University of Minnesota Extension
Menu Menu

Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > May 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Canned Food: What to Watch For

By Hannah Jastram Aaberg, registered dietitian

Canned food can be a great way to save money or time on items that are more expensive to buy or labor-intensive to prepare when fresh. The nutritional value of canned foods is often similar to fresh or frozen foods, but there are some things to watch out for.


Canned is a great way to enjoy fruits when they're not in season. Fruit is packed in water, juice, or syrup. Syrup adds a lot of unwanted calories from sugar. A cup of pears in heavy syrup has 33 grams of sugar, even when drained. That's more than two tablespoons of sugar! Compare that to a cup of pears in water, which has 15 grams sugar.

Bottom line: Choose fruits packed in water or juice, and drain fruits packed in syrup.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Keeping Teens Safe: The Village Approach

By Ellie McCann, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

About a month ago, I came across a parenting concept called the X-plan. You may have seen this blog post written by Bert Fulks, founder of Empty Stone Ministry, called X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out.

With the X-plan, you and your child create a secret code, such as an “X,” that they can text to you or anyone else in the family if they are feeling uncomfortable for any reason. When the receiver gets the text, they call the teen’s phone and tell them something like, “Something has come up and I need to pick you up right now!” The teen may ask what happened. The parent can respond with, “I’ll tell you about it when I pick you up, but I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

As a parent, I used a similar strategy with my three teenage girls, even though they were not the ones out at parties on the weekends. They were good kids who treated others with respect and kindness. They were not huge risk takers, but… they were teens.
  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy