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Friday, April 24, 2015

SNAP-Ed Instruction Helps Kids Eat Healthier

Do nutrition education classes conducted in elementary schools by instructors trained in the principles of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) influence children to eat healthier foods? “Yes,” according to a study done by researchers from the University of Minnesota (U of M) Extension Center for Family Development.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Budget-Wise, Season-Wise: Farmers Markets

Spring weather is almost here and with that comes the beginning of farmers market season. In Minnesota, farmers market season starts in May and extends all the way to October. This gives you opportunities to try everything from radishes and garlic scapes in May to hard squashes and pumpkins in October.

Farmers markets provide a fantastic learning opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables — this can help broaden the variety of foods you get in your diet. If you see produce at the market you don't recognize, ask the farmers. Not only will they be able to tell you what the produce is, chances are they will have tips on how to prepare it. Many farmers provide samples of their produce for buyers to taste, so you can try a food before you buy it.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Just What Is EFNEP?

When I first saw the job posting for an EFNEP Extension Educator, I thought to myself, “EF-what?!?” I imagine a lot of community agencies and the general public might have a similar reaction when they see that acronym.

But when I dug a little deeper, I learned that the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is one of the oldest nutrition education programs in the United States. EFNEP was started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1968 and operates in all 50 states and some territories. EFNEP started out using a home visit one-on-one model, which has largely been discontinued.

Today, EFNEP provides an experiential learning experience — there are often good smells coming from an EFNEP classroom! What’s more, participants acquire the knowledge and skills to make behavior changes aimed at improving their family’s diet and well-being. Additionally, participants learn how to incorporate more physical activity into everyday living.
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