Family Nutrition Program (FNP)
Osceola County Extension Services increased its ability to provide more Nutrition Education programs in the County.
University of Florida IFAS Extension Services Osceola County office was awarded in 2010, a federal grant from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Family Nutrition Program to provide nutrition education programs. Similar to EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program), the FNP (Family Nutrition Program) provides educational programs to youth in the schools, after school and summer programs. Through FNP, Osceola County Extension Services has increased the capacity of providing educational services to parents, adults and families with young children through community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, civic groups, and other entities and programs.
As we know, obesity rates among children and adults are escalating, and bringing with it, absenteeism and poor academic performance, health problems and increased medical costs.
Both EFNEP and FNP programs are collaborative partnerships between the USDA, the University of Florida IFAS Extension and Osceola County Commissioners. The goal of both federally funded programs is to assist families and children to have a healthier diet. Schools with a student population of 51% or more who receive free and/or reduced lunches, adults and families who are low to moderate income, food stamp eligible's or food stamp recipients are eligible for our educational programs.
Our educational programs with children support youths' achievement with FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test). Lessons taught reinforce skills and concepts identified in the Florida Sunshine Standards in different subjects such as Science, Reading/Language Arts, Health Education, Math and Physical Education. Programs are offered to students from Kinder to middle school children, 5 years to 14 years of age.
Organizations and community programs who have 50% or more of their clientele receiving or eligible for food stamps are encouraged to engage in our collaborative partnership. Classes are very interactive, with fun hands-on activities, games and occasional food sampling. Some of the topics are fruits, vegetables and fiber for better digestive process, why is breakfast needed?, food for pregnant women, feeding young infants, food-nutrients for our body, reading labels for smart shopping, healthy snacking, and food safety practices to prevent food borne illnesses, among others. All educational information provided is research based. Upon completion of the program, participants get a University of Florida Certificate of Completion.
Programs can be conducted in either English or Spanish. There is no cost involved for the program. Different teaching strategies and tools are used from direct teaching, group discussion, games, videos, handouts, posters, etc. Call us at (321) 697-3000 to find out when we are holding the next educational program and where.
My Plate for Kids
My Plate for Kids contains materials specifically designed for kids between the ages of 6-11 years old. In addition, it contains classroom materials for professionals by USDA Team Nutrition. More..
Choose My Plate for Adults and Pregnant Women
My Plate contains information for adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women, such as the American Food Guidelines, the different food groups, nutrients in food and online tools to help you start on a healthier lifestyle.
For more information, click on Choose My Plate
Teachers and Educators
Children need to eat properly to perform well in school.
A well-nourished child has greater potential for academic success than a poorly nourished student.
Studies prove that adequately nourished children:
- Are more alert with longer attention spans
- Are more socially interactive
- Explore and learn from their surroundings
- Are less likely to get sick, which means fewer absences from school
- Have less chance of becoming iron-deficient, which can cause tiredness
- Have a greater ability to concentrate, leading to a richer educational experience
- Poor eating habits in childhood can lead to disease later in life, including heart disease and osteoporosis (calcium deficiency)
EFNEP teaches nutrition and food resource management to low-income families and children/youth.
EFNEP teach schoolchildren about choosing healthier foods, preparing and tasting simple snacks, and being a smart shopper by reading food labels.
You can help your child by :
- Letting children select from a variety of healthful foods and making sure they have plenty of exercise. Both are important to promote healthy weights in children.
- Offering a variety of fruits and vegetables (5 to 9 a day), preferably fresh.
- Serving whole grain foods every day, such as whole wheat bread, crackers, brown rice, tortillas, or ready to eat whole grain breakfast.
- Giving young children at least 2 servings of dairy products, e.g. 1 cup of milk, yogurt, cheese. Offer milk at every meal.
- Providing meals and snacks at regular times.
- Eating with children and modeling healthy eating habits.
Penn State University
FNP & EFNEP Program
FNP Program Assistant
FNP Program Assistant