By Michelle Gordon-Releford

Michigan State University Extension

In today’s society things are often done quick and on the go. Parents have little time to cook and children have little time to sit down and eat. We often overbook ourselves and then forget about scheduling time for food.

I find myself doing this often. What I do to help myself in this situation is to overcook. When I overcook I store away nutritious food and proportion it so that it can be reheated and eaten later, fast.

Some of the foods that I cook large portions of and freeze for later are spinach snacks, scalloped potatoes and potato, chicken and corn chowder. Spinach is a great source of iron – one cup has 6.43 grams of iron, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA National Agricultural Library, located at, is a wonderful website to find out what other nutrients spinach contains, along with nutrients in other foods.

The food mentioned above came from the “Eating Right is Basic” book. Michigan State University Extension offers multiple Supplemental Nutrition Education classes, along with a cookbook at no cost to the public. Courses are offered several times a year and are suitable to different levels of income. Courses teach food safety, how to make food dollars stretch and nutrition based on the USDA’s Choose MyPlate program.

Some of the classes offered are Eating Right is Basic for adults, teens and seniors, Show Me Nutrition for youth and Cooking Matters for adults and teens. To find a class near you, contact the Lake County MSU Extension office at (231) 745-2732.