Family and Community Health

Please like our Lavaca County Family and Community Health Facebook page at Lavaca County -Family and Community Health – Texas AgriLife Extension

USDA has released the 9th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  “The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines provides four overarching guidelines that encourage healthy eating patterns at each stage of life and recognize that individuals will need to make shifts in their food and beverage choices to achieve a healthy pattern.”  For the full report click: 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Master Wellness Volunteers

We are seeking individuals who consider themselves life long learners who would like to give back to their community by assisting with and providing educational opportunities related to health and wellness.  Master wellness volunteers receive 40 hours of training.  The next training class begins on January 18th and will be virtual. If you are interested in signing up for the training, please contact our office at 361-798-2221.  For information on Master Wellness Volunteers program statewide:

Check the events on the home page often for updates regarding programs and opportunities related the Family and Community Health.  Need a program speaker or help with a community activity?  Give Natalie a call at 361-798-2221.  Natalie is available to provide programs and has the help of 4-H members who have been trained as Healthy Texas Youth Ambassadors and adult volunteers who have completed the Master Wellness Volunteer program.  More information about both opportunities is linked below.

Here are just a few of the established programs Lavaca County Family and Community Health has to offer:

Food Safety

  • Food Handlers Certification – required of all retail food employees within the first 30 days of employment.  This is a two hour course.  We try to offer the class at least once each quarter to the public but can also bring the class to your location to meet your needs.
  • Food Cottage Laws class – taught with the Food Handlers Course this class prepares those who are interested in starting a home based food business.

Mental Health

  • Mental Health First Aid -This certification course has two versions – Adult and Youth.  All participants in either course must be at least eighteen years of age.  The course requires two hours of online instruction followed by 5 1/2 to 6 hours of in person training focused on recognizing and finding resources for those with mental health challenges. This class equips participants with what to say to either target population –adult or youth.  While the youth training is typically completed by teachers and school personnel,  it is appropriate for anyone who works with youth.  The adult training is ideal for first responders, health care employees, and anyone who works with the public.
  • Mindful Self – This six lesson curriculum is designed for 6th-8th grade students and focuses on personal goals, relationships, and being present in thoughts and choices.
  • Master of Memory – This six session series is ideal for anyone interested in improving their mental acuity.

Nutrition and Health

  • Step Up and Scale Down – This 12 week course focuses on nutrition and exercise to promote and maintain a healthy weight.
  • A Fresh Start to a Healthier You – This is a four lesson series devoted to nutrition, meal planning, and food safety.
  • Be Well Live Well – Targets the over 50 population with tips on improving nutrition, cooking in smaller quantities, and shopping on a budget.
  • Growing and Nourishing Healthy Communities – This six lesson series establishes community gardens while focusing on the health benefits of increased vegetable consumption.
  • Cooking Well with Diabetes – This four session series has fun recipes and tips to adjusting meals to healthier choices for those living with diabetes.
  • Learn Grow Eat Go! has two curriculum options –the traditional curriculum is ideal for grades 3-5 and the PreK curriculum is ideal for PreK 3 to Kinder.  Both have fun, hands on learning activities along with gardening experiences to learn the importance of eating vegetables and making healthy choices.
  • Safe Sitter – this six hour course focuses on the skills necessary to safely care for children.  Participants must have completed fifth grade.  Junior High is the ideal age for participants.  CPR certification is included in the course.  The class is limited to eight participants.
  • Walk Across Texas!  – This eight week walking program is geared to get participants out and moving.  Lavaca County has two Walk Across Texas leagues –one in the Spring and one in the Fall.  To participate in these or two establish your own league give Natalie Knesek a call.
  • Dinner Tonight – This is a fun evening event focused on meal preparation.

To become more acquainted with all that Extension Family and Community Health has to offer visit

Texas AgriLife Extension Family and Community Health