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Eating Smart, Being Active

Missi Painter, nutrition outreach instructor with the WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program, teaches a student how to cook.

Missi Painter, nutrition outreach instructor with the WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program, works with an ESBA student.

Eating Smart, Being Active is an evidence-based healthy eating and active living curriculum for low-income families. The program is broken into nine lessons, taught by nutrition educators over six to nine weeks in small groups of six to 12 students. Lessons focus on five core areas—diet quality, physical activity, food safety, food security and food resource management. Each class includes instruction, recipe preparation, physical activity, interactive discussion and hands-on activities. Students receive incentives, like food thermometers, measuring spoons and recipes, with each lesson. When they complete the program, students receive graduation certificates and cookbooks.

ESBA was created by Colorado State University and University of California at Davis, and modeled around the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.

What Graduates Say

“I'm so sad it’s over. I have learned so much to improve the health of me and my family, from nutrition lessons to exercise plans to cooking and trying new foods. Awesome class. Life changer.”

“Loved the program! Loved our teacher and her enthusiasm! Thank you for making it available!”

“This program was very helpful to me and my family. I learned so much from my teacher. Every health decision or shopping choice I make, I think about what my teacher would advise.”

by the numbers

Icon of people riding bikes.

More exercise

3/4 of Eating Smart, Being Active students increased physical activity.

An icon of a person holding an apple near cartons of milk.

More fruits and veggies

46% of participants ate more fruit and 49% ate more vegetables after completing an ESBA course.

An icon of a glass of water with a wedge of lemon.

Fewer sweet drinks

36% of ESBA students drank fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

Icon representing a bag of groceries.

Making budgets go farther

9 out of 10 students improved their food resource management, like shopping with a list..