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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.

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.

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

Health, Nutrition and Wellness

Educational Resources

Get Active: Have Fun with Fitness

Get Active: Have Fun with Fitness (pdf) is a resource list for outdoor and physical activity options in Franklin County and the surrounding area.

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.

Food Safety and Preservation


Preserve At Home is an online, six-week food preservation course.

Participants will be introduced to food safety and food preservation science, gain an understanding of the principles and science behind foodborne illnesses and food preservation methods and be able to apply these principles to safely preserve food by methods of boiling water canning, pressure canning, pickling, freezing and drying.

The next class will start in June 2022.

For more information, contact Laura Sant, University of Idaho Extension, at or Preserve@Home website.

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

The science on food and cancer prevention is ongoing. However, it seems that regularly eating foods that protect your immune system, reduce inflammation and promote gut health can help reduce risk for cancer. Here are seven foods to include as part of a cancer-preventing eating plan:

  1. Pulses — Pulses (or legumes) include beans, peas and lentils. They are low in fat, high in protein and insoluble fiber, which aids in digestion and overall gut health. Research also suggests that eating plant-based foods rich in fiber can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

  2. Broccoli — Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens) may reduce cancer risk due to the molecule, sulforaphane, which inactivates a gene that plays a role in a variety of cancers. Broccoli is the richest source of sulforaphane. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts also may have other tumor-suppressing capabilities.

  3. Mushrooms — A review of past cancer studies found that people who ate mushrooms daily had a lower risk of cancer because of ergothioneine, a potent antioxidant that protects cells. A recent study of cancer patients observed that participants who ate a quarter-cup of mushrooms daily had a 45% lower cancer risk than those who didn’t eat mushrooms. Mushrooms have properties that may help some of our immune cells protect us against cancer.

  4. Walnuts — Animal studies suggest that walnuts slow the growth of breast, prostate, colon and renal cancers. However, walnuts are not the only nuts that play a role in cancer prevention. A review of nine studies found that people who ate an ounce of nuts daily had a 15% lower overall cancer risk than those who didn’t eat nuts. All nuts have fiber, protein and healthy fat. Beyond that, each one offers additional unique nutrients, so eat a variety.

  5. Oatmeal — A bowl of oatmeal may help protect against cancer. Whole grains like oats are loaded with fiber, antioxidants and phytoestrogens (plant-based compounds with health benefits), which help protect against cancer. If you don’t love oatmeal, try other whole grains like bulgur, brown rice, barley, quinoa and whole wheat couscous which have the same cancer-fighting properties.

  6. Berries — All berries are packed with cancer-fighting plant compounds known as phytochemicals. When you eat them, these phytochemicals interact with one another, other nutrients and gut bacteria to fend off chronic diseases like cancer. Eat a variety of berries because each one has a different array of protective compounds.

  7. Tomatoes — Tomatoes provide enhanced cancer protection when cooked. The reason is that the amount of lycopene (a cancer-fighting carotenoid) is higher in processed foods like tomato juice and pasta sauce than in fresh foods. Lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, so cooking helps to release more of it. Eat cooked tomatoes with a healthy fat like an avocado or olive oil to boost absorption by the body.

Many people are concerned about gaining weight over the holidays. They may try to be good, but become overwhelmed with all of the wonderful food. Instead of trying to eat perfectly or going crazy over food this holiday season, strive to be mindful. The key to being mindful is to notice the details. Here are a few tips:

