Exploring the benefits of MyPlate for Older Adults

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual education campaign highlighting the importance of making informative food choices and encouraging physical activity. An important resource available to support healthy eating habits is MyPlate; an evidence-based tool provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), offering a visual for balanced meals, applicable for those ages 2 years and older.

24 tips for packing a healthy, affordable lunch

KIRKWOOD, Mo. – Parents often go to great lengths during the school year to be sure their children have the right equipment—pens, notebooks, clothing—to make it through the day. “Proper nutrition is also a key ingredient for school success because it fuels brain cells and gives your child the energy and nutrients he or she needs for optimal learning,” says Damaris Karanja, University of Missouri Extension nutrition and health…

Don’t be fooled by fancy food labels — read the ingredients

These days many people are very intentional about selecting healthy and nutritious foods for themselves and their families. And yet even the most conscientious may be fooled by fancy food labels that cleverly make consumers think they are getting something better than they are. Some tricks have been around for a long time. Here are some described in the April 2011 issue of Nutrition Action HealthLetter.

Reduce your food budget

Food labeled as “natural” isn’t necessarily healthy

According to an August 2008 issue of Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, we are spending $13 billion per year on foods labeled as “natural.” The word “natural” makes it seem like the food is better for you, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

Summer can create challenges for food budget

It is important to provide balanced, nutritious meals for your children throughout the summer. Unfortunately, summertime can pose challenges to the family food budget because children are eating more meals at home.

Spring into savings at the grocery store

You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save money on your groceries. Here are nine things you can do to save your family about $200 a month.

Locally grown fruits and vegetables a great choice

Efforts to expand farmers markets are making locally grown fruits and vegetables more accessible for consumers. When you buy locally grown food, you not only contribute to your personal health, you also support Missouri farmers and enhance the economic well-being of area communities. According to Lynda Johnson, former University of Missouri Extension nutrition specialist, there is truth in the familiar national slogan, “Buy Fresh, Buy…

Choose lean ground beef for better health

While shopping at the grocery store, it is easy to spend a long time at the meat counter trying to make a decision about which package of ground beef to buy. There are percentages written on the package and there is a big price difference. For health, it is best to purchase the leanest ground beef. If that is too hard on your wallet, there are ways you can decrease the fat in ground beef.

Beans are inexpensive, healthy and convenient

Beans are one of the best values around when it comes to the amount of nutrients for your dollar. One cup of cooked pinto beans provides 14 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein, less than one gram of fat and around 230 calories.


Tomatoes are among the most readily available and versatile vegetables. Or are they a fruit? Nutritionally and culinary-wise, tomatoes are considered a vegetable because of the way they are used and their nutrients. Botanically speaking, tomatoes are more of a fruit.Either way, this fruit/vegetable is high in nutrients and easy to use in many dishes.

Organic produce – Is it the best choice?

Most of us would like to feed ourselves and our families the most nutritious foods we can. Sometimes, however, it is not clear what choice to make. Marketers would have us think organic is best, but a report in a Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter describes an analysis of current research that indicates that organic may not be as great as once thought in terms of nutrition.

Free Seasonal and Simple app

The Seasonal and Simple smart phone application is available for both iOS and Android devices. The application is free to download.

Make a mystery meal into a culinary delight

It’s time to eat. You open the fridge and find some brown rice, a small piece of meat and some leftover vegetables. How can this possibly become a meal? Here are some tips on converting a mystery meal of leftovers into a culinary delight.

Pick a peck of peppers this summer

Peppers come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and flavors ranging from sweet to spicy hot. They are a colorful addition to any meal, or they can be enjoyed as a snack on their own.

Brussels sprouts can be a nutritious treat

Brussels sprouts, the green cruciferous vegetables sometimes referred to by children as “cannon balls,” are not typically a favorite from the vegetable group. But when they are selected well, eaten soon after they are picked and cooked properly, they can be a nutritious treat.

Helping children develop good health habits

Parents play an important role in helping their children develop good health habits. Healthy children eat well, live a physically active life and feel good about themselves and others.

Back-to-school nutrition

With the new school year upon us, parents should be reminded of the important role nutrition plays in assuring kids a successful school year. Nutrition and learning go hand in hand.

Healthy habits for your preschool-aged child

Preschool is a good time to help your child develop good eating habits. Because your child is with you most of the time, it is easier to influence their food choices. Keep in mind that the eating habits learned during this time can be carried into the future.

Good nutrition can be a tough sell to finicky eaters

The picky food preferences of children can make even the best of parents struggle to ensure their child eats right and to keep mealtimes from being a battle.

Everyone benefits from family meals

Following more than 10 years of research, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University consistently found that kids who eat dinner with their families are less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs.  

Feed your young athlete for maximum performance

Eating healthfully helps an athlete reach maximum potential. Good stamina and energy are a result of eating healthy meals on a regular basis. The timing of meals and choice of food also can have an impact on physical performance.

MU Extension teaches kids that cooking matters

MONTGOMERY CITY, Mo. – In a crowded kitchen in a church basement, nine elementary school kids are cooking lunch. You might think it’s a recipe for disaster—kids are using knives, handling raw meat, working at a big gas range, and there’s not much elbow room—but they know their jobs and the turkey tacos and fruit smoothies turn out fine, with no injuries and not too much of a mess in the kitchen.