EFNEP for Families Uses a Skill building, Learner Centered Approach
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in Maryland utilizes evidence-based strategies to address diet and physical activity behaviors and reduce risk for food insecurity and chronic disease in families.
EFNEP focuses on diet quality, nutrition, better food resource management, and food safety. EFNEP educators teach program participants to:
Choose nutritious snacks/beverages for children
Plan and prepare healthy meals
Handle and store foods safely
Prepare new foods and recipes
Compare prices and save on their food bill
Become physically active
Workshops are taught in a series and program participants receive10-12 lessons, often over several weeks. The classes are taught in small groups or individually and are delivered in a culturally sensitive manner. Each class has 3 parts: a brief nutrition lesson, food demonstration and food tasting and physical activity. Food safety education and cooking/gardening are also integrated in most classes. Lessons are taught in English and/or Spanish.
EFNEP works! Validated cost benefit and cost effectiveness studies suggest that every dollar invested in EFNEP nutrition education yields $9.64 in future health care costs due to prevention of diet related chronic disease, decreased food-borne infections and improvements in the health of pregnant women.
EFNEP classes are offered in eight (8) Maryland counties and the City of Baltimore in collaboration or partnership with schools, community centers, clinics, health and wellness centers, non-profit and faith-based organizations, local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and WIC programs, the Head Start programs, and 4-H Youth programs. The program is provided at no cost to participants.