Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties

Montgomery County
#1 Industrial Park Dr.
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Phone: 217-532-3941
FAX: 217-532-3944
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

Christian County
1120 N Webster St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
Phone: 217-287-7246
FAX: 217-287-7248
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 11:30 am; 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Jersey County
201 W. Exchange St.
Suite A
Jerseyville, IL 62052
Phone: 618-498-2913
FAX: 618-498-5913
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4 pm and Thursday 8 am to 12 pm

Macoupin County
#60 Carlinville Plaza
Carlinville, IL 62626
Phone: 217-854-9604
FAX: 217-854-7804
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

News Release

Putting your best fork forward in March

 “I’m going to lose 25 pounds before summer!” Setting nutrition and health related goals are at the top of the list of New Year’s Resolutions; however, only about 9% of Americans achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. In need of a fresh start on achieving nutrition and exercise goals? Start small. March is National Nutrition Month® with the theme, “Put your best fork forward”, focusing on making small changes one bite at a time.  Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator for University of Illinois Extension, suggests, “Setting realistic and specific goals can help with achieving success for better health. Instead of setting a goal to eat more fruit, set a specific goal, for example eating a banana, grapes, oranges, or another favorite fruit at lunch for one week.” Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (or S.M.A.R.T) goals help set a realistic plan for being successful.

          Making small changes to diet and exercise can help in achieving and sustaining weight loss. So what are small changes? “If using a step tracker, try adding 2,000 extra steps to each day for a week, replace regular soda with diet soda once a week, or simple just asking for dressing on the side of a salad when out to eat, can all have a positive impact on living a healthy lifestyle,” Peterson suggests. Positive small changes can add up over time and are more sustainable rather than restrictive “fad” diets. Cutting out food groups, focusing on one nutrient or food group, or severely cutting calories for a specific time might lead to quick success, but people often return to their original habits and potentially gain more weight than they originally aimed to lose. 

Join University of Illinois Extension in celebrating National Nutrition Month by attending, Dining out Without Filling out: Putting your Best Fork Forward at the Christian County Extension Office in Taylorville from 1 to 2 p.m. on March 22, or at the Jersey Community Hospital Wellness Center in Jerseyville from 12:15 to 2 p.m. on March 15.

The class is offered at no cost, but registration is required. The classes will cover using menu terminology to find healthier items, identifying sources of extra calories, strategizing ways to decrease portions, and finding ways to best fit dining out into your lifestyle. During the class, participants will get a closer look at fast food menus and practice making orders focusing on healthier options.  

     Pre-registration is required  through Once on the site, go to the “Register Online” area at the right hand side and click on the event. Registration can also be done by calling the Christian County Extension office at 217-287-7246 or Jersey County Wellness Center at 618-498-3500. For any questions or concerns please call your local Extension office or emailing

     University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact our office.



Local Contact: Lisa Peterson, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness,