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Health Blog Posts

roasted turkey on a platter with herbs, cranberries, and orange slices

November 20, 2020

Before you put that giant turkey in the sink, STOP! Rinsing your bird before baking won’t reduce your chances of foodborne illness.

In fact, if you rinse the turkey, you have a greater chance of getting sick because of cross-contamination.

Butternut macaroni and cheese in a clear glass bowl.

November 16, 2020

For many people, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Traditionally, this calorie-laden dish is loaded with fat, fat, and more fat, plus simple carbohydrates in the pasta. Definitely not on the menu for people interested in healthier foods!

But wait! You can have your mac and eat it too!

A woman smiles in a kitchen.

November 9, 2020

More than 308,000 Mississippians live with diabetes, and approximately 600,000-750,000 Mississippians have prediabetes. Managing diabetes starts with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Balancing what you eat is a great place to start. Here are a few tips!

pumpkin spice oatmeal muffins on a colorful plate

November 3, 2020

Whether you love or hate the pumpkin spice craze that takes over every fall, you can’t deny that pumpkin is a healthy food! High in fiber, low in calories, and packed with vitamin A, pumpkin is a terrific addition to your diet.

When shopping for pumpkin puree, be sure you don’t buy pumpkin pie filling. For even healthier muffins, substitute whole-wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour. You can make these in a mini-muffin pan or in a standard-size muffin pan.

A woman stands on a sidewalk.

October 20, 2020

Being a Registered Dietitian and daughter of a breast cancer survivor, I understand the importance of using a healthy lifestyle and nutrition to reduce cancer risk. Certain foods high in phytonutrients, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins may reduce cancer risk.

Cooked chicken, noodles, and spinach in a clear glass bowl

October 6, 2020

Who says comfort food has to be unhealthy? This delicious casserole is loaded with flavor, and best of all—you don’t have to heat up the oven! Before you start putting all of the ingredients in your slow cooker, please note: the noodles, spinach, and cheese are added *after* the chicken cooks for 6–8 hours. You’ll cook the noodles separately, so this is not technically a one-dish meal, but it’s pretty close!

Strawberry cookie dough balls coated in coconut on a plate

September 21, 2020

Fresh fruit is a delicious and healthy snack, but sometimes you need something more portable and less messy. That’s when homemade snacks, like these Strawberry Oatmeal Cookie Balls, come in handy!

What makes these healthier than regular cookies? The ingredients are high in fiber, natural sugars, and healthy fats. And they are loaded with flavor!

An assortment of litter retrieved from a watershed displayed on a wooden dock.

September 17, 2020

Are you tired of seeing used masks and gloves dropped in the parking lot at the grocery store? Me, too!

“Pandemic litter” is a relatively new problem, but pollution is nothing new. I grew up watching the ad that admonished, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”

Battling the coronavirus requires the use of some single-use items, but they don’t have to end up on the ground!

Here are three tips to help keep Mississippi beautiful!

Potato salad in a small clear glass bowl

September 15, 2020

If you aren’t a fan of traditional potato salad, give this Ranch Potato Salad a try! Low-fat mayonnaise reduces the calories and fat to make this a healthier choice.

A woman stands in front of a brick wall.

September 8, 2020

Research shows that eating certain foods may slow brain aging. Here are some power foods to include in your diet.

A woman stands in front of a house as children with backpacks appear in the backgroud.

August 11, 2020

No matter how your children go back to school this year, healthy lunches and snacks will provide them with the nutrition they need to learn, grow, and build their immune systems.

Graphic with symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

August 7, 2020

It’s hot! And the heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. Learn to recognize the signs that tell you your body is overheating.

Graphic showing kids wearing masks with tips for parents.

July 28, 2020

If your children are headed back to the classroom, they may be required to wear a mask. We have some tips to help you and your children get ready for this new rule.

A woman sits in a chair outside.

July 6, 2020

Video by Jonathan Parrish

There’s no better time than now to use food to build your body’s natural defenses to boost and help protect your immune system. A healthy immune system helps your body fight illness.

Merriam-Webster defines nutrition as the act or process of nourishing or being nourished. Nourishment focuses on using many nutrients from a variety of foods to give you what you need to be healthy.

So, make sure your kitchen is stocked with an assortment of foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, dairy, eggs, and plant-based proteins, such...

A family eats at a picnic table in the park.

July 2, 2020

During your outdoor outings, you'll want to take some steps to ensure your food doesn't spoil in the cooler.

A person off-camera pours water into a glass.

June 9, 2020

Staying hydrated plays a key role in keeping our body systems working. How much water should you drink daily?

A baby smiling.

June 4, 2020

June is National Healthy Homes month! To celebrate, we’ve created a blog post to focus on an important health concern that could happen in and around your home. 

Frozen yogurt-dipped grapes sit on a baking sheet.

June 2, 2020

Do you need some quick and healthy snack ideas for the office or to pack the pantry and fridge for the kids this summer?

Clear glass parfait cups with lemon pudding layered with graham cracker crumbs topped with manadarin orange slices

May 26, 2020

Lemon Velvet Supreme is very low in fat and relies on fruit as a primary ingredient. Be sure to choose fresh fruit, such as blueberries, or canned fruit packed in natural juices, not in heavy syrup! To keep the graham crackers crispy, put this together right before you’re going to serve it. The original recipe serves six and calls for assembling the ingredients in a serving dish. If you go this route, I’d use an 8”x8” square pan.

For fun, we decided to make individual servings in pretty dishes! Note: we used 8 whole graham crackers, and that was quite a bit for our individual dishes, but would make a good bottom layer in a serving dish. Also, the graham crackers do not form a crust, so this is not a dessert you cut into squares. You just spoon it into small bowls and enjoy!

Spicy tuna on top of mixed greens, in a bowl as a dip, and in a wrap on a plate.

May 18, 2020

Do you ever get tired of eating the same old healthy salad? I do! That’s why I was excited to find this recipe for Spicy Tuna that can be used three different ways: as a dip with baked tortilla chips, as a wrap with lettuce leaves or tortillas, or as a topping for a green salad made with lettuce, mixed greens or fresh spinach.

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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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