  • Focus on Connection. Seek to create a connection between the people you are sharing your meal. Engage in interesting conversations. Ask questions and really listen.
  • Notice Hunger. If you aren’t hungry yet, become aware of the reasons you feel like eating anyway. If it’s for social reasons, then be social for longer. Eat when you get hungry.
  • Decide on Fullness Level. How full do you want to feel when you’re done eating. Stuffed and miserable? Or comfortable and content? Fill your plate or order accordingly.
  • Mentally Describe Surroundings. What do the table setting and ambiance look like? Notice the aromas, colors, textures and presentation of the meal.
  • Give Gratitude. Before eating, take a moment to be truly thankful about where your food came from, including the people who invested time, effort and talent to get it from farm to plate.
  • Choose Food Carefully. Ask yourself what you want and need. Don’t waste your appetite on food you don’t love.
  • Take Small Bites. You only have taste buds on your tongue so the flavors of a large bite of food are lost on your teeth, cheeks and the roof of your mouth.
  • Notice Your Food. Pay attention to the texture and flavors of the food before slowly chewing it. Breathe in the smell of the food since flavors other than salty, sweet, bitter and sour come from the aromas.
  • Set Fork Down Between Bites. If you begin to load your next forkful, your attention will be on the next bite not the one you are eating now. If you are focused on the next bite of food, you won’t stop eating until there are no more forkfuls.
  • Sit for a Moment. Let the flavors and experience linger before you take the next bite.
  • Feel Your Fullness. Notice as food gently fills your stomach. Pause for several minutes in the middle of eating to reconnect with your hunger and fullness levels and enjoyment of the meal.

Food is abundant for most of us. You don’t have to eat it all right now and ruin the experience by feeling stuffed. You can eat more later or at another meal. Mindful eating is a great way to enjoy eating whether during the holidays or throughout the rest of the year. It can even help you to eat less.

Resource: May, Michelle. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How To Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2010. Print.

Sleep is important for our health and wellness. Adequate, quality sleep has been shown to improve mental and physical health, quality of life and safety. Getting less sleep than usual and/or poor sleep may also hurt how our body handles the food we eat the next day.  

Study Details 

In a recent study, 953 healthy adults ate standardized meals for breakfast and lunch in a random order over two weeks in a clinic setting and at home. Participants’ activity and sleep were monitored with a wearable device containing an accelerometer. After meal blood glucose levels were measured using a continuous glucose monitor. The quality, length and time of sleep and their impact on blood sugar response to breakfast the next morning were compared between participants and within each person. 


While there was no significant link between length of time devoted to sleep (sleep time) and post meal blood sugar response, there was a significant interaction when the nutritional content of breakfast was also considered. 

Longer sleep times were associated with lower blood sugars after eating high-carbohydrate and high-fat breakfasts, indicating better blood glucose control, both individually and between participants. 

Sleep efficiency (the ratio of time a person is asleep, and the total length of time devoted to sleep) also played a part in blood sugar control. When a participant slept more efficiently than usual, their after meal blood sugar tended to be lower than usual. Additionally, post meal blood sugars were significantly higher when participants went to bed later. 

It is unclear whether people with diabetes would also see similar blood sugar responses as in this study with healthy adults, especially since many people with diabetes take blood sugar lowering medications. However, it is probable that results would be similar or worse in people with prediabetes since blood sugars vary greater than in people with normal blood sugar levels.

How To Get Enough Sleep 

First, make sleep a priority and allow enough time to sleep. Sleep is often the first thing to go when schedules get tight. Making time to sleep will help protect health now and in the future. Here are ideas to improve your sleep habits: 

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  
  • Keep the same sleep schedule on weekends. Limit the difference to no more than an hour. Staying up late and sleeping in on weekends can disrupt our sleep. 
  • Make the hour before bed quiet time. Avoid strenuous exercise and bright artificial light.  
  • Avoid heavy and/or large meals around bedtime. Also, stay away from alcoholic drinks before bed. 
  • Avoid nicotine and caffeine. They are stimulants and may disrupt sleep.  
  • Spend time outside every day and be physically active. 
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, cool and dark. 
  • Relax before bed. 
  • Limit naps to no more than 20 minutes and take them early in the afternoon.  


Prized by the Aztecs and Maya for their ability to provide long-lasting energy, chia seeds have long been used as a superfood. Native to Mexico and Guatemala, chia seeds are related to mint and come from the Salvia hispanica plant. Today, chia seeds have become a common ingredient in healthy recipes. This article will discuss the health benefits, how to use and store and downside of chia seeds.

Chia Nutrition

While not a superfood, chia seeds are healthy. They are gluten-free and packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Also, they are full of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an anti-inflammatory, plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.

If you are wondering how much chia to eat in a day, stick to the 2-tablespoon serving. It is best to break this up throughout the day, adding a teaspoon or two to a smoothie, another teaspoon in a mid-morning yogurt, and the rest in recipes like chia pudding.

