Health & Hunger
Family & Consumer Sciences educators are dedicated to working with towards increasing the number of Oklahomans maintaining or improving their health through safe and healthy food and physical activity choices, as well as reducing the number of Oklahomans experiencing hunger.
Why is this an issue for Oklahoma?
Five percent of Oklahoman’s are diagnosed with heart disease and 12% with diabetes. In addition, 34% of Oklahomans are obese and 35% are overweight.
Poor nutrition and limited physical activity contribute to Oklahoma’s poor health ranking of 46th in the nation. Half of Oklahomans report eating fruit less than one time per day and 25% report eating vegetables less than one time per day. In addition, 33% of Oklahomans report not participating in any physical activity.
Oklahoma is one of the hungriest states in the nation. One in six (17%) of Oklahoman adults and seniors are food insecure, and 1 in 4 (24%) of Oklahoma children are food insecure.
Twenty-five percent of Oklahomans receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Half of all infants born in Oklahoma are enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program and 62% of Oklahoma public school students are enrolled in the national free and reduced-price school lunch program. Oklahoma is one of the top ten states in the nation for food insecure seniors, and 19% of hungry seniors are responsible for grandchildren.
Oklahoma food banks provide 69 million pounds of food for 57 million meal a year to hungry Oklahomans. In fact, Oklahoma food banks provide enough food to feed more than 160,000 Oklahomans each week including 59,200 Oklahoman children.
- Local County Educators
- OSU Extension Specialists
- Program Advisory Committee
- Various partnering organizations
- Fruit consumption
- Vegetable consumption
- Whole grains consumption
- Low-fat calcium rich food and beverage consumption
- Physical activity
- Food prepared at home
- Food preparation skills
- Safe food handling practices
- Safe food preservation practices
- Money saving food shopping practices
- Foods and beverages high in added sugar
- Foods high in sodium
- Foods high in saturated fat
- Food waste
Health and Hunger Programs Available
- Cooking for One (or Two) - Learn to cook for one or two or adjust your cooking down from a larger family.
- Dig In! Gardening Curriculum - this program is 10 lessons that allow students to explore fruits and vegetables through education about growing, harvesting, and tasting (youth grades 5-6).
- Discover MyPlate - Educates children about nutrition and encourages them to make healthy food choices and be active (kindergarten youth).
- Eat Healthy, Be Active Community Workshop - Participants learn about nutrition and physical activity.
- Eat Smart Live Strong: Nutrition Education for Older Adults - Participants learn about fruit and vegetable nutrition and physical activity.
- Empowering Older Adults with Assistive Technology to Shop, Cook & Eat - Participants learn about older adult nutrition and assistive technology devices which can help them shop, cook, and eat.
- Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More - A comprehensive nutrition education program for communities of faith. Learn to eat healthier and move more in small group sessions with Extension Educators assisted by trained lay leaders from the faith community.
- Food Safety for Seniors - Seniors learn how to make changes to reduce their risk of food-borne illnesses.
- Grow it, Try it, Like it - This program is provided for childcare staff to help them implement a garden-themed nutrition education to introduce children to peaches, strawberries, cantaloupe, spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash (preschool youth).
- Healthy Living A-Z - Knowing how to prepare fruits and vegetables will help you and your family eat more. Learn preparations skills, food safety, and nutrition tips to help you eat healthier.
- Home Food Preservation - Learn to safely preserve food at home. Sessions may include home canning, freezing, soft spreads, salsa, dehydration, pickling, and even how canned foods are judged at local events.
- Hunger 101 - Participants learn about local hunger and ways to fight hunger in Oklahoma
- Journey Through Health - Participants learn about the role of nutrition, physical activity, and food safety throughout the body.
- Live Well, Eat Well, be Active with Diabetes (LEAD) - Participants learn how to live well, eat well, and be active with type 2 diabetes.
- MyPlate for My Family - Participants learn about nutrition and physical activity. Nutrition,
- Physical Activity and Health Promotion - Participants learn about nutrition and physical activity for health promotion and disease prevention.
- Nutrition for Older Adults - Participants learn about nutrition in aging and overcoming factors which may affect nutrition status.
- Nutrition Voyage: The Quest to be Our Best - This program introduces 7th and 8th grade students to school wellness by allowing them to participate in school wellness activities and encourages them to reflect on their experience.
- Organ Wise Guys - A nutrition education program designed to teach healthy eating habits to children and then to engage in physical activity. By bringing the body to life via lovable organ characters, kids of all ages learn what it really means to live a healthy lifestyle. Recipe
- Modification Workshop - You may have some nutrition goals in mind, but not knowing how to change your recipes to make that work. Learn how to modify recipes to improve their nutrition profile by reducing nutrients you want to limit and/or increase those you want to eat more of.
- Serving Up MyPlate - This program contains classroom materials that help teachers incorporate nutrition education into Math, Science, English Language Arts, and Health (3 different levels for grades 1-6).
- Steps to a Healthier You - Participants learn about the role of nutrition, physical activity, and food safety throughout the body.
- Teen Cuisine - A hands on cooking program that teaches students in grades 6-12 important life skills for eating smart, which will stay with them as they grow into adults. Lessons cover choosing healthy foods and preventing food borne illness. With cooking demonstrations in each lesson, teens learn by doing.
- Wild Game Food Safety - Learn how to safely handle wild game from the field to table, including preservation. Lessons on fish and venison available.