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Veggie Grant Project

Overview

Nutrition education is most effective when there is an open, interactive communication between the client and the educator and when the session focuses on issues that are relevant for the client and solutions feasible for the client to complete. Based on these principles, the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa State University developed a series of 42 nutrition education modules focused on increasing young children's intake of vegetables.

The modules include:

  • a lesson plan to guide an interactive nutrition education session
  • supplementary materials to be used during the session and/or at home
  • related references for the educator

Using a simple screening tool   Adobe Acrobat Logo, the educator identifies the most appropriate module for an individual client based on the readiness of the client to change behavior (using the Stages of Change construct from the Transtheoretical Model) and the barriers   Adobe Acrobat Logo to offering vegetables that the client faces regularly. The nutrition education modules encourage the educator to ask questions, listen to the client, and stimulate critical thinking about the challenges that families face.

Target audience

These modules are appropriate for use in any nutrition education setting where there is an opportunity to screen the client to select an appropriate module and carry out an interactive session.

The educational modules were developed originally for use with parents and primary caregivers of young children participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Starting in 2002, the modules have been used in WIC individual and group educational sessions led by WIC dietitians or program assistants from the local Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). In addition, the EFNEP staff used the materials in educational activities with their own clients.