Food $ense provides nutrition education to low income adults and youth across the state of Utah. Food $ense reaches participants in all 29 counties across the state. Education classes include nutrition information, cooking demonstrations, and recipe testing. Online classes include nutrition information and cooking demonstration videos.
Adult education is based on the Creates Curriculum, which was developed by a registered dietitian at Utah State University. Nutrition educators use numerous youth curricula including Create MyPlate, Food $ense Kids, and Veggie Vibes, all developed by Utah State University faculty. The youth program also uses Serving Up MyPlate developed by the USDA.
Type of Program
Group nutrition education and cooking demonstration classes for adults and youth
Years of Program Implementation
Number of Participants
Approximately 5,000 adults (unduplicated) and 20,000 youth (duplicated) were educated through Food $ense in 2014
Food $ense targets adults and youth who are SNAP participants or eligible for SNAP.
The Food $ense program is evaluated in numerous ways to ensure program goals and objectives are being met and to ensure the Creates Curriculum is effective for the Food $ense target population.
Each adult participant completes a retrospective survey after each lesson. The data collected in this survey measures participants' intention to change their nutrition-related behaviors based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Nearly 5,000 adults completed this survey in 2014.
Food $ense collects follow-up data on adult participants 6 months after they participate in a Food $ense lesson. Participants are asked questions about the changes in nutrition-related behaviors that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Nearly 250 participants completed the follow-up survey, either online or over the phone with a Food $ense intern.
Food $ense started using a parent Create MyPlate Survey tool to determine nutrition-related behavior change in children after participating in a series of youth Food $ense classes. The parent surveys are sent home with children for the parents to complete at the end of the Food $ense series.
Recently, the Food $ense program conducted qualitative interviews with 14 Food $ense participants who had completed a series of 8 classes with the program. Participants were asked questions about the Creates Curriculum, what they learned in the classes, nutrition-related behavior change as a result of the education, and changes in diet. The results of these interviews provided insight into the experiences of Food $ense participants.
This article was written and submitted by Food $ense of Utah. For further information please contact Heidi Leblanc, (435) 797-3923. All logos are used with permission.