learning how to save money on healthy options at the store. Time for discussion on how to convey these messages to clients was given at every workshop, giving the pantries opportunities to get creative! In addition, they all worked on a questionnaire to assess their current status and created a goal plan to move towards improving the healthfulness of their pantries!

Happy Halloween!

October 2017 - Happy Halloween! Did you know that healthy foods can also be a fun way to celebrate Halloween? This month, students in the after-school program at Club Boulevard Elementary learned about healthy snacking and made frightening (but healthy!) Halloween snacks. DINE Nutritionist, Kayla Welch, worked with the after-school staff to help students make guacamole. The students then had fun using the guacamole and assorted fruits and veggies to make Guacamole Monsters!  

Having a great summer!

August 2017 - This summer, the DINE school team has been busy programming at many different summer camps with Durham Public Schools and WD Hill. Kids got some wiggles out playing fun nutrition games such as the MyPlate relay race, fruit and vegetable tag, fruit and veggie charades, and a mystery box where kids had to guess the food in the box. Campers then got to assemble their own healthy snacks Rainbow Sandwiches, Black Bean Mango Salsa, and Black Bean Watermelon Salsa.

PLAnt a garden!

July 2017- This month kids participating in the DINE in Childcare program got their hands dirty and learned how fresh fruits and vegetables grow by building a garden! They planted tomatoes and herbs donated by the Durham Public School Hub Farm. Kids were able to pick basil immediately from the garden and mix it up in a tasty Cherry Berry Basil Smoothie. The kids at this school will continue to grow a variety of vegetables and herbs to pick from, straight out of their schools backyard. 

Another Great DINE school year!

June 2017 - Another great DINE school year has come to an end! Over 7,800 DPS students received nutrition/cooking classes this year.  After receiving DINE programming, 75% of parents reported their child is more willing to eat healthy foods. Learn more about our impact this year here.

EAT MOre Fruits & Veggies!

April 2017 - This month, 4th graders at many DPS elementary schools are learning about Food Advertisements and how they can have an impact on our health.  Students then created their own fruit and vegetable advertisements to hang in the school cafeterias encouraging kids to eat more fruits and vegetables at lunch. 

TIMe to put your best fork forward --it's National Nutrition Month!

March 2017 - March is National Nutrition Month and it’s time to “Put Your Best Fork Forward”!! Every bite counts when it comes tohealthy eating --- and even little changes can have huge impacts on your health. This month focus on making those little changes:

1) Eat breakfast everyday  - it really is the most important meal of the day; gives you energy to start your day off right. Start your day with a protein food, a fruit or veggie, and a grain.

2) Listen to your body – pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues and make sure you are eating only when you are physically hungry and stopping when you are full.

3) Drink more water – water is one of the best choices to hydrate your body; skip those sugary beverages and add some pizazz to your water with fruit, veggies, and herbs– try adding a sliced cucumber and 8 fresh mint leaves (crushed) to a ½ gallon of water. Stir gently, refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and enjoy!

4) Make more meals at home – the healthiest meals are often those meals you make at home. Try some new simple recipes this week at home such as this recipe for Skillet Lasagna: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/easy-skillet-lasagna/9ffa61f3-36e8-4c7f-af2a-eefb4576417f 

For more information about National Nutrition Month, visit http://www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month.

Eastway Sweet Potato Tasting

February 23rd, 2017 - Did you know that February is National Sweet Potato Month?  And sweet potatoes are the official state vegetable of North Carolina!  In celebration of Sweet Potato Month and African-American History Month, Eastway Elementary students got to participate in a sweet potato tasting event last week, on February 23.  The recipe of the day was Roasted Sweet Potatoes seasoned with cinnamon.  The cafeteria staff prepared the sweet potatoes, and they were distributed during the lunch periods by DINE nutritionist Morgan, IFFS school garden coordinator Sabina, and other volunteers.  The students then got to rank how much they enjoyed the recipe.  

DINE in PE classes

January 2017 - This month, the 3rd-5th graders at Parkwood Elementary learned about MyPlate as part of the DINE Healthy School Environments program.  Students were taught about the five healthy food groups and then tested their knowledge with a fun relay race.  During the rest of the school year these students will have three more DINE lessons to learn nutrition while staying active in PE. 

happy New Year!

January 31, 2016 - Happy New Year! (Chinese New Year, that is!)  The Chinese New Year was on January 28, beginning the year of the Rooster.  Holt Elementary School’s magnet program focuses on global studies and foreign language.  About half of Holt’s students study Mandarin Chinese, and those students celebrated the Chinese New Year last week with DINE.  School Nutritionist, Morgan Medders, collaborated with the Chinese teacher to teach lessons on the Chinese New Year, tying in some of the nutrition concepts the students have been learning this year.  Then, the students got to try their hand at making Veggie Dumplings!  

Veggie scripts increases access to Fruits & Veggies

December 12th, 2016 -- Veggie Scripts in Childcare Programs provides families a bag of fresh, NC grown produce once a week along with recipes and taste tests.  A Registered Dietitian or Duke Resident writes a “produce prescription” to stress the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.   This program increases fruit and vegetable access, exposure, and consumption among preschool children and their families. This program is a way that the childcare centers can engage with the parents to provide nutrition education so that parents can make better food choices when they are feeding their children. The Fresh Produce program nourishes these families in three ways: increases fruit and vegetable consumption; lowers risks for chronic disease, obesity and diabetes throughout life; and a provides  a sustainable, low cost source of healthy food. 

SNAC takes a tour of the cafeteria!

December 8th, 2016 -- Twelve 5th grade students at Forest View Elementary are members of the school's first ever Student Nutrition Advisory Council (SNAC). The SNAC meets every Thursday to learn about the food environment at Forest View, interview students and teachers about healthy eating, the Durham Public Schools Wellness Policy, the workings of the school cafeteria, and how they can be advocates for change in their school. December 8th, SNAC members toured the school cafeteria, learning how and where the delicious foods served in the cafeteria are made. Next up for the SNAC club-- coming with with group projects on how to improve the food environment at Forest View. Stay tuned!

Give Junk food the Boot - Eat more veggies & Fruit!

October 24, 2016 - October 24th is FOOD DAY -- A day to celebrate everything glorious about FOOD! This year, Give Junk Food the Boot, Eat More VEGGIES & FRUIT! The Nutrition Division at the Durham County Department of Public Health will be celebrating FOOD DAY throughout the week.

  • A food demo and tasting at the Durham County Human Services Building, 414 E. Main Street, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • A farmer visit and planting with Jillian Mickens from Open Door Farm at Club Boulevard Elementary afterschool program
  • Food Day PA announcements at many elementary schools (written by 5th graders at Forest View Elementary)
  • Special Food Day activities including nutrition games and activities, fruit and vegetable art projects, healthy food collages, and physical education activities related to healthy-eating, as well as books about food were provided for use in Specials Rotations on Food Day at many elementary schools 
  • Farmer Food Share Squash Casserole tasting at Spring Valley elementary

Learn more about FOOD DAY here. Don't forget to Give Junk Food the Boot, Eat More VEGGIES & FRUIT! 


Summer 2016
- DINE Community nutritionists created these ads for display on all of
the GoDurham buses over the spring and summer of 2016.  Survey results revealed that 69% of bus riders surveyed reported seeing an ad on the bus.  Most people (67%) who saw the ads were able to correctly describe what the ad was trying to convey.  On average, 43% of those who reported seeing an ad also responded that the ad made them want to do something differently about their health.  Way to go Durham!

DINE Summer Camp Cooking Classes

June -August 2016 - This summer, the DINE elementary school team has been busy leading culinary-based nutrition classes with summer camps around Durham.  DINE nutritionists led a series of four classes for all students at each of the three Durham Public Schools summer camp sites (WG Pearson, Eno Valley and Spring Valley Elementary Schools).  Additionally, they led classes at Walltown and WD Hill Recreation Centers' summer camps, and at YE Smith's Stepping Stones program for rising Kindergarten students.  Over 350 Durham students have learned about healthy eating with DINE and have had fun trying out their chef skills, making yummy recipes this summer!

The Results are In!

July 25th, 2016- DINE had another successful year in the elementary schools teaching more than 4,300 DPS elementary school students. Eight-five percent of parents agreed that nutrition classes help their child grow up healthy and establish healthy eating habits! Learn more about the impacts of the DINE program here.

Simple and Delicious Kale Salad

May 24th, 2016- Eager to trya new Kale Salad Recipe? Give this one a try. Kale is a great source of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron.

Strawberry Salsa Anyone?

April 26-28, 2016- It's strawberry season! Did you know that strawberries are the only fruits that wear their seeds on the outside? The average berry has more than 200 of them! Last week, Forest View kindergarteners and 1st graders turned their hands red making and eating strawberry salsa. After chopping strawberries, zesting lemons, making salsa dressing, and harvesting mint from the Forest View garden, students tasted and enjoyed Strawberry Salsa. Check out the recipe here! 

