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Food & Family Media

Keep Your Spice Rack On Track For Fall Flavors!               Article                    Radio
Have the cooler temperatures and turning leaves got you thinking of flavors like pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon?
For many, fall means comfort foods and incorporating spicy autumn flavors into homemade chili and stews and holiday baking.  Herbs and spices not only add wonderful flavors, but they also add the healthy benefit of allowing cooks to use less added fats, sugar and salt when creating flavorful meals.  The fresher the spice, the more great flavor.  So, when was the last time you checked out your spices?  Do they still have a bright color, or a strong fragrance?  Read on for tips to help keep your spice rack on track…

Pumpkin Pudding                               Recipe
No cooking required for this tasty pumpkin pudding which includes flavorful pumpkin pie spice.  Kids can help prepare with supervision.

pumpkin Pudding


Got Milk?                      Article                         Radio
In my professional life, I have frequently answered questions regarding health qualities of different types of milk and dairy-free alternatives.  In this short article, I will talk about the most popular types of milk and their health benefits.  If you have other questions, feel free to contact me.  


Family Meals…Worth Making a Priority               Article                 Radio
When was the last time you sat down for a meal with your family?For many, family mealtime has been lost in our overscheduled lives.   School, work schedules and extracurricular activities can make it difficult to find time to eat together and some go days or weeks without sitting down to share a meal as a family.  However, family meals have many benefits…some you may not have ever thought of.  Read on to find out more.

 Make Time For Family Meals
As back-to-school routines fill calendars with homework and after-class activities, it may be tempting to skip family dinners. However, Kate Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic dietitian, says that time around the table can offer some of the most important lessons of the day.



How to Read the Nutrition Facts Label                      Article                     Radio
Pretend you standing in front of a dozen different types of pasta sauce.  They all look good, but you need to know what is best for your family.  Have you ever had this happen?

Nutrition Facts

Kick-Start Your Day with Breakfast                  Article                    Radio
Back-to-school means busy mornings getting everyone ready and out the door for school and work.  Breakfast might be the last thing on your morning to-do list, but don’t skip this important meal.  Breakfast refuels your body, jump-starts your day and may even benefit your overall health.

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos             Recipe
Looking for a way to provide a nutritious breakfast for your family even on busy mornings.  Check out these make-ahead burritos.

Breakfast Burritos

After School Snacks... Part of Good Nutrition           Article          Radio
Are you looking for ways to be better prepared for when your kids come home from school asking for a snack before the evening meal?  Snacks can actually help children get the nutrients needed to grow, do well in school, and maintain a healthy weight. 

Strawberry Yogurt Pops                 Recipe
Strawberries and yogurt are all you need for this healthy frozen snack!  They’re a great after school snack or late night dessert!


Small Changes for Healthier Snacking
Healthy snacks aren’t just for kids.  Adults can benefit from making wise snack choices as well.  Find a healthy eating style that works for you by making small changes to your snack choices. The #MyPlateMyWins for Snacks video features small changes you can make to the foods you typically snack on. For example, choose dips and toppings made from vegetables, rather than cheese or butter to cut down on saturated fat and sodium. Vegetables also are a good source of fiber and will help you stay full until your next meal.


Food Safety in the Great Outdoors      Article         Radio
Picnic and barbecue season offers lots of opportunities for outdoor fun with family and friends. But these warm weather events also present opportunities for foodborne bacteria to thrive. To protect yourself, your family, and friends from foodborne illness during warm-weather months, safe food handling when eating outdoors is critical. Read on for some simple food safety guidelines for transporting your food to the picnic site, and preparing and serving it safely once you’ve arrived.

How Do I Know When It’s Done?
Use this handy chart as a guide to safe internal temperatures of food when grilling indoors or outdoors.

safe cooking temperatures



Summer is a great time to be outside- but proper precautions are important as the temperatures rise.               Article                Radio
It is especially important to stay hydrated because heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious health conditions that can result from dehydration

Infused Water Flavor Ideas               Recipe
As outdoor temps start to rise, so does our need to be drinking more water.   However, if plain water doesn’t appeal to you, why not try infused water.  Add thin slices or small cubes of washed fruit or veggies, or even herbs into a container of cool water.  Let the water sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the flavors to infuse, and enjoy.   Hydration never tasted so good.


