Pregnant Teens
What Participants Learn
How Do I Participate?

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Pregnant and Parenting Teens


The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) provides a specialized program, which is designed to help Pregnant Adolescents have healthy babies. The poor eating habits of teenagers are well known. This problem is compounded when a teen becomes pregnant. The consequences of poor nutrition during pregnancy are low-birth-weight babies and babies that are born prematurely. In addition to the strong focus on nutrition education, the program also encourages the pregnant teen to make positive behavior choices, seek appropriate professional prenatal care, and achieve their educational goals.


What Participants Learn

Extension EFNEP Program Assistant/Associate(s) (trained paraprofessionals) teach nutrition education to enrolled pregnant teens. The goal of this EFNEP specialized program targeted to teenage mothers is to help these young women acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets; which will contribute to giving birth to a healthy baby.

Pregnant teenagers who take part in the hands-on program use the knowledge they gain to make positive choices in diet and behavior, which result in reduced risk of low-birth-weight infants. Society at large benefits from reduced infant mortality, lower health care cost and the increased economic stability of families.

The Program Assistant utilizes the Hey! What's Cookin'? curriculum to teach pregnant teenagers in small groups or individually. Participants learn:

  • About diet and nutritional needs of pregnancy;
  • Positive behaviors to have a healthy baby; and
  • How to prepare easy nutritious foods and snacks.

As a result of their Hey! What's Cookin'? EFNEP experience, pregnant teens:

  • Become responsible for their health and the growth and development of their unborn child;
  • Improve decision-making skills; and
  • Form goals for the emotional, social, and economic responsibilities of parenthood.


How Do I Participate?

Contact your local Cooperative Extension to learn more about EFNEP's program in your county. Participation is free and is offered at a variety of sites convenient to you. EFNEP is taught in collaboration with many local schools, WIC clinics, Teen Centers , Family Resource Centers , Job Clubs, and ESL classes. If you wish, EFNEP may also be offered to you individually in your home.

You will participate in on-going classes designed specifically for you or the group you join. Typical classes are taught once a week for one hour. You are expected to attend a minimum of nine lessons and can participate in as many as 22 lessons.

When you sign up for the program, some information will be collected from you to help your Program Assistant select the best series of classes to meet your needs and interest. Your Program Assistant will share with you a summary of your current dietary intake and help you set goals for eating smart and moving more throughout your pregnancy.

During the classes, you will have a chance to try new recipes. You will practice skills that will help you save money on your grocery bill and you will learn how to make meals at home in a short amount of time. This will help you learn to Eat Smart for a healthy pregnancy. What's more, you'll have fun. Learning a new activity to help you move more will increase your energy and physical fitness and you will have the support of a well-trained Program Assistant to encourage you to reach your goals throughout the series of classes.



When you graduate from EFNEP, you will receive:

  • A certificate of completion from NC EFNEP, NC State University and NC A & T State University;
  • A cookbook of quick and healthy recipes full of valuable tips to help you save money and prepare food safely; and
  • Skills that help you feed your family better for less.


To address the needs of pregnant teens, NC Cooperative Extension utilizes the "Hey, What's Cookin'?" curricula developed by NC State University. The curricula is currently being reviewed for revision and update by NC A & T State University.

North Carolina State University        CALS         NCCE