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.

Types of EFNEP Program in Maryland



Programs for Parents


Classes are taught once every week for six weeks lasting 1 and ½ hours.  Topics include meal planning and stretching food dollars, reading food labels, preparing easy healthy meals, and food safety.

Programs for Families


Workshop series of 6 classes taught 1 and ½ hours once every week.  Topics include the importance of family meals, physical activity as a family, and shopping on a budget

Programs for New Immigrants and Recently Resettled Refugees


Series of 6 classes taught 1 and ½ hours once every week to small groups of newcomers to the United States and recently resettled refugees. EFNEP teaches them about nutrition, new recipes, effective utilization of food received from the food distributions, better shopping practices and preparing healthy meals without losing their favorite flavors or ethnic foods.  EFNEP looks for an interpreter to make sure they understand most of the content (if languages are other than English & Spanish).

Programs for Pregnant Women and Pregnant Teen


Six-week class series taught once every week for 1 and ½ hours.  Topics include nutrition and physical activity during pregnancy, feeding infants and toddlers, and fast food and healthy snacking.