Energizing SNAP-Ed: Using Physical Activity to Inspire Diet and Lifestyle Changes

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Energizing SNAP-Ed: Using Physical Activity to Inspire Diet and Lifestyle Changes

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University of Minnesota Extension




The University of Minnesota SNAP-Ed program adapted, with permission from North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction and East Carolina University’s Activity Promotion Lab, a set of Energizers. Energizers are five- to tenminute physical activities that focus on an educational concept. The Energizers were adapted by Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) across the state to focus on nutrition. In addition, the activities were edited to ensure adaptability across a wide variety of audiences and for ease of teaching. Each Energizer for Simply Good Eating activity is available as an electronic document that can be downloaded from the University of Minnesota Extension website individually or as a set of 53. Energizers for SGE require little or no preparation or equipment and can be adapted to fit the time available during the nutrition lesson. For example, “Pass the Salmonella, Please” is an Energizer that works with all ages to reinforce food safety messages. The CNE coats a rubber chicken with a gel to simulate germs, participants pass the chicken around to music, then examine their hands under a black light to demonstrate how bacteria are spread in the kitchen. Energizers were finalized for use by CNEs to bolster existing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) for low-income families to help increase the likelihood that participants will make positive dietary and lifestyle choices on a limited income. University of Minnesota Extension reports 62 percent of participants attending SNAP-Ed classes with an Energizer responded “I am now more physically active as a result of this class.


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Lovett, Kathleen; Johnson, Betsy; Caskey, Mary. (2012). Energizing SNAP-Ed: Using Physical Activity to Inspire Diet and Lifestyle Changes. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/161314.

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