Latest News: Blend

Julias Story_3

Julia’s Story

Julia Karls, who is now 15 years old, participated in the first BLEND Fit Kids Series in 2010, and would absolutely encourage young children to join! “The Fit Kids Series is a great way to stay active and also have fun,” she said. Her dad, Wes, added, “The prizes based on how many events you… Read more »


Long Prairie – Grey Eagle Schools & BLEND

In just under two years, BLEND – along with many community partners and the newly established Long Prairie Wellness Network – has seen tremendous success building and sustaining a culture of health that has empowered the Long Prairie community to place wellness as a top priority. In a recent blog titled “BLEND is in Long Prairie” we highlighted a couple of the successful initiatives… Read more »


BLEND is in Long Prairie!

U of M Extension SNAP-ED Community Partnership Funding which helped bring people to the table and develop strategies to impact community health. Community Supported Agriculture This last summer, we piloted a Share Health Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Twenty-five participants were chosen based on a food insecurity screening. Each week, participants not only picked up their… Read more »

Fare for All

This past month, some of our BLEND staff had the pleasure of volunteering with Fare for All. This non-profit organization, sponsored by the Twin Cities-based The Food Group, seeks to make quality food affordable to everyone. They accomplish this task by purchasing real food (fruits, veggies, and meats) at bulk discount rates and assembling packs of food for… Read more »



It Doesn’t Only Happen in the Kitchen As we celebrate Farm-to-School (F2S) month, I’d like to point out how cool it is that F2S is not just something the kitchen does. A school that commits to the values also promotes agriculture in the classroom. Some schools decide to start gardens, with the produce going directly back… Read more »


Eight Layer Fiesta Dip Cups [Peek Into Kelly’s Kitchen]

Savory Sunday Snacks With football season in full swing, I’m always searching for fun, satisfying Sunday afternoon snacking options. And as I tend to get lazy on cool, autumn Sunday afternoons, I like the snacks I make to be hearty enough to double as dinner, if necessary. Today, I’m going to share a dip option… Read more »


Sack Lunches Made Simple [Peek Into Kelly’s Kitchen]

Big yellow busses are rolling. Back packs are filled with supplies. Students are back in the classroom. And parents are, once again, packing lunch boxes. This task can be daunting. Trying to pack something kids will eat that’s actually good for them can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, folks! You don’t need to reinvent the… Read more »


CentraCare Recognized Nationally for Childhood Obesity Efforts

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today recognized the greater St. Cloud region in its release of an updated collection of stories and reports from a growing number of states, cities and counties that have measured declines in their childhood obesity rates. In the St. Cloud region, the obesity rate fell from 17 percent in 2008… Read more »


Is DIET is a 4-letter word?

It seems like I can’t turn on the television or open Facebook without a barrage of diet promotions jumping off the screen. From “healthy eating” plans that cut entire food groups to slurping only shakes, I struggle with the concept of harsh, short-term fixes. Isn’t eating about more than weight loss? What about overall health… Read more »


[Guest Blog] Eating Healthy While Dining Out

This is a guest blog by Ally Turnquist.  Ally is a pediatric Registered Dietitian with CentraCare Health. New to her position and the St. Cloud area, she enjoys working with children and families while sharing her passion and knowledge of food and nutrition. Ally grew up in a small rural town located in Central Minnesota… Read more »