Vivian Gerlach presented the Diet and Nutrition program at the recent meeting of the Heart-N-Hands Extension Homemakers Club. The luncheon meeting was held at the Centennial Fellowship Church at White Hall.

Gerlach stressed the importance of eating healthy for a longer life.

Change is difficult because people get into a rut. Half of the plate should be vegetables and fruits. One should prepare in advance to get the correct daily portions. Drinking orange juice is a good way to get fruit into one’s diet, according to the presentation.

Lower fat substitutes were discussed. Suggestions were given for modifying recipes. 1) If a recipe like quick breads, muffins, or cookies calls for 1 cup of oil, use 2/3 cup instead. 2) Use two egg whites or an egg substitute product instead of one whole egg to reduce fat and cholesterol. 3) Reduce sugar by one-fourth to one-third in baked goods and desserts to reduce calorie content. 4) Drain fat from meat before adding it to other ingredients. 5) Substitute lower fat dairy products for those that are higher in fat. 6) Use equal amounts of fruit purees or applesauce for all or part of the fat in recipes such as quick breads and cookies.

Gerlach brought grapes to show how many would fill the daily fruit requirement. She also brought the following healthy mini muffins for the club to sample: Zucchini Muffins made with whole wheat flour and applesauce to replace the oil; Sunshine Muffins made with grated carrots, zucchini, applesauce, and chopped apple; and Blueberry Muffins — batter will last in the refrigerator for several days.

Cathy Lewis, club president, welcomed members and guests to the meeting. Delores Kelley, community service chairwoman, reported that the club has collected 1,200 non-perishable food items for the Transformation Project at the Centennial Fellowship Church.

Nancy Rosen, community service project chairwoman, reported that Margaret Thomas, Warna Turner, and she had assisted members playing bingo at the Villages of General Baptist West along with bringing bingo prizes.

For Show and Tell, Gerlach showed the group how to fold plastic bags into a two inch by two inch square to put into a purse for an emergency use.

Lewis thanked the group for participating in club and county activities. Vicky Inich and Jo Segars, members of Camden Road EHC, taught a Paper Flower Workshop at the Jefferson County Extension Office. Those attending from Heart-N-Hands EHC were: Jody Stout, Brenda Robinson, Debbie James, Connie Herrin, Kaye Richardson, Sandy Smith, Gerlach, Carolyn Harness, Patsy Brown, and Rosen.

Herrin taught a Clothes Pin Doll Workshop for the club. Those attending were: Brown, Rosen, Sarah Payton, James, Lynda Toler, Stout, Barbra Freeman, Smith, Gerlach, Robinson, Kelley, Harness, Lewis, Richardson, Liz Crosby, and Linda Murray. Those attending the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council Spring Workshop in Ferndale from Heart-N-Hands EHC were: Gerlach, Smith, Harness, Rosen, James, Herrin, Richardson, Crosby, Robinson, and Kelley.

Ann Thornton, guest of member Patsy Brown, attended the meeting and Easter luncheon.

For more information on the Diet and Nutrition program contact the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-534-1033.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.