High Stress: The Heart of the Matter                          Article                           Radio
Work Stress. Home Stress. Financial Stress.  We all have it in some form or another.The toll of chronic stress isn't limited to emotional suffering. A new issue of the medical journal BMJ, confirms links now exist between mood disorders such as depression  and high stress can set the stage for heart disease.


Freezing Foods for the Fair                                            Article
County fairs will be here before we know it.  To help save time and stress at county fairs, prepare food entries early and freeze them.  Most baked goods freeze well and can still be blue ribbon quality.  This includes cookies, yeast and quick breads, and cakes.  Read on for some helpful tips.


Preserve It Fresh, Preserve It Safe                           Article                                Radio
A few of my friends are already picking cherries and preserving some for pies this winter, so preserving  garden produce won’t be far behind!  If you are planning on home canning some of the wonderful produce from your garden, orchard, or the Farmer’s Market this summer, it is also a good idea to be planning for food safety.  Read on for some tips…


The Facts about E-Cigarettes and JUULing                Article                                Radio
Electronic cigarette usage among High School students jumped by 78 percent between 2017 and 2018. This startling rise did prompt the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict some sales of flavored e-cigarettes. However, there is a new form of e-cigarette product on the market every week.


Staying Active... What's Your Move?                         Article                                 Radio
Walk Kansas, K-State Research and Extension’s eight-week healthy living challenge ended on May 11, but we are still encouraging everyone to keep up an active lifestyle.  Being physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health, and it doesn’t have to be hard or involve the gym, and it CAN fit into your busy schedule.



Connect, Create, Contribute with Older Americans Month 2019                Article                      Radio
Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around our Wildcat District Communities. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.



Food Product Dating...Addressing the Confusion                         Article                       Radio
The subject of food product dating came up in my last column regarding Food Waste, and has come up in several conversations with consumers in the last few weeks. So, I decided to share a bit of information to help clear up some of the misunderstanding surrounding these dates.



Mindful Conflict Resilience, Not Reactivity                                      Article                       Radio
As I write this, I realize just how much I need to talk about the uncomfortable word…. conflict!  Whether it be with my family or working relationships, I must say, I either avoid it or do the complete opposite by overreacting.  Tell me I am not alone!



Fighting Food Waste: We can make a difference!                        Article                        Radio
Did you know that about 40 percent of the U.S. food supply goes uneaten. Of that uneaten amount, food thrown away in homes and foodservice makes up over half of the total amount of food waste.  Read on to learn some things you and your family can do to help fight food waste while saving some money and conserving natural resources as well.


“Love Letter To Food”
Roughly 40 percent of the U.S. food supply (1,500 calories/person/day) is never eaten, which is among the highest rates of food losses globally. Addressing this loss could help reduce food insecurity and the environmental impacts of agriculture.




Partnership with K-State will help promote a ‘Culture of Health’           Article                         Radio
It's clear: People's health, longevity and well-being are connected to their communities — the places we live, learn, work, worship and play.Kansas State University has awarded a grant for $8,000.00 to support a budding health initiative within the Wildcat Extension District of Crawford, Labette, and Montgomery Counties.



Boost Brain Power with Better Nutrition                                  Radio

Feeling forgetful?  There could be a number of reasons, but studies show there are some things we can do to improve our mental function.  Key components to better brain health include sleeping well, exercising regularly, and, of course, getting good nutrition.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at https://www.eatright.org/ has identified four types of food that specifically help boost our brain power.  Read on to find out more…               Article



Very Berry Smoothie                 Recipe
Celebrate National Nutrition Month with this refreshing smoothie.  Made from pineapple, banana, and berries; this brain boosting recipe contains two cups of fruit per serving.



Learn More about Scams at the Annual Aging with Attitude Expo         Article                  Radio
I recently wrote about new scams for this year and now I have learned another alarming fact regarding taking advantage of our older adults.  Filings on elder financial abuse quadrupled from 2013 to 2017, involving more than $6 billion dollars.
Aging Expo

More Powerful Than Pills…Move Your Way!                       Radio

What is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and spirit?
  If you guessed “physical activity, every day,” you are correct!
Regular exercise can help you live longer, maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of developing some cancers, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce diabetes risk, boost your brain power, improve your mood and relieve stress. Wow – there isn’t a pill that can offer all of those benefits!!  Read on to find out more…       Article

Move Your Way: Tips for Getting Motivated
Everyone needs physical activity to stay healthy, but it can be hard to get started. Watch this video for tips to get motivated.




