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Value Enhanced Nutrition Assessment (VENA) Training Resources

VENA Training Resources

Value Enhanced Nutrition Assessment (VENA) is a participant-centered, health outcome-based approach to a WIC nutrition assessment. VENA puts the participants’ needs and the goal of a healthy outcome at the core of WIC nutrition services. 

When it comes to developing and reinforcing VENA skills, each State and local WIC agency has a unique set of training challenges and needs. There is no “one size fits all” for the VENA approach or for VENA trainings. 

This suite of training resources is tailored for both trainer-led and learner-led users, making it easy for State and local WIC agencies to incorporate the resources into technical assistance and training activities. 

These resources give WIC staff the flexibility to develop training plans that best fit their audiences’ current knowledge, experience level, and available time. The resources can be adapted for in-person or virtual trainings and for groups or individuals. 

Check out the training resources below

On the side-panel, you can find a link to WIC Learning Online (WLOL) which includes the Goal Setting Through the Assessment Process training modules.

Guided Goal Setting Throughout the Assessment Process 

This self-paced interactive course contains six individual modules addressing various aspects of guided goal setting. Learners will review learning objectives at the beginning of each module and complete a post-test at the end of each module. 

  • Guided Goal Setting Through the Assessment Process – Interactive Course

The course also comes with downloadable supportive reference materials for learners, including ideas for individual practice, trainer-led activities, sample pre- and post-tests, and more.

  • Practice Ideas for Competent Professional Authorities (CPA) by Interactive Module Section

  • Resources for Trainers and Mentors

  • Participant Goals and Action Steps Reference Sheet

  • Open-Ended Questions to Evoke Motivation

  • The Ruler Technique: An Overview

  • Strategies for Building Healthy Habits 

  • Strategies for Understanding Resistance

  • Sources for Additional Information

  • Glossary of Terms 

On the side-panel, you can download all the Guided Goal Setting Through the Assessment Process supportive materials.


Using VENA to Guide WIC Services

Each WIC participant has unique needs, and a complete assessment helps WIC staff identify appropriate nutrition services targets for each participant. This toolkit includes eight trainer-led sections that focus on skills and strategies for conducting a nutrition assessment. Sections range from 30 to 60 minutes and allow the facilitator to design training activities that fit the time available.

This toolkit includes a Facilitator’s Guide with activity sheets, a glossary of terms, and sample questions that can be used in pre- and post-tests for learners. The toolkit also comes with a customizable PowerPoint slide deck that trainers can tailor to meet the specific needs of their staff and agency. 

  • Facilitator’s Guide 

  • PowerPoint Slide Deck

On the side-panel, you can download all the Using VENA to Guide WIC Services resources.


Using Technology to Optimize VENA 

Technology is critical to the implementation of WIC services. This toolkit will assist trainers in teaching WIC staff to learn to use technology effectively and optimize the WIC experience for participants. Materials include discussion guides, printable desk references, and a self-assessment tool.

Using Technology to Optimize VENA

  • Discussion Guide

  • Desk Reference 

  • Technology Self-Assessment Tool 

  • Questions for Assessing Health Determinants

Using Technology to Conduct Remote WIC Appointments

  • Discussion Guide 

  • Desk Reference

On the side-panel, you can download all the Using Technology to Optimize VENA resources.


Want to Learn More About VENA? Check Out Our Training Videos

The introductory VENA training videos and discussion guides accompany the updated VENA Guidance and introduce the role VENA plays when conducting a WIC nutrition assessment. The accompanying discussion guides for each video can help to spark deeper discussions and encourage in-depth learning.

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