EFNEP Classes Help People Live Healthier Lives
Extension's Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) aims to help low-income families develop skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to maintain a healthy diet and stay physically active. So, is the program making a difference in people’s lives?
Roberto Martinez Sanchez, a community nutrition educator with Extension Center for Family Development's EFNEP team in Hennepin County, recently asked some parents that question (in so many words). They had just completed his four-week series of classes conducted in partnership with the Minneapolis-based Way to Grow non-profit organization. Here’s how some of Roberto’s students answered his question:
- One mother said she did not understand the importance of eating vegetables before taking the classes. But after learning about the benefits of eating the five MyPlate food groups, especially vegetables, she is adding more vegetables to daily meals at home. (Read more about MyPlate on the ChooseMyPlate.gov website.)
- Other parents said that after learning about reading food labels in the EFNEP classes, they are choosing healthier foods based on the nutritional information on those labels.
- Still other parents said they enjoyed learning how to modify recipes in the EFNEP classes. They added that they previously thought recipes must be followed to the letter. But now they are substituting some ingredients to make home-made meals more nutritious.
From these comments, it appears parents who took Roberto’s classes are changing some of their shopping and cooking habits so they, and their families, eat healthier foods. And that’s made a difference in their lives.
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) — Providing hands-on nutrition education to assist families with limited resources in the Twin Cities to make healthy food and physical activity choices.
Investments in EFNEP Pay Big Dividends, Now and in the Future — U.S. Department of Agriculture — This March 31, 2016 blog post demonstrates how EFNEP "benefits the greater society."
Live Healthy, Live Well — Find online resources and classes for families to keep bodies, minds, wallets, homes, and futures healthy.