The Facts about Depression in Later Life                    Article                   Radio
Loss takes on many forms the older we get, 3.8 percent of people over age 55 residing independently in the community suffer from major depression in any given year.

understanding depression



Stretching Your Food Budget                                                    Article                     Radio
Do you ever have trouble making your food dollars stretch to the end of the month! There are many ways to save money on the foods that you eat. The three main steps are planning before you shop, purchasing the items at the best price, and preparing meals that stretch your food dollars.  Read on for helpful tips to help you stretch your  family’s food budget.

Budget-Stretching Healthy Meals
Tom and Sofia have found some cost-cutting ways to eat healthy and not ruin their budget. And you can too! Watch this video to learn tips to help you pick and prepare healthy foods -- without breaking the bank.

Reverse Mortgage: Yes or No?                 Article                               Radio
I am currently in the season of life where I am researching many options to allow my mom to age in place safely, while studying how to make it financially feasible.  Whew, what a fuzzy and complex time it is!

 1 reverse morgage



Less Stress with Mindfulness                                                                Text                       Radio

The average person has 50,000 thoughts running through their head each day!  What a great reason to put some mindfulness into practice to ensure that our mind is not just full.  Doing this can create relaxation, improve concentration, and increase energy!

Mind Full

Frugal Foods: Spend Less - Get More                                                    Text                     Radio
Does your family struggle to get the most nutrition for the dollars you spend at the grocery store?  Building meals based around the most low-cost, health-promoting foods is one way to cut costs at the same time you boost nutrition and your family’s health.   Read on for a list of ten frugal foods that are among the least expensive, and health-promoting foods while still offering great taste.


Hurry - Up Baked Apples                                       Recipe
No need to heat up the oven, this  Hurry-Up Baked Apples recipe uses the microwave to do the baking. These oh-so-easy apples are great as a tasty dessert, snack, or for breakfast.

 baked apples



Even Without Eggs, Eating Uncooked Dough Can Be a Raw Deal          Text                       Radio
You have probably heard it’s a bad idea to eat uncooked dough because it contains raw eggs. But did you know that raw flour can also make you very sick?

Christmas cookies


Oatmeal Cookies       Recipe                             
It is the time of year for sharing food, especially cookies.  This Oatmeal Cookies recipe is perfect for sharing.  Take these delicious cookies to a party, family gathering, or cookie exchange.  Or, you can share these cookies by layering the dry ingredients into a quart sized jar to make a gift mix.  Tie on a ribbon, and write out the instructions to the recipe on a card to give with the jar for a fun homemade gift.

Oatmeal cookies










Problem Gambling and Gaming: More than Just Casinos      Text                           Radio
You may remember the shooting that took place at a Madden Championship Series gaming competition late this summer in Florida.  We often do not think of gambling and gaming as a serious disorder compared to substance abuse issues.  However, Gambling Disorder actually has the highest suicide rate of any clinical population, at 20%. 


Maximize Holiday Time By Cooking Ahead                        Text                    Radio

Are you hosting a holiday meal?  Do you wish you could spend more time with your guests and less time in the kitchen? Last-minute hurried food preparations can drain any cook’s holiday spirit. Try these ideas from K-State’s Dining on a Dime newsletter to help you take some of the hassle out of your holidays, while keeping food quality and food safety a top priority.


Crustless Pumpkin Pie                         Recipe

Here is a lower fat version of a traditional holiday favorite dessert.   Add a low-calorie whipped topping and enjoy.



Elder Share: A New Spin on Aging in Place                              Text                            Radio
We all want to stay independent as we get older.  I am already thinking of my family’s current home and how many adjustments we will need to make to stay there as we age. 

Aging in place










PLAN.... To Save Time and Food Dollars                                  Text                            Radio

Do you get tired of running to the grocery store several times per week?
 Do you ever get frustrated because you forget about a food and it goes bad before you can use it?  Does hearing your family say, “What’s for dinner?” cause tension in your life?  If so, perhaps it’s time brush up on your menu planning skills.

meal plan


Slouching…So Wrong, But It Feels So Right                                         Text                                        Radio
Fifty percent of people in the industrialized world suffer from some form of back pain and many are related to poor seat design and posture.


posture picture












Connect, Create, Contribute with Older Americans Month 2019

Walk Kansas, K-State Research and Extension’s eight-week healthy living challenge ended on May 11, but we are still encouraging everyone to keep up an active lifestyle.  Being physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health, and it doesn’t have to be hard or involve the gym, and it CAN fit into your busy schedule.