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Youth Program

Focusing on Behavior Change

Target Audience: Children and youth from low-income families

Program Delivery: EFNEP Nutrition Educators train teachers and youth leaders to deliver one of several free, age-appropriate, University-approved curricula with 6-8, one-hour lessons.


  • Develop healthy eating habits   
  • Choose healthy snacks
  • Increase physical activity
  • Practice safe food handling

The delivery of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) youth program takes on various forms:

  • Recruit and train teachers and youth leaders to implement nutrition education curricula in their classrooms and groups forums.
  • EFNEP provides nutrition education at schools as and enrichment of the curriculum.
  • In addition to lessons on nutrition, food preparation, and food safety, youth classes may also include related topics, such as physical activity and general health.

Eatfit: Shaping the Lives of Adolescents

An entire generation of California youth faces a lifetime of obesity, due, in part, to poor dietary choices and physical inactivity. Obesity reduces an adolescent’s quality of life, and can lead to life-shortening chronic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Middle-school teachers asked Cooperative Extension educators for educational tools to assist students with healthier eating and becoming more physically active.

Read about: Eatfit: shaping the lives of adolescents

Featured Success Story


During the 09-10 school year, 11 Vista High School students visited 5 second grade classrooms at Temple Heights Elementary. The high school students participated in a hands-on training conducted by Stella Weaver and Amy Haessly (Child Nutrition Services). The students then taught the Reading Across MyPyramid (RAMP) lessons over 4 classroom visits.

It was a wonderful project and received excellent reviews about the high school students from elementary school teachers. Comments included:

classroom kids
"They did a great job!"
"Excellent role models."
"The high school students were such an example for my class. They all want to be involved like these students in high school!"
"They did an awesome job! Great rapport with the students."
"The second graders were excited and eager to learn and share."
"Classroom management was well done! Awesome job!"

--Submitted by a Temple Heights Elementary School Teacher


Grades K-2: EATING HEALTHY from FARM TO FORK: Promoting School Wellness is a nutrition education curriculum that makes the connection between local food systems, garden-based learning, school food service and the establishment of healthy habits. The lessons actively engage the children in learning about healthy choices for food and fitness.
Grades 4-6: Nutrition to Grow On is an innovative curriculum that offers teachers a direct link between the garden and nutrition education. This multi-disciplinary curriculum enriches students' capabilities for observation and thinking and encourages them to develop a wide range of skills.
Grades 6-8: EatFit teaches students how to set goals to establish the personal health habits appropriate to the changing needs of adolescence. With EatFit, students explore and practice the skills necessary for a physically active lifestyle and healthy food choices.