Nebraska Extension Resources on Nutrition and Health

Growing Healthy Kids Program

Growing Healthy Kids is a grant funded program supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). As a five-year program, Growing Healthy Kids ultimately strives to reduce childhood obesity within Lincoln, Nebraska by collaborating with community members including schools, community learning centers, parents, teachers, faith-based organizations, health care providers and community leaders. For many years, Nebraska Extension's Nutrition Education Program has provided school enrichment kits to schools within the Lincoln Public School District (LPS) that have more than 50 percent of the students receiving free or reduced priced meals. The AFRI grant has enabled the expansion of school enrichment kits to K-2 classrooms within LPS that have less than 50 percent of their students receiving free or reduced lunch. This means every K-2 classroom within LPS is now receiving nutrition education.

Contact person: Alyssa Havlovic,

Creating Balance with Food & Fitness

Created by a team of Nebraska Extension food and nutrition specialists, educators, and assistants, Creating Balance with Food and Fitness is a four-part lesson that provides food and nutrition educators with over 25 hours of programming for adult audiences. Focused on the key messages of USDA’s Choose MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, this curriculum is designed to either stand alone as individual lessons or be used in sequence. Each section is complete with a leader and participant guide, optional activities, handouts, evaluation, and an accompanying PowerPoint. Portions of this curriculum have been delivered as a webinar series for the general public and more recently as a worksite wellness series in cooperation with WorkWell and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Contact person: Lisa Franzen-Castle,

Team Nutrition

Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity. Team Nutrition is an integrated, behavior-based, comprehensive plan for promoting the nutritional health of the Nation's school children.  This plan involves schools, parents, and the community in efforts to continuously improve school meals and to promote the health and education of school children. Nebraska Extension has partnered with Nebraska Department of Education to provide Team Nutrition programs and materials across the state. 

Current Nebraska Team Nutrition projects focus on:

  • School Breakfast (mini grants available)
  • School Wellness Policy (mini grants available)
  • The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement

More information about Nebraska Team Nutrition is available at

Contact Person: Kristen Houska and Zainab Rida

Food, Nutrition, and Health Website

Nebraska Extension’s Food Team is comprised of specialists, educators and assistants statewide who provide educational programing on nutrition, food safety and physical activity. Extension’s resources are research-based and practical for use in people’s daily lives. Many of the Food Team’s resources are easy to connect with and share, through its centralized website, social media and apps. Continuously updated, the food website offers information in six overall areas: Food & Nutrition, Health & Fitness, Food Safety, Home Food Preservation, Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska, and Youth/4-H. The website includes several e-newsletters, Power­Points, videos, handouts, recipes, a food calendar, links to blogs and much more. It’s easy to subscribe to the newsletters and/or blogs.

Contact person(s): Alice Henneman,, and Kayla Colgrove,

Nutrition Education Program

The Nebraska Nutrition Education Program (NEP) is funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education (SNAP-Ed) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). NEP works with limited resource families, youth, individuals and their environments to improve the likelihood that they will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA food guidance. NEP participants acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior changes necessary to improve their health (in areas such as hunger, malnutrition and obesity). Nebraska Extension's NEP faculty and staff partner with national, state, and local organizations to provide evidence-based, learner-centered education and skill building.

Contact person: Jean Fischer,
Brochure link:

Transdisciplinary Childhood Obesity Prevention Certificate Program

The Transdisciplinary Childhood Obesity Prevention (TOP) graduate certificate program by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) is a graduate certificate program with experiential research training opportunities addressing childhood obesity. Nutrition and Health Science; Child, Youth, and Family Studies; Nursing; and Sociology faculty are collaborating to implement the TOP graduate certificate program. Students will graduate with a master’s or doctoral degree from their respective college/department and will obtain a TOP program certificate upon completion of their degree, course and research requirements, and culminating experience exam or project.

Contact person: Linda Boeckner,


Is a food safety training and certification program from the National Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation. It is the food service industry’s premier food safety training and certification course. ServSafe is recognized by more federal, state and local health jurisdictions than any other food safety training program in the United States. The ServSafe course is recommended for all types of foodservice managers, both commercial and non-commercial.

Contact person: Cindy Brison,

Microwave It (z-Mag)

The educational, online publication "Microwave It" was a joint effort between Nebraska Extension and North Dakota State Extension Service. It is filled with videos, pop-ups, links to URL and PDFs. The publication allows readers to explore how to use a microwave oven to prepare quick, easy and safe meals. It covers microwave history, wattage, uneven and even heating and cooking, instructions and safe containers. It also offers tips on cleaning and microwave oven recipes.

Contact person: Carol Schwarz,

4-Day Throw Away App

Many consumers don't realize how quickly food leftovers can become unsafe or spoil. The application, along with the rest of the campaign, is not only informing consumers about food leftovers, but helping them to practice safe leftover usage and food storage in their homes.

Contact person: Cindy Brison,

Discovery Neighborhood

Discovery Neighborhood is an interactive, six-lesson program designed for K-5 grade youth. Each lesson focuses on one FightBac!™ food safety concept (hand washing, clean, separate, cook, chill and produce) and includes age-appropriate activities. It can be used in classrooms, out-of-school programs, or any informal educational programming.

Contact person: Carol Schwarz,