Glenn Elementary School Fitness Night

March, 22 2016- On March 22nd, Glenn Elementary School hosted a hugely successful Family Fun and Fitness Night. Over 90 students and family members attended the evening event, which featured a free dinner, fitness activities (including Zumba, yoga, and a PlayWorks activity), and even prizes donated by Durham Whole Foods and Durham YMCA. Other highlights of the night were planting seeds with The Hub Farm, learning about taking care of our teeth with Durham County Dental Clinic, and working out in a class led by Principal Redfearn!

Glenn’s DINE School Nutritionist helped to plan the event, and also worked with 1st and 3rd grade classes during the school day to make healthy snacks for guests to try. Glenn 3rd graders made Pumpkin Whole Grain muffins and learned about what “whole grain” really means. Glenn 1st graders learned about eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, then made Black Bean and Mango Salsa. The snacks were a big hit with the crowd! Thank you to all the students, parents, and teachers who made this event so much fun!

March is National Nutrition Month!!!

March 2016 - What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about March? National Nutrition

Month®!!! It’s here and the theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” which encourages us to “take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat” (nationalnutritionmonth.org)! The Nutrition Division has put together a few activities to celebrate the month.

1)      National Nutrition Month® Trivia Contest: Durham County Employees will participate in a weekly nutrition trivia contest in hope of winning a FitChair. 

2)      March 2nd Quarterly Staff Meeting: Durham County Department of Public Health employees participated in a fun and eye-opening National Nutrition Month® activity at the Quarterly Staff Meeting.

3)      March 22nd Taste Test: Come test your mindful eating trivia on March 22nd in the lobby of the Durham County Human Services Builiding. Nutrition staff (in conjunction with the DSS tabling event) will be providing a delicious taste test and mindful eating trivia from 9:30-12:30.

4)      Nutrition Clinic: Stop by and see our Mindful Eating poster in the clinic, which has lots of great tips on how to enjoy your food and eat more mindfully.

If you’ll be out and about around Durham in March, keep an eye and ear out for other National Nutrition Month® Activities:

  • 1)      PA announcements in participating elementary schools
  • 2)      Mindful Eating bulletin boards in participating elementary schools.
  • 3)      PSAs on NCCU and Duke radio stations
  • 4)      Facebook posts on the DCoDPH Facebook page and the Durham Moms Know Best Facebook page.
  •  To learn more about National Nutrition Month®, visit www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/.

DINE and the Hub Farm Collaborate!

January 19th, 2016 - DINE is proud to collaborate with The Hub Farm to use locally grown produce in our programs—even during the winter! The Hub Farm (www.thehubfarm.org/), located in Durham near Eno Valley Elementary School, is “a 30-acre farm, woodland, and aquatic habitat where students, teachers and the community grow, harvest, cook and eat healthful food…and engage in experiential learning about agriculture, food systems, and natural science.”

DINE and the Hub Farm partner regularly in offering food and farm education to Durham Public School students. Now, we’re taking that partnership one step further by purchasing Hub Farm produce whenever possible to use in our programming. Last week, 4th graders at EK Powe Elementary made “Southern Sushi” using delicious Hub Farm carrots. We’re excited to have fresh, healthy, delicious vegetables for our students, and to be able to support a local farm—it’s a win-win!

Start Your Year off Right with a Grocery Store Tour!

January 13th, 2016 - 
Do you want to learn how to shop healthy at the grocery store? Do you want to learn tips on how to buy healthy food on a budget?  Then join us on a grocery store tour at various locations in Durham!  Call or email ahead of time to save yourself a spot!  Learn more here.  

Cooking Matters at Lakewood Elementary

December 16th – This month, nine Lakewood Elementary School students graduated from their first Cooking Matters course! The DINE School Program collaborated with Inter-faith Food Shuttle and the YMCA to conduct a 6-part nutrition series using the Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters for Kids Curriculum. From October to December, students learned about healthy eating and cooking. They created (and tasted) Chinese Veggies & Rice, Turkey Tacos, Stove-top Macaroni & Cheese, Blueberry Smoothies, Orange Oatmeal Pancakes, and Home-made Trail Mix. Our DINE school nutritionist, Megan Harris, works directly with these students during the school day at Lakewood and could not have been more proud of their hard work and delicious dishes!

The November Issue of the ALIVE! Newsletter is here!

November 16th, 2015 - November is here and with that comes another edition of our Alive! newsletter.  This month’s newsletter features tips for parents and caregivers to be a great role model for children when it comes to eating.  November is also Diabetes Awareness Month so page 2 contains some good information about diabetes and ways to stay well if you are living with diabetes.  Last but not least, check out the yummy recipes featured this month: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Mixed-up Eggs and Spinach.  Happy November!


November 10th, 2015 - Last month, DINE celebrated FOOD DAY during the week of October 19th at 4 participating elementary schools. Eastway, Forest View, Eno Valley, and RN Harris elementary school received PA announcements, “Superfood Hall of Fame” posters, and an Apple Crunch. On October 22nd, hundreds of students participated in the Apple Crunch where students bit into fresh apples at the same time cued by a PA announcement.  Food Day is a day to celebrate eating local food, healthy food policies, and sustainable food practices. Read more HERE

¡Cocinemos Arepas!

October 6th, 2015 - Holt Elementary School’s magnet program focuses on Global Studies and foreign language.  First grade students at Holt study South America throughout the school year, and have been learning all about Colombia recently.  In September, one of our DINE nutritionists partnered with the Spanish teacher at Holt to lead arepas cooking classes with the 1st graders.  An arepa is a type of flatbread made of cooked corn flour and filled with various accompaniments, popular in Colombia and Venezuela.  Students learned about Colombian cuisine and the process of making arepas – all in Spanish.  And then, they got busy mixing, forming, cooking, and tasting the arepas.  They were a hit!  Want to try arepas at home?  Here is the recipe.  The Holt students filled them with cheese, but you could also stuff them with black beans, avocado, peppers, chicken or meat.

How Much Sugar is in Your Drinks?

September 30th, 2015 - Do you know how much sugar is in your drinks? DINE Nutritionist, Leah Williams, talks about sugary drinks on My Carolina Today. This segment was done as a part of DINE's effort to increase awareness about sugar-sweetened beverages and the importance of water.  Click here to watch: http://wncn.com/2015/09/28/how-much-sugar-is-in-your-drinks/

Another School Year -- Another Year of DINE Classes!

September 3rd, 2015 -The school year has begun! As teachers and students dive into learning, DINE school nutritionists are busy setting up nutrition classes and programs for the year. This year, DINE will be working with thirteen elementary schools and six middle schools throughout Durham County. The school nutritionists will teach a seven class nutrition curriculum to participating classrooms. The lessons include topics such as the five healthy food groups; healthy breakfasts; and choosing good snacks. Nutritionists will also lead cooking events, field trips to the Hub Farm, afterschool programs, and more. You can find out more about our school nutrition curriculum here. We’re excited for a new school year full of food and fun!


The August ALIVE! Newsletter is Here!

August 21st, 2015- August is here!  Which means it’s back to school time for the kids.  There’s lots to do to get ready for the new school year, but don’t forget to take care of yourself by eating healthy so that your body can be ready to learn.  The August Alive newsletter has some tips on eating healthy to make a school day great. 

The temperatures are also still soaring so be sure to drink plenty of water to stay cool and hydrated.  Water is the best choice for thirst because it is something that our body needs anyway and does not have any sugar.  Check out the Alive newsletter to see how much sugar is in some of our drinks and learn what choices would be better for health. 

And don’t forget to stop by page 3 to see the yummy recipes this month…including a recipe for grilled cheese! 

CIAA Football Camp + DINE

July 29th, 2015 - The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) hosted
 a Youth Football Clinic at the Durham County Memorial Stadium on July 22, 2015. Head coaches, players, and Radio One personalities shared basic football skills and inspirational life messages with student athletes to help them succeed on and off the field. The DINE team had the opportunity to give a post lunch talk about the importance of feeding the body for competition and how important it is that student athletes stay hydrated. Sports and outside activities in late summer heat can put students at risk for dehydration and heat sickness. Parents and teachers, remember to make sure students are consuming plenty of fluids before, during, and after activities!

Stepping into Kindergarten

July 23rd, 2015 - Stepping Stones is a free summer program at Y.E. Smith Elementary School for rising Kindergarteners with little or no preschool experience.  It seeks to increase students’ readiness for the upcoming school year.  During the three-week program, the students learn daily school routines and practice communication skills.  This summer, DINE nutritionists have provided two educational sessions with each of the participating classes.  During the first week, the young scholars learned about their five senses, explored foods using their senses, and prepared a tasty Black Bean Mango Salsa.  This week, the students have discovered the intriguing world of compost, and worked in teams to whip up delectable Superhero Smoothies.  Throughout the classes, discussions have centered on healthy foods for healthy bodies.  With new knowledge and skills, and healthy recipes in hand, these students are looking forward to starting the school year in just a few weeks!

Rethink-Your-Drink on the Bus!

