Food

We help people make healthy food choices, manage their weight, preserve food, and handle food safely.

UT Extension’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences delivers research-based education across Tennessee to help families choose and prepare foods that lead to healthy eating patterns.

Resources and Programs in Your Community

We offer the following research-based programming to our Extension county agents for use in communities across Tennessee. To learn more about these resources and which programs are offered in your community, contact your county Extension Office.


man with head resting on hand looking concerned
Chronic Conditions
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Helping people make healthy food choices to prevent and manage chronic conditions

Expand the selections below for information on these Chronic Conditions program opportunities.

The following programs are a coordinated effort between our health and nutrition experts.

Cooking Up Healthy Smiles helps families prepare meals and snacks using foods that reduce the risk for diabetes, obesity, and poor dental health by focusing on reducing added sugar and increasing complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), consuming a healthy breakfast, and choosing more healthy protein foods.

Dining with Diabetes is a hands-on learning program designed to teach practical skills needed to comply with the health care provider’s instructions. Food demonstrations included in each lesson to teach quick-and-healthy cooking techniques. Participants also learn how to count the amount of carbohydrates in food, how to modify recipes to reduce calories, carbohydrates and fat and how to plan a balanced diet for a specific calorie level.​​

Live Healthy Work Healthy is an evidence-based worksite wellness program designed for employees to develop skills to balance their home and work lives, while managing their chronic health condition(s)

A six-week evidence-based group education program that teaches people practical skills they need to live well with a variety of health conditions. Through weekly sessions, the workshop provides support for continuing normal daily activities and dealing with emotions that arise from having a chronic condition.

Pathweighs to Health is a toolkit that contains interactive lessons to promote the skills needed to adopt healthy lifestyles. Skills learned help participants achieve and maintain weight goals and prevent chronic diseases. Participants learn why some foods promote cravings and how to overcome cravings. They learn how to plan and prepare healthy meals on a busy schedule, how to make healthy decisions in the supermarket and how to incorporate physical activity in their daily life. They also learn how stress and inadequate sleep contribute to obesity and learn stress-management techniques.​​

A six-week evidence-based program that helps individuals take day-to-day responsibility for their diabetes care. Participants gain skills necessary to self-manage their diabetes and work effectively with their healthcare professionals.

person with hands full of fresh produce from the garden
Comprehensive Nutrition
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Expand the selections below for information on these Field to Fork program opportunities.

This basic curriculum is designed to teach skills in healthy eating, food preparation, food resource management, and physical activity among participants. It consists of eight core lessons and two optional lessons that average 45-60 minutes each.​​​

Faithful Families is a nutrition curriculum designed specifically for faith-based communities, such as churches, temples, or mosques. The curriculum consists of nine lessons to promote healthy eating, food resource management, and physical activity. In addition, the lessons include guides to promote a healthy environment in the faith-based community.​​​

Quick Wins is a social marketing program engaging limited resource families where they live, work, and play. Posters, bookmarks, and brochures provide information on healthy lifestyles and active living.​​​​​​This is a TNCEP-approved curriculum. 

woman preparing lunch with two children
Cooking
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Teaching families how to create healthy meals and snacks

Expand the selections below for information on these Cooking program opportunities.

Cooking Matters for Adults is a Share Our Strengths program consisting of six two-hour interactive hands-on training to promote behavior change. Cooking Matters focuses on building cooking and food preparation skills as well as teaching nutrition, food safety and food resource management.

Cooking Matters for Parents is a Share Our Strengths program designed for parents or caregivers of children.  The course consists of six two-hour interactive hands-on lessons to promote behavior change. Cooking Matters focuses on building cooking and food preparation skills as well as teaching nutrition, food safety and food resource management.

Cooking Matters for Teens is a Share Our Strengths program designed for youth grades 7-12.  The course consists of six two-hour interactive hands-on lessons to promote behavior change. Cooking Matters focuses on building cooking and food preparation skills as well as teaching nutrition, food safety and food resource management.

Learn to cook without a book. This program teaches participants how to prepare foods in healthy ways using foods in season and from local sources when possible.

The Healthy Mediterranean Eating Pattern, which consists of many fruits and vegetables, seafood, whole grains, and frequent use of olive oil is beneficial for cardiovascular health and possibly the prevention of other chronic conditions. This program focuses on delicious ways to include these healthy ingredients in meals and snacks. 

person with hands full of fresh produce from the garden
Field to Fork
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Helping families plan and prepare meals using locally sourced foods

Expand the selections below for information on these Field to Fork program opportunities.

Farmers’ Market Fresh is a program designed to encourage families to shop at their local farmers’ markets by offering food demonstrations and educational information about fruits and vegetables.

person with hands full of fresh produce from the garden
Environmental Changes
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Expand the selections below for information on these Field to Fork program opportunities.

Easy Choices is a resource to help sites make the healthy choice the easy choice. It is a collection of ready-made materials that are meant to be implemented for the benefit of site participants. Extension agents facilitate the process and changes are implemented and sustained by partners at the site.

Policy, systems and environmental changes (PSE changes) promote healthy behaviors by making healthy choices convenient and accessible to sites and communities. When implemented together, PSE changes, education and marketing strategies can be more impactful that any of these changes made alone.

This eight-week interdisciplinary program involves partnering with local small food retail stores to promote healthy foods through in-store marketing and online social media. This program also works to improve healthy food access by encouraging food retail managers to stock the healthy foods that are promoted through the program.

three generations of one family spending time together
Lifecycle
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Helping people of all ages make healthy food choices

Expand the selections below for information on these Life Cycle program opportunities.

A series of five educational activities designed to engage older adults and teach nutrition, food resource management, and food safety. ​

This curriculum is a five-lesson series that teaches feeding practices for babies and children from pregnancy through adolescence while encouraging healthy eating, food safety, and physical activity. Each lesson is approximately 45–90 minutes long.​​ ​

The Second Act program strives to engage older Tennesseans in improving their quality of life, to encourage a positive outlook on the aging process, increase well-being and promote purposeful aging through strategies to promote physical, mental and financial wellness.​

young girl eating an ear of corn
Youth
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Teaching youth about choosing healthy foods for meals and snacks

Expand the selections below for information on these Youth program opportunities.

This is an interactive program that teaches cooking skills, kitchen safety​, and nutrition and promotes physical activity.

Learn, Grow, Eat & Go! teaches nutrition education, gardening, food experiences, and physical activity to youth in grades three through five. This ten-week curriculum consists of two lessons per week.

A nutrition and physical activity curriculum that provides thrid-grade students with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy food choices, handle food safely, and participate in regular physical activity.​​

Power U is a program for fourth and fifth grade students with a series of interactive lessons designed to make learning fun. The lessons focus on healthy food choices and physical activity.

Promotes fruit and vegetable tastings for elementary school-age children and empowers youth to make healthy lifestyle choices, including increasing intake of fruits and vegetables and being more physically active.​​​​




To learn more about programs and resources offered in your community, contact your local County Extension Office.