The Family Room

In today’s busy society, it can be a challenge to find time to spend with family and friends. This year the Family Room is focusing on the importance of family mealtime and food safety as a way to increase quality time with loved ones. Research shows that eating meals as a family encourages not only healthier eating and conversation, but also better grades in school and fends off risky behaviors among children. Healthy food is also safe food and with recent food borne illness outbreaks, handling food safely in the home is critical. Exhibits in the Family Room focusing on healthy eating for families include Naturally Flavored Water, Hidden Sugars in Foods, Veggie Fest, Preserving Your Harvest and bringing the Mediterranean Cuisine into your home. The crowd favorite Cooking Demonstrations return with family friendly recipes prepared before your eyes with a chance to taste test before making at home. When it comes to safety, Food Safety in the home will be featured as well as Safe Use and Storage of Pesticides and First Aid and Firearm Safety information. Be sure to stop in and take part in these interactive displays! The following College of Agriculture Penn State Extension program teams sponsor the exhibits: Food, Families and Health, Food Safety & Quality, Nutrition Links, Pesticide Education and Penn State University Police Community Education Program.

Where: Main Street between West 8th and 9th St


Displays and Activities will include the following:

  • Naturally Flavored Water – Visitors can taste water flavored with fruit and learn the importance of water in their daily diet. Get ideas to easily and inexpensively make your own flavored water.
  • Cooking Demonstrations - Watch as recipes are prepared each hour to learn new recipes, nutrition tips for preparing healthy meals, and food safety facts. Sample the resulting fare and receive a copy of the featured recipe.
  • Is there sugar hiding in there? - We all know that sweets contain added sugar, but you may be surprised to find where sugar is hiding in your diet. Stop by the Dining with Diabetes table and see what foods may be adding to your daily sugar consumption.
  • Veggie Fest! -  This interactive display encourages children and families to eat more vegetables and to increase the varieties they enjoy at family meals.
  • Pesticides in the Home: Think Safe. Store Secure.  -- Visitors to the Pesticide Education Program exhibit will learn how to properly store pesticides, which include many household cleaning products, and see the importance of keeping them in their original containers. Have you ever been walking down the cleaning aisle and noticed all the brightly colored containers that sometimes show pictures of flowers, veggies, and fruits? How does a young child know the difference between the floor cleaner and a bottle of fruit juice?  Stop by to see some of these look-alike products and pick up some Mr. Yuk stickers for home.
  • Home Food Preservation and Consumer Food Safety - In celebration of National Food Safety Month in September, Penn State Food Safety Specialists and Master Food Preservation Volunteers will provide research based information and children’s activities on how to safely prepare and preserve foods at home. 
  • First Aid and Firearm Safety Tips – Children can meet a police officer and visit with members of Centre LifeLink to learn about helpful first aid tips.  Firearms safety material will also be on display in addition to gun locks (while supplies last). 
  • Mediterranean Cuisine Comes to You! - Visitors will learn about culinary practices related to the Mediterranean way of eating and living, while discovering regionally produced local foods.