EFNEP and SNAP-Ed nutrition education programs offer free (income guidelines apply) nutrition classes to help Iowans access nutritious food, cook healthy meals at home, and handle food safely. Depending on location in Iowa and eligibility, staff offer two series that help participants make healthy choices on a budget: Buy. Eat. Live Healthy or Plan Shop Save and Cook.
Buy. Eat. Live Healthy
Intended audience: Pregnant teens and adults with children age 18 or younger
Format: Program staff meet with participants one-on-one and in small groups. Participants practice cooking, meal planning, label reading and physical activity to make healthy habits easier.
Buy. Eat. Live Healthy is the curriculum used. It is designed to teach the main messages Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 and MyPlate. Topics include:
- Get Moving - Families enjoy being active.
- Plan, Shop, $ave - Families plan and shop for meals and snacks that are healthy and within their budget.
- Fruits & Veggies: Half your Plate - Families increase the amount of vegetables and fruits they eat every day to make half their plate fruits and vegetables.
- Make Half your Grains Whole - Families choose at least half of their grains as whole.
- Go Lean with Protein - Families select 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 and Celebrate! - Families limit foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.
- Healthy Pregnancy (optional) - Pregnant women make healthy decisions through proper nutrition and lifestyle choices.
- Feeding Children (optional) - Parents will develop positive eating and physical activity behaviors in their children.
Contact the Extension and Outreach office near you, or complete the online form to request more information.
Plan Shop Save and Cook
Intended audience: Individuals and families with limited resources
Format: Participants learn how to identify healthy choices that also save money and they practice skills like cooking and meal planning.
Plan Shop Save and Cook is the curriculum used. Topics include:
- Plan meals ahead
- Save money at the grocery store
- Understand food labels
- Cook healthy meals and snacks
Plan Shop Save and Cook is offered in select counties. Complete the online form to request more information.
Buy. Eat. Live Healthy in Iowa is provided by Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, USDA's Food Stamp Program, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The objectives of EFNEP are to assist adults and children with limited resources in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for nutritionally sound diets, and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of the total family diet and nutritional wellbeing.
Additional funds for Buy. Eat. Live Healthy and Plan Shop Save and Cook come from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as Food Assistance in Iowa. In Iowa, local agencies and schools cooperate to provide nutrition information. The focus of the program is to deliver nutrition, food safety, and resource management education to Iowans who participate in the Food Assistance program.
The Food Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. Find out more about Food Assistance: