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Programs

Health and Nutrition Programs

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Two women with aprons, hairnets and gloves chopping celery and apples Silvia Muñoz (left) and Maria Bivins-Gomez learn how to safely prepare an apple salad during an Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program class at Myrtle Tate Elementary School in Las Vegas. Photo by Felisa Mandujano Torres, Cooperative Extension Community Based Instructor III.

Program helps bring nutrition education to low-income families in a practical, hands-on, applied way

Relevance/Issue

Poor health disproportionately affects minority and low-income U.S. populations. According to Nevada’s 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data, of the respondents with incomes less than $25,000 per year, 14 percent were told by a doctor, nurse or other health professional that they had experienced a heart attack; 11 percent were told they had coronary heart disease; 21 percent were told they had diabetes; 68 percent were overweight; and 47 percent were obese. Low-income families were the most vulnerable to both undernutrition and overconsumption. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans specifically emphasize consumption of low-fat, nutrient-dense foods; limited sugars; and increased physical activity. In contrast, food consumption research shows that low-income families often consume high-fat, high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods. This is important because chronic disease and poor health disproportionately affect minority and low-income audiences.

Response/What’s Been Done

In Nevada, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is administered by University of Nevada, Reno to engage adults and youth to boost nutrition through building basic skills. Participants learn how to read food labels, save money on groceries, plan meals, safely handle food, make healthy food choices, and be more active. All materials are available in English and Spanish, and programming is done by paraprofessionals in classes at 25 schools and two Head Start locations in Las Vegas. The classes are 90 minutes long and taught weekly for 10 weeks. Since the 2016-2017 school year began, Extension reached 396 participants through adult and youth programming. Extension also conducts outreach activities and events, reaching a combined total of 558 families, of which 88 percent were Hispanic, 18 percent were Caucasian, and 12 percent were African American. Of these families, 71 percent had incomes at or below the poverty level.

Results/Impact and Partners

Results from a pre- and post-evaluation of 574 families who finished the 10-week series showed that, in a 24-hour recall analysis:

  • 551 families (96 percent) made a positive change in the consumption of servings of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat alternatives and dairy.
  • 551 families (96 percent) showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices, such as planning meals, making healthy food choices, preparing foods without salt, reading nutrition labels, and having their children eat breakfast.
  • 533 families (93 percent) showed improvement in one or more food resource management practices.
  • 487 families (85 percent) showed improvement in one or more food-safety practices.
  • 327 families (57 percent) reported an increase in physical activity.

Program partners included:

Expanded Food and Nutrition Program logo

IMPACTS




96%

of participating families made a positive change in the consumption of servings of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat alternatives and dairy.



57%

of participating families reported an increase in physical activity.



96%

of participating families showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices, such as planning meals, making healthy food choices, preparing foods without salt, reading nutrition labels, and having their children eat breakfast.



“Now when we go to the store, I always check the nutrient label and remember everything you taught us."

— Program participant




Contact: Jacqueline Black, 702-940-5424

Health and Nutrition Programs

Programs Program Information

All 4 Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing child obesity. Developed by Cooperative Extension faculty from maternal/child nutrition, exercise physiology and child development, the All 4 Kids program helps children meet the Nevada Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Standards while encouraging preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits and be active every day.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Food Safety Project

Grow Yourself Healthy

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

The Healthy Eating on a Budget program has been integrated into the TANF Work Readiness workshop as a SNAP-Ed program. The purpose of the 8-lesson series is to provide SNAP recipients with education on healthy nutrition and physical activity practices, food resource management, food safety and food security.

Healthy Kids Festival

The goal of the Healthy Kids Festival is to provide sustainable tools and opportunities for low income families with young children (ages 3-8) to make healthy choices as he/she approaches the adolescent years. The event, hosted by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids program in collaboration with local community partners provides long term solutions to childhood obesity through physical activity, healthy eating and other behaviors related to childhood obesity prevention.

Healthy Steps to Freedom

Alcohol and drug addiction are serious, chronic and relapsing health problems for both women and men of all ages and backgrounds. Leading to physical and mental health problems, substance abuse often precipitates violence, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, motor vehicle crashes, homelessness, rising health care costs and obesity.

Nevada Radon Education Program

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a partnership with the Nevada State Health Division to educate Nevadans about the possible health risk posed by elevated levels of radon in the home. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) offers literature, educational programs and radon test kits in many county Extension offices.

Pick a better snack™ (formerly Chefs for Kids)

This evidence-based campaign focuses on building fruit and vegetable consumption in children through healthy snacking. Pick a better snack™ is a monthly, in-school nutrition education program for primary grade children in at-risk elementary schools in Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada. In addition to direct instruction, staff works with school wellness coordinators to build meaningful and sustainable programming to create a well environment in every school.

Small Steps 4 Big Changes

Parent involvement is recognized as a key factor in making wise food selections and shaping food and health behavior attitudes that affect the child’s habits and food preferences. Conducted in partnership with the 4-H Youth Development Program, a series of ten nutrition lessons incorporate recipe preparation, food sampling and physical activity segments, with additional nutrition education content for the parent or adult caregiver. All lesson segments are focused on thriving within a limited budget, as well as increasing fruit and vegetable intake. This program has been successfully offered to five Reno Housing Authority (RHA) and other 4-H After School Program sites since the initial launch of the pilot program. The program fosters behavior changes identified by the Centers for Disease Control as being linked to childhood obesity prevention.

Team Nutrition “Smart Choices”

This program strives to address the public health issue of childhood obesity through building basic skills related to food selection and promoting an increased variety of nutritious foods consumed especially vegetables and fruits.

Veggies for Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s (UNCE) Veggies for Kids program takes a proactive approach toward eating and experiencing different kinds of vegetables for American Indian children at a young age.