June 16th, 2015 - Did you know that a regular can of soda (12 ounces) has 12 teaspoons of sugar? That’s the same amount of sugar in almost TWO regular size candy bars! Thirsty for more? A Big gulp fountain drink (44 ounces) has 38 teaspoons of sugar, the same amount of sugar in FIVE AND a HALF candy bars!  The next time you are bored on the bus, spend some time to RETHINK YOUR DRINK! All DATA buses will be featuring ads about sugary drinks and other topics to keep your body healthy.  Check out some of these ads you might see on the bus this summer.

Spring has Sprung!

June 1st, 2015 - Spring has sprung and so have lots of new fruits and veggies!  This month’s Alive! newsletter highlights many places around Durham where you can buy locally grown, low cost fruits & vegetables.  Also, check out the list of what’s in season each month.  Fruits and veggies cost less and are tastier when they are eaten in season!  The newsletter also talks about how to be a mindful eater.  Mindful eating helps us pay attention while eating so that we can enjoy our food and eat just the right amount for our bodies. Check out the latest edition of the Alive! Newsletter here. 

How does the Garden Grow?

May 12, 2015 - Lettuce, kale and arugula all have something in common; leafy green veggies from the garden with lots of vitamins and minerals! First grade students from R.N.Harris Elementary school visited DPS’s Hub Farm to learn all about plants; what they need to grow, how they grow and how those very same plants help their bodies grow.

DINE nutritionists teamed up with the staff at the Hub Farm to provide the students with a unique, hands on field trip demonstrating how we can go from seed to table for good health. In the garden, the students examined the different plants, learned what part of the plant we eat and harvested some lettuce.  DINE nutritionists taught the students about eating a “rainbow of fruits and vegetables” from the garden to get all the vitamins and minerals a body needs to grow strong and healthy.  Using the lettuce they harvested, the students made a Rainbow Salad with Orange Vinaigrette dressing.

Double your Bucks at the Durham Farmers' Market and South Durham Farmers' Market!

May 7, 2015 - The Durham and South Durham Farmers’ Markets are proud to offer the Double Bucks program with SNAP/EBT!  Shoppers can swipe their SNAP/EBT card at the information desk for any amount and the Farmers’ Market will double their money up to $10.  That’s up to $10 to buy more local fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, eggs and much more!  Come see what Durham’s farmers’ markets have to offer this spring and summer!  Hours and locations are listed below.

Durham Farmers’ Market: 501 Foster St

Saturdays: April—November:8am-Noon

Saturdays: December-March 10am-Noon

Wednesdays: MidApril-MidOctober 3:30-6:30pm


South Durham Farmers’ Market: 5410 NC Highway 55

Saturdays: April—October 8am-Noon

Saturdays: November-March 9am-Noon


If interested in arranging a farmers’ market tour for a group, please contact Nasim Youssefi: nayoussefi@dconc.gov.  

Eno Valley Spring Fling and Wellness Expo

May 2, 2015 - Eno Valley Elementary School recently had their Spring Fling and Wellness Expo. Our DINE nutritionist spoke to students and their parents about the importance of healthy snacks. While students learned about the go snacks and slow snacks, snack timing, and snack size using the action board, parents learned about healthy, budget-friendly snack ideas to use in the home and at school. A healthy snack is a small portion of food in between meals eaten to reduce hunger until the next meal. Remember, snacks can be healthy if we make healthy snack choices. Snacks should not have too much sugar or too much fat. Get more healthy snack tips here.

Parent Surveys

April 27, 2015 - DINE elementary school classes are winding down as we approach the end of the school year. Every year, we ask parents to fill out a survey about the impacts the DINE program has had on their child and their family. If your child received nutrition and/or cooking classes, please take a few minutes to fill out our parent survey. We take the data from these surveys very seriously so your input is greatly appreciated. Click here to access the surveys. Thanks!

Go, Slow, STOP!

April 21, 2015 - Just like a car needs gasoline, our bodies need fuel as well. And as the students at Sandy Ridge Elementary Afterschool Program learned, GO foods are really good for our bodies, SLOW foods are foods we should slow down eating because they aren't very good for our bodies,, and we should always STOP when we’re full. DINE nutritionists worked with the K-5th graders on identifying those GO and SLOW foods, and understanding how healthy snacking with physical activity can create energy balance. For energy IN, the 3rd – 5th graders honed their peeling, grating, and chopping skills to create fresh veggie wraps with green hummus. The K-2nd graders built fruit and cheese pretzel kabobs for a delicious salty, sweet combination. To get the energy OUT, students participated in a mini dance party followed by a meditative yoga session. The students enjoyed learning and tasting new things, and discovered how food and exercise can give our body’s physical and mental balance.

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