EFNEP Teaches Healthy Habits that Fit Your Budget

October 19th, 2014 | By Marjie No Comments

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“I now cook better, shop better, and store my food the correct way. I even eat yogurt and cook with it!”

This comment was from a participant of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) here in Athens. At the graduation party, spirits were high. Those who had attended all of the classes were getting a cookbook and a certificate from the University of Georgia. Everyone shared a story about how the program had helped them. There were songs, laughter, and, of course, food. Moments like these are common at EFNEP. They happen across the country, every day.
Making a Difference
Federal assistance programs such as WIC and SNAP are well known. However, few people realize that the government also offers nutrition education programs to low-income families. The programs help participants make healthier food choices on a limited budget. EFNEP is one of these programs. It is offered all across Georgia through University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. At no cost to the participant, UGA EFNEP offers a series of eight lessons called Food Talk. Topics include:
  • Understanding food labels
  • Saving money on groceries
  • Choosing well when eating out
  • Reducing sodium, sugar, and fat
  • Keeping safe from foodborne illnesses (food poisoning)
Each lesson has a cooking demonstration. Participants taste recipes that are healthier, less expensive versions of foods they might already eat. They learn about planning ahead to make mealtimes less of a burden on their time and wallets. Another benefit of the cooking demonstration is to introduce new foods. Many have never tried whole-wheat pasta, non-fat yogurt, or turkey pepperoni. They feel that food cannot be tasty and good for you. By the end of the program, participants share how healthier foods are now staples in their kitchens.
Educational material is given at the end of each lesson. Items such as cutting boards or menu planners help participants put into practice what they learned. Brochures highlight topics covered in that day’s
lesson – eating more fruits and
vegetables, for example.
Through fun and personal classes, EFNEP reaches thousands of low-income Georgians every year. Participants and their families eat better, are more active, and make more informed decisions at the grocery store. By teaching healthy habits, EFNEP truly makes a difference!
To learn more about EFNEP here in Georgia, please visit us online at
www.ugaefnep.org.

 

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