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University of Idaho Extension, Franklin County

Mailing Address:
561 W Oneida
Preston, ID 83263

Phone: 208-852-1097

Fax: 208-852-2812



Find us on Google Maps

Family and Consumer Sciences

UI Extension improves the quality of life for adults, children and families through research-based education in family and consumer sciences (FCS). FCS programming in Franklin County focuses on 1) Health, nutrition and wellness; 2) Food safety and preservation; and 3) Family economics.

For more information, please call 208-852-1097 or email

Health, Nutrition and Wellness

Extension educators offer help on topics including 1) Meal planning, 2) Saving money at the grocery store, 3) Preparing healthy foods, 4) Balancing time, 5) Managing stress, 6) Mindfulness, 7) Healthy sleep habits and 8) Fitness.

Educational Resources

Alzheimer's 101

Alzheimer's 101 Fact Sheet from Kansas State Cooperative Extension Service

Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

This video shares basic information about Alzheimer’s Disease, the ten warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, and why it’s important to seek medical care early if you are experiencing any or all of the signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Roadmap to Healthy Eating Online Class

Flyer (PDF)

After completing this free online class, you will better understand how to 1) Plan healthy meals based on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, 2) Utilize the helpful MyPlate recommendations to ensure a well-rounded meal plan, 3) Eat more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and proteins, 4) Choose foods with less added sugars, saturated fats and sodium, 5) Ensure a healthier lifestyle for you and your family.

For more information, contact Laura Sant at

Food Safety and Preservation

University of Idaho Extension educators provide training to consumers through online or in-person classes or by phone on food safety and preservation topics.

Family Economics

Extension educators give classes in youth and adult financial literacy upon request.


Extension Notes from the Preston Citizen

Grapes were cultivated in the Middle East up to 8000 years ago. Today, 72 million tons of grapes are grown each year worldwide. There are many types of grapes including green, red, black, yellow and pink. The nutrients in grapes offer a number of possible health benefits. Here are ten.


  1. Packed with Nutrients – Grapes are high in important nutrients including vitamin K (vital for blood clotting and strong bones), and vitamin C (necessary for connective tissue health and immune function).
  2. Protects Against Certain Types of Cancer – Grapes contain high levels of phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds), which may protect against certain types of cancer. Resveratrol (a phytonutrient) may reduce inflammation, act as an antioxidant and block the growth and spread of cancer cells. Grapes have other phytonutrients that may contribute to its anti-cancer benefits (quercetin, anthocyanins and catechins).
  3. Boosts Heart Health – Here are two reasons eating grapes helps your heart. 
  • May Lower Blood Pressure – Grapes contains potassium, a mineral that is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. People who eat more potassium and less sodium are less likely to die from heart diseases. 
  • May Reduce Cholesterol – Compounds in red grapes may lower cholesterol levels by decreasing cholesterol absorption. White grapes do not appear to have the same effect. Eating foods high in resveratrol may also decrease cholesterol levels.
  1. Decreases Blood Sugar Levels and Diabetes Risk – Though grapes are high in sugar (23 grams per cup), they have a low glycemic index (a measure of how fast a food raises blood sugar). Additionally, grape compounds may protect against high blood sugar.
  2. Increases Eye Health – Grape phytonutrients (resveratrol, lutein and zeaxanthin) may improve retinal function and protect against common eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic eye disease.
  3. Improves Memory, Attention and Mood – Grapes contain phytonutrients that may improve memory, attention and mood and may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, though more human-based research is needed to confirm some of these benefits.
  4. Contains Important Bone Health Nutrients – Grapes contain minerals necessary for bone health (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin K). Though studies in rats have shown that resveratrol improved bone density, these results have not been confirmed in humans.
  5. Defends Against Certain Bacteria, Viruses and Yeast Infections - Numerous grape compounds may protect against and fight bacterial and viral infections.
  • Vitamin C - Boosts immune system
  • Grape skin extract - Protects against the flu virus in test-tube studies
  • Phytonutrients - Stops the herpes virus, chicken pox and yeast infections from spreading in test-tube studies
  • Resveratrol - protects against foodborne illness
  1. Slows Aging and Promotes Longevity - Grape phytonutrients may affect aging and lifespan. Resveratrol has been shown to activate genes which have been linked to longer lifespans in a variety of animal species.
  2. Reduces Inflammation – Chronic inflammation plays a key role in the development of chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and autoimmune diseases). Grape phytonutrients may have anti-inflammatory effects, which may protect against certain heart and bowel diseases.

