Buy. Eat. Live Healthy

Buy. Eat. Live Healthy educators support individuals and families in making healthy choices on a tight grocery budget. Lessons focus on nutrition education, cooking skills, grocery budget management and active living. Program availability varies by county.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers a free nutrition education class series called Buy. Eat. Live Healthy. 

Classes show adult participants how to choose nutritious foods for themselves and their families, save an average of $50 a month on their food bill, and handle food safely. Trained educators provide practical, hands-on experience and suggestions for implementing healthy eating. Information shared is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 and MyPlate.

The FREE Buy. Eat. Live Healthy classes are taught to groups or individuals. Income guidelines apply.

Classes include:

  • Get Moving- Participants enjoy being active.
  • Plan, Shop, $ave- Participants learn to plan and shop for healthy meals and snacks within their budget.
  • Fruits and Veggies, Half your Plate- Participants increase the amount of vegetables and fruits they eat by choosing more than one kind of vegetable and fruit every day.
  • Make Half Your Grains Whole - Participants choose at least half of their daily grains as whole grains.
  • Build Strong Bones- Participants get enough calcium from low-fat or non-fat dairy foods or other foods high in calcium.
  • Go Lean with Protein- Participants have lean protein foods and keep all food safe to eat.
  • Make a Change and Celebrate- Participants limit foods high in fat, sugar and salt and celebrate new knowledge and skills to make healthy food and activity choices.

Each lesson includes information on nutrition and physical activity and includes cooking or tasting a recipe. In addition, participants are given tools to help them make behavior changes including cutting mats, measuring cups and spoons, and cookbooks. Participants who complete eight classes receive a certificate signed by ISU Extension and Outreach staff certifying they have attended the program.

For more information on how to get your family involved in Buy. Eat. Live. Healthy contact Carolyn Maschino, Program Assistant, at 515-576-2119, 515-570-3157 or

For more Buy. Eat. Live Healthy information, visit the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Nutrition Education webpage.

Buy. Eat. Live Healthy Information Request

If you would like to learn more about the Buy. Eat. Live Healthy Program please fill out the request below and Carolyn Maschino, Buy. Eat. Live Healthy Program Specialist, will contact you.  

Want to learn more about healthy meals and snacks, and saving money too?  The Buy. Eat. Live Healthy Program is FREE for families or households caring for children ages 10 and under.  Childcare providers who complete this program can receive 16 hours of continuing education toward your license for free. Fill out the form below and the program assistant will contact as you as soon as possible.