NC State Extension

Integrating Local Food Into Nutrition Education Programs

  • Best Practices for Utilizing Local Food in Nutrition Education and Cooking Classes  This guide provides tips for integrating local food into nutrition education and cooking classes, including providing information about seasonality, how to locate local food sources, and including storytelling and opportunities to share food memories for participants.
  • Farmers’ Market Tour Guide and Farmers’ Market Recipe Cards  These resources are designed for nutrition educators to integrate a tour of a farmers’ market into Faithful Families, Steps to Health and EFNEP classes. Educators are provided with tips about how to work with farmers’ markets and Extension agents to provide education about local food and farming, how to use federal nutrition assistance benefits at the market, and how to prepare local food.
  • Eat Smart, Move More NC  This organization is focused on addressing obesity by working with communities, schools and businesses. They provide programs and tools to help create healthy food environments.
  • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) EFNEP is is a federally funded educational program conducted through the Cooperative Extension Service on a national scale. EFNEP helps limited resource youth and families with children learn how to eat healthier meals and snacks, stretch their food dollars and reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.
  • NC Steps to Health  The federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) serves limited resource individuals and families across North Carolina. N.C. Cooperative Extension’s SNAP-Ed Program is Steps to Health. Steps to Health provides nutrition education program for preschoolers, kindergarteners, 2nd grade students, 3rd grade students, adults, Latino families, and older adults.
  • Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More (Faithful Families) The Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More Program promotes healthy eating and physical activity in communities of faith. Resources for the program include a 9-session Faithful Families curriculum and the Planning Guide for Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More (Planning Guide). The Faithful Families curriculum is co-taught by nutrition and physical activity educators and trained lay leaders from faith communities in small group sessions. Lay Leaders bring the spiritual elements into each session, through discussion questions and “Thinking it Through” prompts in each lesson.
  • Seasonality Guide The 10% Campaign’s guide for what fruit, nuts, vegetables and seafood are available by season in North Carolina (also available in Spanish here). The North Carolina Department of Agriculture also has a Produce Availability Chart showing what’s in season.
  • SNAP-ED Connection: Nutrition Through the Seasons A resource with recipes and resources for seasonal produce on a national level, including information about food safety, preservation and gardening.
  • University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention This CDC Prevention Research Center has several projects focused on the connections between local foods and public health outcomes.
  • See more interventions and strategies for increasing healthy eating and physical activity at UNC’s Center for Training and Research Translation.

Written By

Photo of Dara Bloom, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDara BloomExtension Local Foods Specialist & Assistant Professor (919) 515-8475 dara_bloom@ncsu.eduAgricultural & Human Sciences - NC State University
Page Last Updated: 4 months ago
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