The Smart Choices program is designed to teach people with limited resources how to improve their dietary practices and become more effective managers of available resources. Classes teach participants:
- ways to stretch their food dollars
- how to reduce the risk of food-borne illness
- suggestions for introducing new foods in their diet and eating more meals at home with family
- tips for gardening
- referral information for other community resources and assistance programs
Informal field testing was done with target audiences and field agents.
Smart Choices is a community nutrition education program that provides families with nutrition information on healthy eating with a limited budget. Each of the fifteen lessons focuses on different topics that cover the nutrition facts label, physical activity, shopping on a budget, eating on the go, individual food groups, food safety, and kitchen tips for preparing meals in a hurry. Three of the lessons focus on more specific topics: heart health, pregnancy and feeding young children.
Each lesson is complemented with 11 x 17 color posters, which is also available in PowerPoint format, with the speaking points on the back of the poster included in the “Notes” section. The lesson plan includes key concepts, objectives, materials, and educator speaking notes. Some plans also include additional visual aides, assessment questions and evaluation materials. All of the lessons include interactive activities and several handouts and fact sheets for adults and youth. Some include activities and puzzles, as well as healthy recipes.
Marketing materials for the Smart Choices curriculum that may be available include a large banner, a poster on a foam board, magnets, brochures, and exercise/nutrition cards.