EFNEP and SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education

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 three series that help participants make healthy choices on a budget: Buy. Eat. Live Healthy, Plan Shop Save and Cook, or Kids in the Kitchen.

Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.

Intended audience: Individuals and families with limited income
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 2020 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.


Kids in the Kitchen

Intended audience: Schools and organizations who serve youth in Kindergarten-5th grade for afterschool programs or during the summer. These schools and organizations must serve youth populations with a minimum of 40% free and reduced lunch rate, or at least 40% of the youth are from families who are at or below 185% of poverty.
Format: Program staff meet with a consistent group of 10-15 youth for 7 one-hour sessions. Youth engage in physical activity and prepare recipes while learning about nutrition, kitchen safety, and movement.


The curriculum is a hands-on, evidence-based youth nutrition program that is based on the MyPlate guidelines. Children who participate in this program learn about healthy choices, food safety, and active living.  Through the program youth build self-efficiency in the kitchen through promoting skill development in: measuring, recipe reading, knife skills, food safety, and nutrition knowledge.  

The lesson topics include:

  • Kitchen and Food Safety - Youth develop food safety skills in the kitchen.
  • Physical Activity - Youth develop positive physical activity behaviors.
  • Fruits & Vegetables - Half your plate should be fruits and veggies
  • Grains - Make half your grains whole.
  • Dairy - Build strong bones and get enough calcium from low-fat or non-fat dairy foods or other foods high in calcium.
  • Protein - Go lean with protein and keep all food safe to eat.

Kids in the Kitchen 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 Cooperative Extension Service System's Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a unique program designed to reach limited resource audiences - especially youth and families with young children. EFNEP operates in all 50 States and in American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Extension professionals train and supervise paraprofessionals and volunteers who teach food and nutrition information and skills to limited resource families and youth.

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). 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 SNAP program.

SNAP provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. Find out more about SNAP:

Virtual lessons available online or by phone

At Work in Iowa

See the impact of our nutrition education programs on those who have participated in EFNEP and SNAP-Ed.

Christine Hradek, Coordinator

Interested in participating in one of our nutrition education programs? Submit an online request and we'll contact you.