Chia and Hydration

The small seeds absorb up to 10 times their weight in water. This means that when you eat chia pudding or chia gel, you also get the liquid they absorbed. Chia’s hydration benefits mean that the ingredient is also beneficial for healthy, glowing skin. Because chia seeds include healthy fats, they’re also great for anyone dealing with dry skin.

The Downside

When used properly, chia seeds are incredibly healthy. However, some TikTok influencers are promoting chia water (chia seeds mixed with water) for weight loss because it may make you feel full due to the expansion of the seeds in your stomach. While the fiber and protein in chia seeds may help you feel full, it is not recommended to quickly increase the amount of fiber you eat because it can cause abdominal pain, gas and bloating. Increase fiber gradually and drink adequate amounts of fluid to prevent this.

Chia water could also potentially cause problems for those with swallowing or digestive disorders. If chia seeds aren’t soaked before they are consumed, they may mix with saliva, form a gel and possibly block the esophagus. Because of this, it is recommended that you don’t eat chia seeds dry by the spoonful.

  • Here are some popular ways to eat chia seeds:
  • Sprinkle chia seeds over cereal and yogurt.
  • Add to smoothies and soups.
  • Mix in baked goods and homemade granola.
  • Use in or as a coating for energy bites. (Simply roll the energy bite mixture into balls, then roll in chia seeds to coat.)
  • Make a chia gel. (Combine ¼ cup of seeds with 2 cups of water, let stand for 15 to 30 minutes, then stir with a whisk.) Chia gel uses include:
    • Thickener in creamy soups
    • Egg replacement
    • Mixed with mashed fresh fruit for jam, or with fruit juice or plant-milk for pudding

How to Store

Because of their fat content, store chia seeds in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator or freezer to increase shelf life.

Now that spring is here and summer is on the way, it is a great time to enjoy the fresh fruits of the season in a salad. Yet, these vibrant, luscious fruits don’t tend to last very long and turn brown rapidly. Happily, the juice of the springtime citrus fruit (lemon) can keep fruit salad fresh for hours.

Why does fruit salad turn brown?

After carefully cutting and combining various slices of apple, strawberry or banana, the pieces of fruit begin to turn brown before long. This is a result of oxidation. When fruit is exposed to oxygen (the air), it starts a process called enzymic browning. This makes your fruit turn brown. While this process doesn’t usually affect the taste of the fruit, it makes it look less appealing.

Why does lemon juice help?

To prevent the effects of oxidation, fruit needs citric acid and lemons are full of it. As a natural antioxidant, lemon juice can help prolong the life of fruit salad (as well as its visual appeal) by inactivating the enzyme polyphenol oxidase, which is responsible for the browning. Besides keeping fruit salad fresh, lemon juice can also enhance its flavor. The acidic bite of the citrus emphasizes the sweetness of the other fruits, and also helps bring out their juices.

How much lemon juice should I use in fruit salad?

To keep the taste of lemon overwhelming all the other flavors in the salad, try using two tablespoons of lemon juice and one teaspoon of sugar for every four cups of fruit. Combine the lemon and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved, then pour the mixture onto the fruit salad. However, the amount of lemon juice you use is ultimately up to you. If you like a tart bite to fruit salads, increase the amount of lemon juice you add. For extra protection against oxidation, use a wooden spoon to mix the finished product rather than metal.

What else can I do to help keep my fruit salad fresh?

Keep fruit salad covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Use sturdy fruits

Your fruit salad should reflect your favorite fruits, but if you’re looking for longevity, some ingredients are better suited to storage than others.

  • Stores Better — apples, oranges, peaches, mangos, blueberries and grapes
  • Doesn’t Store Well — bananas, watermelon, raspberries and strawberries.

Reduce chopping

To increase the amount of time your fruit salad lasts, roughly chop it into larger pieces. This keeps the fruit from leaking too much juice. For fruits with edible skins, leave the skins on.

Whatever fruit you enjoy, there are a plethora of fruits coming into season. With this knowledge — and a few slices of lemon — you are well-equipped to win the battle between fresh fruit salad and the open air.

For more information contact

Laura Sant

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

Franklin County



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