Face masks are a very controversial topic. I am on the fence about whether to wear a mask or not. I can see both sides to the issue. I don’t particularly like wearing face masks. When I wear one, it is hard to breathe. It makes my face sweat under the mask and my face breaks out. Additionally, many people do not wear face masks in a manner that would slow the spread of COVID-19. Yet, if face masks really help prevent the spread of COVID-19, maybe I should be more willing to wear one.

What are the recommendations for wearing face masks?

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls for Americans to wear masks to prevent COVID-19 spread. The state of Idaho encourages people to wear face masks. Some Idaho cities and counties are mandating it. Currently, Franklin County is not mandating face masks.

Can face masks really help slow the spread of COVID-19?

Research seems to indicate that face masks combined with other preventive measures, really do help slow the spread of the virus. In an editorial published in July, the CDC reviewed the latest science and found that cloth face masks could reduce the spread of the COVID-19, when used universally within communities. There is increasing evidence that cloth face masks help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.

Why weren't face masks recommended at the start of the pandemic?

At that time, experts didn't know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Nor was it known that some people have COVID-19 but don't have any symptoms. Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others.

These discoveries led public health groups to change their mind on face masks. The World Health Organization and CDC now include face masks in recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends cloth face masks for the public and not surgical and N95 masks.

How to wear a cloth face mask

The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask when you're around people who don't live with you and in public settings when social distancing is difficult.

If you are going to wear a face mask, it is important to wear it correctly. Otherwise, wearing a face mask may do more to spread COVID-19 than not wearing a face mask. Once you put on your face mask and breathe into it, it is essentially contaminated if you are positive for COVID-19. Since most of us do not get tested regularly, we do not know if we have COVID-19. We have to act as if we do to prevent the spread of it. Here are a few pointers for wearing a cloth mask:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before and after putting on and taking off your mask.
  • Place your mask over your mouth and nose.
  • Tie it behind your head or use ear loops and make sure it's snug.
  • Don't touch your mask while wearing it.
  • If you accidentally touch your mask, wash or sanitize your hands.
  • If your mask becomes wet or dirty, switch to a clean one. Put the used mask in a sealable bag until you can wash it.
  • Remove the mask by untying it or lifting off the ear loops without touching the front of the mask or your face.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
  • Regularly wash your mask by hand with soap and water or in the washing machine.

New research has found that eating dairy foods appears to be linked to a lower risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. An international team of researchers studied 147,812 participants aged between 35 and 70 from 21 countries: Argentina; Bangladesh; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; India; Iran; Malaysia; Palestine; Pakistan; Philippines, Poland; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; Sweden; Tanzania; Turkey; United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.

Research Study

The participants completed Food Frequency Questionnaires which assessed how they ate over the last 12 months. Dairy products included milk, yogurt, yogurt drinks, cheese and dishes prepared with dairy foods, which were classified as full or low fat (1 to 2%). Butter and cream were analyzed separately because they are not commonly eaten in some of the countries in the study.

Other factors such as the participants’ medical history, use of prescription medicines, smoking status, measurements of weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose were also recorded. Participants were followed for an average of nine years.


The results showed that eating at least two servings of dairy each day is linked to an 11 to 12% lower risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, while three servings of total dairy each day are linked to a 13 to 14% lower risk. The associations were stronger for full-fat dairy than they were for low-fat dairy.

Two daily servings of total dairy were also linked to a 24% lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of conditions that includes a higher waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, low levels of “good” cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure) and high fasting blood sugar, which together can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The relationship also was stronger for full-fat dairy; two servings of full fat were linked with a 28% lower risk of metabolic syndrome, compared with those who ate no dairy foods, and eating low-fat dairy was not associated with a lower prevalence of most of the conditions that make up metabolic syndrome.


The study is observational, so it does not prove a cause and effect relationship. However, if the findings are confirmed in sufficiently large and long-term trials, then eating more dairy foods may be an easy and inexpensive way to reduce metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes and ultimately cardiovascular disease.


Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise improves health and protects against many diseases including anxiety and depression. It's especially important in adolescence, where depression often begins. A new study found that even light exercise may help protect children against developing depression.

The study found that 60 minutes of simple movement daily at age 12 was linked to a 10% reduction in depression at age 18, showing all forms of activity that are good for mental health. The types of movement included running, biking, walking, doing chores, painting or playing an instrument. 

Study Results

The study followed 14,500 women and their children for 30 years, from pregnancy onward. Over a three-day period, 4,257 adolescents (ages 12, 14 and 16) wore accelerometers to track movement for at least 10 hours each day. 

As children grew older, sedentary behavior increased with depression scores highest among the least active. Each additional hour of sitting at age 12 was linked to an 11% increase in depression at age 18. At age 14, each additional hour of inactivity raised depression by 8%, while 16-year-olds had an increased score of 10.5%. A two-hour reduction in daily sedentary behavior between the ages of 12 and 16 years old was associated with a 16-22% reduction in depression by age 18.

Since the study only showed an association, it can't prove a relationship between movement and depression. However, it does suggest that these two trends may be linked.

Rising Rates of Adolescent Mental Disorders

Depression is a leading cause of illness among adolescents around the world. In the United States, teen depression rates are rising. Yearly rates of major depressive episodes among teens rose from 8.7%-13.2% between 2005-2017. A depressive episode is defined by feeling sad, hopeless, frustrated, anxious or worthless for at least two weeks. Only 50% of depressed teens are diagnosed before adulthood and suicide is on the rise. The numbers of children and teens with suicidal thoughts who went to emergency rooms in the U.S. doubled between 2007-2015.

Be on the Lookout

Healthcare providers should routinely screen teens over age 12 for signs of depression, and depending on the severity of the results, refer teens for treatment. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also has a national hotline that teens and parents can call: 1-800-662-4357(HELP).

Parents can help by being supportive and validating teen’s feelings. Notice positive behaviors rather than being critical. If you aren’t able connect with your teen, keep trying. Don't ignore your teen's feelings. 

Here are additional tips from the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

  • Watch for warning signs: low self-esteem, withdrawal, lack of energy and interest, lower test scores at school, fatigue and suicidal thoughts. If seen, get your child professional help.
  • Spend quality time with your teen and encourage open and honest conversations where you actively listen. 
  • Encourage regular exercise, healthy eating habits and regular, quality sleep.
  • Encourage connections to others through family gatherings, social events, and clubs and activities at school.

These are stressful times. Stress and anxiety increase cravings for sugar or highly processed foods. Eating these foods may help calm negative feelings in the short term, but they have negative health consequences in the long term. The key to mastering healthy habits at home is mindful eating.

Mindful Eating

Mindfulness is having an awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment. Mindful eating uses mindfulness before, during and after eating. It involves using all the senses, avoiding distractions and experiencing food without judgment. With less judgment comes less food guilt, which may make you more motivated to take care of yourself.

Designate Mealtimes

In the past, people only ate at designated mealtimes. Now people tend to eat all the time. It's tougher to tune into natural hunger and fullness cues when constantly eating. However, when sitting down to eat without distraction, it's easier to slow down and recognize hunger and fullness throughout a meal. Listening to hunger/fullness takes practice and patience, but having regular meals and snacks helps. 

Focus on Food

According to a scientific review, people who are distracted tend to eat more in the moment and later in the day. Eating while distracted makes us less aware of how much we're consuming. The more you slow down and focus on the meal in front of you, the less likely you are to overeat. To be more mindful, make small choices that encourage you to focus on your food. 

  • Turn off the TV and other electronics
  • Sit down and take a few deep breaths
  • Put your fork down between bites
  • Notice the flavor and aroma
  • Periodically check in to assess hunger/fullness
  • Arrange food in a visually pleasing way 

Avoid the News

We live in unprecedented times. Fear and uncertainty are running rampant, and most news headlines just add fuel to the fire.

Individuals eat 40% more calories when stressed. They also eat high-sugar, high-fat or processed foods. These foods briefly dampen negative emotions and trigger the release feel-good neurotransmitters which may feel good in the short term, but not later on.

Turn off news an hour before and during meals and snacks. An overload of negative information may make you anxious, which can be a cue for emotional eating.

Snack Responsibly

When snacking, include a source of protein and fiber to maximize short- and long-term satisfaction. Notice portion size. Remove food from the package and place on a plate/bowl. Listen to hunger and fullness. If you are simply snacking to snack, replace the habit with another positive activity. 

Be Kind to Yourself

Have compassion for yourself. Research indicates the more understanding and forgiving you are to yourself, the more motivated you will be to take care of yourself, including eating well. 

Don't beat yourself up if you find yourself emotionally eating, note how it made you feel and craft a plan for the next time. Mindful eating is about experiencing food.

For more information contact

Laura Sant, M.S., R.D.N.

Extension Educator — Health/Nutrition/Food Safety and 4-H


University of Idaho Extension, Franklin County

Mailing Address:
561 W Oneida
Preston, ID 83263

Phone: 208-852-1097

Fax: 208-852-2812



Find us on Google Maps