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The Community Nutrition Education Program (CNEP) is a nutrition education program from OSU Extension and receives support from the United States Department of Agriculture and Oklahoma Department of Human Services. CNEP's mission is to improve the health of limited resource youth and families through practical lessons on basic nutrition and healthy lifestyles, food resource management, food safety and physical activity.

Both youth and adults are served by the program. Nutrition Education Assistants (NEAs) work through the schools and community groups with 3rd and 4th grade students. Adults participate in the program in groups or in home visits as individuals.

Adult Programs

  • Those eligible for our program are limited resource individuals including adults, senior citizens and pregnant teens.
  • We offer free lessons that focus on food preparation, nutrition and physical activity.
  • Lessons are designed to meet the needs of our participants.
  • Lessons are offered in group sessions or individually.
  • Initial program has 8 lessons but participants can choose up to 21. 
  • Participants receive a cookbook and a certificate upon completion of
    the program.

Participants Learn How to:

  • Cook new recipes
  • Choose healthy foods
  • Save money at the grocery store
  • Keep food safe to eat
  • Be more active

Youth Programs

  • We offer a variety of nutrition education programs which focus on improving healthy behaviors of Oklahoma children.
  • Our goal is to give Oklahoma youth the best chance at academic success while also encouraging healthy habits they can use for the rest of their lives.
  • Through family newsletters, comprehensive our participants. school programs and incorporating volunteers, we increase the awareness of community members about the importance of teaching children healthy habits. 

Children participating in these programs report an improvement in knowledge or ability to:

  • Choose Healthy Food
  • Practice Food Safety
  • Prepare Food
  • Be Physically Active

Family Nutrition

Pressure Canner Gauge Testing
The OSU Extension Office can check the Gauge on a Pressure Canner to ensure it is reading accurately at 5, 11, and 15 pounds pressure.  Accuracy of a gauge can assist in proper processing.  Under processed food can pose a food safety issue for self stability.  Over processed foods can cause quality issue for your product.


Call the Extension Office ahead of time to make sure the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Educator is available to check your equipment, or drop off your lid with gauge attached. 


Use reliable Food Preservation Resources to ensure your garden produce is Food Safe for your family all year long.  Not every recipe you see has been tested for self-life.  The most up-to-date preservation research was published in 2009.  Home canning can be a delicious and nutritious option for your family, but make sure you are not introducing food borne illness along with it!


The National Center for Home Food Preservation website has detailed recipes, educational resources and teaching videos for those interested in Home Food Preservation.

CNEP Topics


Learn how you can:

Plan More Delicious, Nutritious Meals

Prepare, Eat, & Enjoy Delicious Foods That Are Good For You

Manage Your Grocery Money More Efficiently

Develop Job & Life Skills


  • Plan

    Planning meals for your family is a great way to eat healthy
    and stay within your budget. Here are some ideas to help you plan for meals at home.

    • Take 30 minutes to plan your meals for the week.
    • Check the newspaper and store ads for specials.
    • Make a menu of main dishes and the side dishes you will serve.
    • Include foods from at least three of the food groups.
    • Check to see what you already have.
    • Make your shopping list for the things that you need.
    • "Planned- Overs" are meals using leftovers from another food
      – a great way to save time and money.
  • Shop

    1. Shop smart

    • Stick to your shopping list.
    • Don’t shop when you are hungry.
    • Look for coupons, sales, and store specials. Ask about a loyalty card at the grocery store.

    2. Get the best price

    • Compare products: look at the “unit price” listed on the shelf and compare different brands to get the best deal.
    • Buy in bulk if it is cheaper. Stock up and freeze family packs of meat and frozen vegetables.

    3. Get back to basics

    • Convenience foods like frozen dinners, instant rice, and pre-cut meat and vegetables cost more than those that require a bit more prep time. Save money by making things from scratch.
    • Avoid the snack food isle. Salty and sugary snack foods are expensive and unhealthy.

    4. Get fruits and vegetables

    • Fresh produce is cheaper when it is in season. But certain foods are low-cost all year: beans, carrots, potatoes, greens, apples and bananas.
    • Some fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last long. Buy only the amount of fresh food you can use before it spoils.
    • Opt for canned fruit with low sugar and canned vegetables with low sodium.
  • Prepare

    Planning meals for your family is a great way to eat healthy and stay within your budget. Here are some ideas to help you plan for meals at home.

    • Meal preparation does not need to be time consuming or expensive. Planning ahead makes it easier. For example, if you purchase additional chicken for one meal of baked chicken, additional portions could be cooked at the same time and reserved for chicken enchiladas.

    • Time can also be saved by preparing larger portions of a food and packaging it for the freezer. Then it is ready when you are for a quick meal. Bulk foods such as ground meat can also be cooked all at one time and packed in smaller portions for the freezer. It is then ready to use in the future – saving both time and dirty dishes!

    • One dish meals that incorporate a protein, grain, and vegetables are a quick and easy way to get many of the nutrients needed in a day’s time. Pork stir fry is an excellent example. Left-over meats and vegetables can also be incorporated.

