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Eat Smart Idaho – Showing Idahoans How to Eat Well for Less

Eat Smart Idaho

Most Americans struggle to meet their nutritional needs, meaning most should increase their intake of whole fruit, dark-green and orange vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy. In addition, I don’t know a person who doesn’t want to save money at the grocery store while making healthy choices for themselves and their families. This doesn’t change no matter what one’s income is. Cost is often considered a barrier to eating healthier. Eat Smart Idaho is available to help Idaho’s SNAP/Food Stamp eligible consumers overcome the perception that eating healthy has to be expensive.

Eat Smart Idaho uses hands-on methods to help people across Idaho learn how they can eat well for less!

Our Eat Smart Idaho Nutrition Advisors are available in most of Idaho’s 44 counties to teach families, individuals and youth how to make healthy, economical choices through fun, informative, hands-on classes. Participants in Eat Smart Idaho are taught:

  • the importance of each of the MyPlate food groups
  • how to make the healthiest most economical choices from each food group
  • how to prepare quick and simple recipes to help them meet their nutritional needs
  • how to prepare a healthy useable meal plan that will work for them
  • tips for feeding their children
  • how to make wise choices at the grocery store through in store tours
  • and much more!!!

Classes are taught in groups and/or one-on-one sessions at sites that typically serve SNAP eligible audiences. The classes include teaching along with hands on cooking demonstrations and recipe sampling. This experiential teaching method is key to showing families that it really is possible to eat well for less!

A 2012 study found that for every dollar invested in Idaho’s Eat Smart Idaho program, Idaho will save more than $13 in future health care costs because participants in the program have changed their eating habits, reducing their risks for serious nutrition-related diseases.

The Idaho Dairy Council is an invaluable resource for the Eat Smart Idaho Program and the state of Idaho. We consistently use the resources available to us from the Idaho Dairy Council to enhance our educational efforts through the Eat Smart Idaho program. Our program staff is thankful for the informative handouts, curricula and resources that we are fortunate to be able to share as a result of the generosity of the Idaho Dairy Council. Our program, which is designed to provide citizens of Idaho with valuable health information, is greatly enhanced by Idaho Dairy Council’s contributions.

To find out more about how Eat Smart Idaho is helping Idahoans learn how to Eat Well for Less, contact the program coordinator Kali Gardiner, RD, LD at kalig@uidaho.edu or 208-446-1680.

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Kali Gardiner, RD, LD has worked with University of Idaho Extension’s Eat Smart Idaho program since 1998. She loves seeing the impacts Eat Smart Idaho has had on the lives of their adult and youth participants throughout the state of Idaho. Eat Smart Idaho is in the process of updating our website, but basic information regarding Eat Smart Idaho can be found at: http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/enp/.