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Health Blog Posts

A 10-month-old baby eats homemade baby food.

May 17, 2019

Making your own baby food can be a great way to save money and capture fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak flavor. This means top nutrition and exciting new food experiences for your baby. (Besides, you know some of those baby food flavor combinations gross you out. When you make your own, you have full control!)

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Caramelized onions in a black cast iron skillet.

May 10, 2019

Loads of recipes call for caramelized onions, but have you ever made them?

The good news is they add a lot of flavor to soups and meat dishes. (Liver and onions always go together for a reason!)

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 A mixture of small broccoli florets, diced carrots, eggs and cheese baked as a frittata in a large black cast-iron skillet.

May 3, 2019

Remember when you bought that head of broccoli on sale, but didn’t have a plan for it? Wash it, chop it, and let’s get dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Frittatas are not just for fancy brunches! This nutritious, one-pan meal can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, though broccoli is one of my favorites. And it comes together so quickly, you’ll be out of the kitchen in no time!

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A small clear glass bowl holds baked oatmeal with blueberries and a stainless steel spoon.

April 26, 2019

Some mornings, it’s hard for me to make healthy breakfast choices. Whether I’m running out of time or tempted by a hot breakfast sandwich from the local fast food restaurant drive-through, preparing ahead of time helps me stay on track. I may even start experimenting by adding bananas in the pan first or swapping honey for the brown sugar.

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A display of produce including red raspberries in a small clear glass bowl, green broccoli florets in a small clear glass bowl, 2 red apples behind the bowls. Does that work?

April 18, 2019

I get it. You’re busy. It’s hard to squeeze a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

And, if you’re like me, when you hear a recommended number of daily servings, you just want to roll your eyes.

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Homemade ranch dressing in a clear glass bowl atop a turquoise blue plate, surrounded by baby carrots, broccoli florets, and grape tomatoes.

April 5, 2019

If you’re like me, a full bottle of salad dressing often expires before I can use it all. Plus, ready- made salad dressings tend to be loaded with hidden sugar, salt, and fat.

By making your own ranch dressing, you can control the fat, the flavors, and the portions.

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An assortment of snack foods on a butcher block table top, including a green pear, red grapes, baby carrots, pretzels, pecans, dates, almonds, and trail mix.

March 29, 2019

Time and money are both precious resources, but you don’t have to sacrifice them to eat healthier foods. Next time you find yourself standing in front of the vending machine at work or dashing into a convenience store for a snack, have a plan! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Chicken nuggets coated in golden brown panko breadcrumbs on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet.

March 18, 2019

Chicken nuggets for grown-ups is one of our most popular recipes from the original television series. They are a fun, fast, and easy weeknight meal that cuts calories, since they’re baked instead of fried. 

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Red grapes dipped in a mixture of peanut butter and Greek yogurt lined up on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

March 8, 2019

Looking for a snack that will tide you over until your next meal but not derail your health goals? These peanut butter yogurt-dipped grapes are a fun way to get a serving of fruit and a hit of protein, without racking up major calories!

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Shredded chicken breasts coated in barbecue sauce in a rectangular, clear-glass container.

February 28, 2019

Leftovers can be a huge time-saver, but they also have the potential to go to waste. Food tossed is money lost! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Three small sandwiches made with whole wheat slider buns, shredded chicken, and barbecue sauce on a white plate.

February 19, 2019

Y’all know I love a good slow cooker recipe. This one is fast and easy, and, depending on your barbecue sauce, can also be healthy. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish / Cindy Callahan)

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Close-up of roasted Brussels sprouts coated with Panko breadcrumbs on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper.

February 15, 2019

Growing up, Brussels sprouts were the vegetable every kid on TV loved to hate. Most people think they hate these cute little veggies that resemble tiny cabbages, even if they’ve never tried them. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Mashed sweet potatoes in a white ceramic ramekin on a butcher block table.

January 30, 2019

After the holidays and the traditional sweet potato casseroles and pies, I’m ready for a lighter, faster take on this Southern staple. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A clear glass bowl of red raspberries sits on a butcher block table in front of a pint clear glass jar filled with homemade raspberry vinegar and topped with a metal lid and ring. Text overlay reads, "Delicious on salads, pastas, and veggies!"

January 25, 2019

I’m always interested in ways to add flavor to food without adding fat. I like to experiment with herbs, and I recently discovered flavored vinegar. Did you know you can make your own? (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A colorful display of fruits and vegetables features a head of white cauliflower in the center with tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow squash, potatoes, plums and more radiating outward.

January 11, 2019

We all know we need to eat more vegetables, but finding ways to include them in our busy lives can be a challenge. It’s easy to get in a rut and eat the same vegetables year-round, but you may find some tasty options if you try something new! (Photo by Canstock)

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January 4, 2019

If you are tired of New Year’s resolutions, let me ease your mind: these four tips are really fast, easy habits that will help you stay healthy. If you’ve got 20 seconds, you’ve got time for at least one resolution! (File photo by MSU Extension)

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A close-up of a golden brown whole-grain pancake on a nonstick griddle, with parts of two other pancakes blurred in the background.

December 21, 2018

Ready to enjoy a tasty breakfast treat without the guilt? These whole-grain pancakes will do the trick! Be sure to top with fresh or pureed fruit, such as sliced berries or bananas. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A woman holds up a turquoise blue mug while sitting on a brown leather couch and smiling at the camera.

December 14, 2018

The whole spices can be expensive, but they are strong, so they go a long way. If you’re not familiar with the spice mace, it tastes similar to nutmeg but is considered milder in flavor. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A close-up of honey-cranberry granola bars that shows in fine detail the oats and cranberries.

November 23, 2018

Making my own snacks gives me complete control over the ingredients. I love to use local honey in this recipe for homemade granola bars, which are lower in calories than most store-bought options, and are high in fiber. And the cranberries give this snack that sweet-tart combination I enjoy. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A group of people stand behind a waist-high, elevated raised gardening bed full of green potato foliage.

November 16, 2018

Not into conventional gardening? A salad table just may be for you.

With these elevated gardening beds, you can grow fresh vegetables and herbs throughout the year right at your fingertips. These tables work well in small spaces and eliminate the physical demands of an in-ground garden. (Photo courtesy of Carla Moore)

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu

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