    • The crock pot is an excellent way to have a healthy meal waiting for you at the end of the day.
  • Fix It Safe

    1. Clean

    •  Wash hands and all equipment, counters, cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water.
    • Make sanitizing solution by mixing 1 tablespoon unscented liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of warm (not hot) water.
    • Sanitize all kitchen surfaces after cleaning. Cleaning or washing surfaces first allows a sanitizer to work properly.

    2. Separate

    • Keep meat separate from other foods when shopping.
    • Use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables or clean and sanitize between cutting meats and vegetables.
    • Wash hands, cutting boards and all utensils after coming in contact with raw meat, poultry or fish. Cutting boards and utensils should also be sanitized.

    3. Cook

    • Cook meats, poultry, eggs, fish and shellfish thoroughly.
    • Reheat leftovers to 165°F.
    • Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil when reheating.

    4. Chill

    • Refrigerate foods quickly. Do not leave food out more than two hours.
    • Thaw meats on the bottom shelf on a plate (to catch juices) in the refrigerator. Never thaw meat on the counter.
  • Be a Healthy Role Model for Children

    Show by example
    Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables.

    Go food shopping together
    Grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods come from. Let your children make healthy choices.

    Get creative in the kitchen
    Cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. Name a food your child helps make. Serve “Janie’s Salad” or “Jackie’s Sweet Potatoes” for dinner. Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.


    Offer the same foods for everyone
    Stop being a “short-order cook” by making different dishes to please children. It’s easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.

    Reward with attention, not food
    Show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and talks. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, kids do not need “extras”—such as candy or cookies—as replacement foods.


    Focus on each other at the table
    Talk about fun and happy things at mealtime. Turn off the television. Take phone calls later. Try to make eating meals a stress-free time.

    Listen to your child
    If your child says he or she is hungry, offer a small, healthy snack—even if it is not a scheduled time to eat. Offer choices. Ask “Which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?” instead of “Do you want broccoli for dinner?”

    Limit screen time
    Allow no more than 2 hours a day of screen time like TV and computer games. Get up and move during commercials to get some physical activity.

    Encourage physical activity
    Make physical activity fun for the whole family. Involve your children in the planning. Walk, run, and play with your child—instead of sitting on the sidelines. Set an example by being physically active and using safety gear, like bike helmets.


    Be a good food role model
    Try new foods yourself. Describe its taste, texture, and smell. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes along with the new food. Offer new foods at the beginning of a meal, when your child is very hungry. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.

  • Healthy Choices when Eating Out

    Eat Smart when You are On The Go...

    • As a beverage choice, ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.
    • Ask for whole-wheat bread for sandwiches.
    • In a restaurant, start your meal with a salad packed with veggies, to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner.
    • Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Then use only as much as you want.
    • Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with a tomato sauce.
    • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
    • Choose a small" or "medium" portion. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages.
    • Order an item from the menu instead heading for the "all-you-can-eat" buffet.
    • If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, try one of these strategies to keep from overeating:
      • Order an appetizer-sized portion or a side dish instead of an entrée.
      • Share a main dish with a friend.
      • If you can chill the extra food right away, take leftovers home in a "doggy bag."
      • When your food is delivered, set aside or pack half of it to go immediately.
      • Resign from the "clean your plate club" - when you've eaten enough, leave the rest.
    • To keep your meal moderate in calories, fat, and sugars:
      • Ask for salad dressing to be served "on the side" so you can add only as much as you want.
      • Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies
      • Add little or no butter to your food.
      • Choose fruits for dessert most often.
    • On long commutes or shopping trips, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for sweet or fatty snacks.


  • CNEP for YOUTH

    Community Nutrition Education Program nutrition education assistants use evidence-based curriculum with first through fourth graders to teach in classroom and after-school settings. Schools must qualify with 50% or more free lunch student population.


    The curriculum focuses on the key nutrition and activity messages and the Dietary Guidelines of the USDA. It consists of six lessons for 1st through 4th grades and helps address core curriculum requirements. To have an educator contact you, contact Jan Dawson at (918) 746-3715 or email,


    Lesson Components:

    • Grade 1 - Fun with Food and Fitness
      Food Group Primer; Great Grains; Victorious, Glorious Vegetables; Fabulous Fruits; Delicious Dairy; Phenomenal Protein Foods and Food Group Power
    • Grade 2 - Food Group Express Topics
      Get on Board the Food Express; Oats, Wheat and Rice Ride the Rails; Beets, Broccoli and Asparagus Coming Down the Tracks; Clickety Clack Down the Track-Don't Spill the Milk; Fish and Beans and Nuts-Go Protein; Groovin' and Moovin' Down the Track
    • Grade 3 - Building My Body Topics
      Getting to Know the Food Groups; Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats; Vitamins, Minerals and Water; Reading the Food Label; Digestion; The Truth about Advertising; Delicious Decisions
    • Grade 4 - Choosing Foods For Me Topics
      Serve Up Your Grains; Vegetables and Fruits; Serve Up Your Dairy and Protein Foods; How Our Bodies Digest Food; What's on a Label? A Closer Look at the Nutrition Facts Panel; Your Day Starts with Breakfast; Healthy Choices Eating Out; Keeping Food Safe to Eat



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