Do You Need Your Pressure Canner Tested?
Pressure canner

Home canning is a great way to preserve a variety of food! Dial pressure canner gauges need to be tested once a year. Over time, a dial gauge’s calibration can become inaccurate and show an incorrect pressure. If the pressure is even slightly lower than recommended, the internal temperature of the food will not be high enough to kill all the bacteria, and harmful toxins can build up and cause illness or death.

Find the closest University of Illinois Extension office to get your dial gauge tested. 

Nutrition & Wellness Team Blog: Live Well. Eat Well.

Keep up with the Nutrition and Wellness Extension team as we provide current evidence and research-based nutrition and food safety information. Follow us on our journey to not only eating well but living a healthy lifestyle! Read what's new.


Follow Us on Social Media

The Family and Consumer Sciences educators invite you to sit around our table as we share practical, research-based information for your family, from building healthy families to eating healthier and spending smarter. 

Facebook: @Family.Finances.Food
Twitter: @famfinancefood


Managing Diabetes in a Modern World 

Take the First Step (Recording)
In our series kick-off, we will dive into what it means to have diabetes, what is going on in your body, and the next steps. This session will help set you up for success in setting realistic personal goals related to what you eat and being more active with diabetes in mind.

Choose It, Count It, Eat It! (Recording)
Sustain, nourish, and enjoy eating while you keep on track for managing diabetes. Choose your meal wisely, count it accurately, and enjoy eating what you cooked or ordered. Learn about meal planning tools and counting carbohydrate servings

Making the Most of Your Diabetes Resources (Recording)
In this session, explore the different resources, services, and supports related to diabetes that you and anyone in your life can use. From websites, books, and classes to insurance-covered education classes and diabetes footwear, we will cover a variety of resources you can use to manage your health better. 

Fat, Sodium & Sugar-Oh My! (Recording)
Learn about the different types of fat, which ones you should limit, and how to include more of the good stuff. You’ll also walk away with strategies to enhance flavor in your meals while keeping sodium and sugar at a low. 

Manage Your Risk (Recording)
Uncontrolled diabetes puts you at risk for many chronic health conditions. During this session, we will discuss the importance of talking with your healthcare team, how high blood sugars impact your health, and what you should be aware of when you are feeling ill.


Fill your Pantry Series

Canning Foods (Recording) (Handouts) 
What is the difference between pressure canning and water bath canning? What equipment do I need? What recipes are safe to use? This webinar answers these questions, along with up-to-date information on canning. Whether you are new to canning or have been doing it for years and want a refresher, all are welcome to join! 

Freezing Foods (Recording) (Handouts) 
Freezing foods at home is simple and require equipment you likely already have in your kitchen. For the best quality frozen fruits and vegetables, it is not enough to simply add foods to your freezer. In this webinar, learn which foods do freeze well, why blanching improves frozen food quality, the process of freezing at home, and more. 

Fermenting Foods (Recording) (Handouts) (Recipes)
Fermentation is growing in popularity as a way to create foods and drinks with probiotic properties for healthy gut microbes and as a method of home food preservation. In this webinar, learn the fundamentals and benefits of Lacto-fermentation; learn how to safely ferment at home, and gain the confidence to get started right away! Fermentation is an easy and economical way to preserve your food with added health benefits. 

Drying Foods (Recording) (Handouts) (Frequently Asked Questions) 
Dried foods make tasty, compact snacks. From jerky to dried fruit, dehydrating at home is easy to do. In this webinar, learn about up-to-date drying methods and equipment, ways to test for sufficient drying, and ways to use dried foods in recipes. 

Making Jams & Jellies (Recording) (Handouts)
Make a sweet spread, such as jams and jellies, at home with your favorite berries and other fruits. Though sweet spreads are a popular home canned item, it is important to follow up-to-date canning processes and use appropriate equipment. Join in this webinar to learn step-by-step how to can jams and jellies at home, as well as troubleshooting challenges that may arise, such as unset jellies. 

Pickling Foods (Recording) (Handouts)
Pickling is an ancient form of food preservation that involves the process of preserving or extending the shelf life of food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. Join us as we share information on basic pickling methods using the latest scientific methods to ensure food safety. 

Preserving Apples (Recording) (Handouts) 
Apples are ripening in Illinois orchards.  Learn about the varieties of apples along with preservation methods.  We will discuss juicing, freezing, canning, and dehydrating apples.  All this information will include the most current science-based preservation methods and highlight food safety.  Join us and learn to preserve this delicious seasonal fruit with confidence. 

Processing Tomatoes (Recording) (Handouts)
Do you expect an abundance of tomatoes in your garden, but you aren’t sure what to do with them? Whether canning, freezing or drying, it’s important to follow up-to-date methods. You’ll learn all about canning salsa, the variety of ways to water bath or pressure can tomatoes, dehydrating this luscious fruit, and how to freeze for best results! 

Health at Home Series 

Food Rescue at Home: Reducing Food Waste and Reusing Leftovers (Recording) (Handouts) 
Reducing food waste is a shared responsibility. Learn what you can do to reduce food waste at home, save money, and protect the environment. 

Emotional Eating: Understanding How Stress Impacts Hunger and Appetite (Recording)
Increase your awareness of how emotions and stress affect eating habits, increase your ability to identify emotional triggers leading to emotional eating and learn effective practices to reach your wellness goals.

The Science Behind Popular Eating Trends (Recording) (Handouts)
Join us to explore these eating styles and learn the pros and cons of current diet trends. Plus, explore the eating plans which are evidence-based such as Mediterranean, DASH, and the USDA MyPlate.

Every Step Counts: Getting the Most Out of Activity Trackers (Recording) (Handouts)
Every step counts! Activity trackers give you an accurate count for steps, heart rate, and sleep. They are also fun; they get you off the couch and moving!

Take Your Kitchen Appliances Out for a Spin (Recording) (Handouts)
Did you get an electric pressure cooker as a gift and not sure what to do with it? We will share tips and tricks, recipes, and food safety information, all to make your life easier, and your meal plans varied! 

Diabetes: Practicing Self-care During Difficult Times (Recording)
Managing stress during difficult times is challenging for everyone; however, if you or a loved one has
diabetes, it is even more important to be intentional about managing stress. 

Cooking For One (Recording) (Handouts)
Single-person households are on the rise and forecast to grow over the next 15 years! Cooking for one can be creative and rewarding with or without leftovers. Indulge, choose what you like to cook, and get the good smells going in your kitchen! Join us and learn some new ways to plan, shop, prepare, and enjoy meals on the smaller side. 

Food Safety and Nutrition Research & News

News from Educators in the Field 

Stay Hydrated in Summer Heat 

Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes with Proper Nutrition

Take Care of Your Teeth 

Use Safe Tested Methods for Preserving Food

Creative Cooking with Fewer Ingredients 

Eggcellent Food Safety Tips 

Stocking Up on Food? Check Your Food Waste Habits

Extension Offers Free Online Pre-Diabetes Course

Quick Tips for Keeping the Kitchen Safe

Adding Flavor to Grilling Season with Marinades

Current Research in the News 

Want tastier pork? Invest in a meat thermometer, study says

Corn gluten meal needs a name change. Where’s the gluten?

Infection in pregnant pigs leads to antisocial piglets

Got a picky eater? How ‘nature and nurture’ may be influencing eating behavior in young children

A decade later, older Americans are still going hungry

Food banks respond to hunger needs in rural America

Chronic Disease and Nutrition 

Food Safety At Home 

Food Safety At Work During COVID-19

Meal Prep and Recipe Resources 

  • What's Cooking? With Mary Liz Wright: These helpful videos are all under four minutes and go through recipes, washing produce, canning, freezing, drying, using appliances, and additional kitchen tips. 
  • Eat.Move.Save: Learn how to make healthier choices on a budget.
  • Recipe Substitutions: Find out how to substitute for common ingredients rather than having to make another trip to the grocery store. 
  • Cooking with Children: Read about ways to involve children of all ages in the kitchen. 
  • Cooking for One or Two: Use this fact sheet to help learn how to cut recipes down for one or two people, shopping tips, quick meals, maximizing meals, and saving money. 
  • Creative Ways to Use Leftovers: Read suggestions for turning one meal into two or more! This fact sheet also discusses how to store, thaw safely, and reheat leftovers. 
  • One Container Meals: Get some tips and healthy suggestions for creating quick and easy one pot or pan meals. 
  • Shopping to Save: Helpful tips for grocery shopping on a budget. 

Food through the Seasons

  • Apples & More: Visit Apples & More to learn about U-pick apple orchards, apple nutrition, varieties & selection, and fun activities for children.
  • Pumpkins & More: You can learn about U-pick pumpkin farms, pumpkin nutrition, varieties & selection, and fun activities for children.
  • Raspberries & More: Learn about varieties & selection, how to plant, and where to find nurseries and U-pick farms.
  • Strawberries & More: Your guide to growing strawberries, u-pick strawberry farms, strawberry nutrition, and selection & care
  • Turkey for the Holidays: Need help with your holiday turkey? Get all the answers here—cooking techniques, leftover ideas, turkey facts, and much more.

Interactive Youth Food and Nutrition 

  • Food Fun from Apples to Zucchini: A website to introduce elementary students to 37 different kinds of produce -- many they may not know. (Intended for elementary students)
  • Fresh From the World...Where Your Food Comes From? This site looks at 15 different popular foods and explores their histories and origins to help kids understand that their food comes from all over the world. (Intended for 4th-5th grade students)

Additional Food Safety and Nutrition Resources 

  • MyPlate is designed to remind Americans to eat healthfully and make better food choices.
  • Food Safety For Consumers: provides information on the latest recalls, food safety tips, information on food storage, cooking temperatures, how to handle food during natural disasters, and other helpful information to prevent foodborne illness. 
  • National Center for Home Food Preservation: The National Center for Home Food Preservation is your source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation. 

30 Days of Food Rescue: Social Media Campaign 

  • Toolkit: Use this toolkit as a guide for posting graphics and wording to go with the graphics.
  • Graphics: There are 30 graphics to share in promoting food rescue. 

31 Days of Preserving Safely at Home: Social Media Campaign 

  • Toolkit & Graphics: Use this toolkit as a guide for posting graphics and wording to go with the graphics. This toolkit also includes 31 graphics to help promote food preservation.