We work with about 2,000 pregnant teens and families with children each year.

What participants have said about the nutrition education program ...
  • “I never realized how much fun it could be to feed my family, how good I feel when I can stretch our food dollar throughout the month and how rewarding it is to know that I can help my son grow strong by buying the right kinds of foods.”
  • “I learned what I eat makes a difference in both my health and that of my unborn baby. Now I select the foods that are healthy for both of us.”
  • “I save time and money by planning ahead and prioritizing my hectic schedule. My family is eating balanced, nutritional meals on a regular schedule and I feel more relaxed and in control.”


EFNEP & FNP: Nutrition Education Programs for Iowa Families from Iowa State University Extension on Vimeo.


Program staff lead participants through activities including cooking, physical activity, discussions, and goal setting. There are nine core sessions designed to teach the main messages of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 and MyPlate. There are two optional lessons on having a healthy pregnancy and feeding children.

Each lesson includes:

  • Lesson enhancements - tools to help participants make the behavior changes suggested in the lesson
  • Worksheets and handouts - reviews the key points of the lesson
  • Physical activity - stretches, exercises, and activities
  • Food activity - preparation, demonstration, or tasting, in addition to free recipes


Eating Smart • Being Active is the curriculum used by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach nutrition programs. The lessons and goals focus on:

Welcome Understand goals for each lesson in the curriculum
Basic knife skills
Planning healthy meals/snacks
Get Moving Families enjoy being active.
Participants accurately complete the required entry forms.
Plan, Shop, $ave Families plan and shop for meals and snacks that are healthy and within their grocery budget.
Fruits and Veggies, Half Your Plate Families increase the amount of vegetables and fruits they
eat every day.
Families have more than one kind of vegetable and one kind of fruit every day.
Make Half Your Grains Whole Families choose at least half of their grains as whole grains.
Go Lean with Protein  Families have lean protein foods and keep all food safe to eat.
Build Strong Bones Families get enough calcium from low-fat or non-fat dairy
foods or other foods high in calcium.
Make a Change Families limit foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.
Celebrate! Eat Smart and Be Active Participants discuss feeding children and celebrate new
knowledge and skills to make healthy food and activity choices.
Participants accurately complete the required exit forms.
Healthy Pregnancy
(optional lesson for pregnant participants)
Pregnant women make healthy decisions through recommended nutrition and lifestyle choices.
Feeding Children
Parents develop positive eating and physical activity habits in their children.

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