Understanding core health and wellness topics are an important aspect of your family's overall well-being. From food safety to nutrition to chronic disease prevention and management, Illinois Extension is committed to helping families across the state and beyond live the best versions of their lives. Have questions not addressed in the topics listed below? Reach out to our nutrition and wellness educator Kristin Bogdonas to learn more or to schedule a program for your group or organization!


Wellness Wake Up Call Podcast on WVIK, Quad Cities NPR. Nutrition news you can use to be the best version of you. 

Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and wellness blog with recipes and ideas to inspire your healthy lifestyle! 

Wellness Tips at Your Fingertips Text Program. Sign up below!

Once signed up, you will get a text message each week on a variety of topics geared towards healthy finances, healthy living/healthy aging, and healthy eating. If you are interested, click to sign up go.illinois.edu/wellnesstips

  • Standard text message rates apply
  • You can opt out of messages at anytime
  • You will get minimally one message each week and no more than 2/week
  • Your number will not be shared with anyone, and we won’t use it for any other purposes
  • Questions? Contact Kristin Bogdonas @kmbogdo@illinois.edu

Recipe and tip sheets:

Hydrating Summer Sippers

3 Summer Seasonal Recipes: Tuna-Stuffed Tomato Melt, Citrus Kebabs, and Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

Don't let a broken dial spoil your family's canned goodies.

Get your water bath canning lid tested


Canning is a great way to extend the life of fresh garden foods, but over time, your canner's dial gauge can change and give a false pressure reading. Accurate pressure is critical to safely preserve foods. If the temperature of the food isn't high enough to kill harmful bacteria and microorganisms, your food may spoil or build-up harmful toxins from Clostridium botulinum.

Illinois Extension recommends testing your dial-gauge pressure canners every year. Contact Kristin Bogdonas to get your lid tested.

Educational Programs offered by Kristin Bogdonas


  • Meals for a Healthy Heart Diet and lifestyle can help manage high blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • I On Diabetes Talk about diabetes prevention and management, carbohydrate control and practice meal planning.
  • Yes! You Can Learn how to preserve food from canning to freezing to dehydration.


  • ABCs of School Nutrition Free training for school food service staff on a variety of topics for USDA required continuing education.
  • Putting Wellness to Work Lunch-n-learn sessions for your employees on a variety of health and wellness topics.
  • Childcare Providers Continuing education through Gateways for childcare providers.
  • High School Health Lessons This is a supplement to health education classes on topics such as food safety, nutrition and cooking. 


  • Mindful Eating Get back in touch with your food and your senses as we explore the when, why and how of our eating choices. 
  • Fermentation 101 Learn how to safely ferment food at home to create delicious, probiotic-rich meals and beverages. This can be a demonstration or a hands-on experience. 
  • Balancing Better Bites  Learn ways to snack healthier between meals.
  • Meals for Diabetes  Discuss meal planning for diabetes and tools to manage carbohydrate intake. 
  • Getting Creative with Herbs Herbs are versatile and can bring life back to your meals. Whether you want to make your own tea, herb blends, infused salts or vinegars, this herbalicious workshop will inspire your creativity in the kitchen. 
  • Healthy Lifestyles that Last Set achievable goals for your health and discuss ways to reach them.
  • Gateway to Gut Health This lesson will describe the gut microbiome and it's role in health and disease in addition to healthy lifestyle habits to keep things running smoothly. 
  • Make the Swap Identify healthier meal choices and substitutions when eating out and even cooking at home.
  • Reading Nutrition Facts Labels This lesson covers the various components of the nutrition facts label and how to use it when grocery shopping.  

Contact Kristin for more information on these programs.