SNAP-Ed Soccer for Success (SfS)

Soccer for Success (SfS) is a direct education intervention designed to improve fitness levels of participants, improve nutritional knowledge and behavior of participants (and their families), and improve youth development outcomes of participants. SfS helps kids establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills through trained coach-mentors. Our multifaceted model combines structured physical activity, nutritional education, family engagement resources, and coach-mentoring best practices. The nutrition component meets USDA standards. SfS lessons are taught 3 times a week for 12 or 24 weeks by trained coach-mentors. SfS’ curriculum provides coach-mentors with tools to integrate nutrition lessons into fun activities. As a result, children are constantly engaged and challenged to incrementally increase both their level of physical activity and their understanding of healthy lifestyles. To further address the social determinants of health, we use SfS as a hub for wrap-around health services. The SfS model incorporates community engagement days, featuring health resources from local community-based organization partners.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Illinois Junior Chefs

Illinois Junior Chefs (IJC) is a direct education curriculum designed to improve dietary attitudes and behaviors in youth ages 8-13 through learning hands-on cooking skills and MyPlate food group education. IJC is a 10-hour cooking education program designed for five two-hour classes. Each class focuses on a food group and related cooking skills. Recipes provided let participants practice specific cooking skills for preparation of foods for the food group highlighted in each lesson. A variety of recipes are included in the curriculum as well as additional resource links for supplemental recipes. Recipe selection should be based on age-appropriate cooking tasks for the participants and culturally appropriate recipes for diverse audiences. Participants are recruited through eligible schools and community agencies. Eligible participants attend IJC classes at sites having access to running water and electricity for the purpose of hand washing, food safety, and preparing recipes that need cooking.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Other: Cooking Skills

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do It! (MEND)

Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it! (MEND) program is a direct education intervention designed to manage overweight, obesity in children 2-13 years old and their families by improving health, fitness, and self-esteem. The MEND programs combine physical activity, healthy eating, and behavior change to facilitate safe, effective weight management and lasting changes in lifestyle. Programs run for 10 weeks and the child and at least one parent or primary caregiver must attend. MEND programs help families in the following areas: 

● Mind – improving children’s self-esteem and supporting families to change their behaviors around eating and activity 

● Exercise – engaging in regular physical activity that is fun 

● Nutrition – learning about good nutrition and healthy eating 

● Do it! – taking action to make healthy lifestyle changes long term 

The newest program, Healthy Together, for children ages 6–13 years and their families, is based on MEND 7-13 but with simplified delivery and focus on critical content. Healthy Together can be delivered by one person and is ideal for smaller groups and spaces. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time 

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Teen Battle Chef (TBC)

Teen Battle Chef (TBC) is a direct education, social marketing, and PSE change intervention designed to develop skills in nutrition, cooking, and leadership for participants and their families through cooking lessons, a PSE campaign, ongoing nutrition education, development of youth leaders, and supporting a culture of wellness in partner organizations. TBC includes eight sessions in which participants learn plant-focused recipes and cooking skills to compete in cooking battles. After eight weeks of skill development, the Teen Chefs choose one of four tracts to impact PSE change. The four tracts are bundled with the curriculum license and include School Food Ambassadors (for collaborating with schools’ food service), Special Event Headliners (for ensuring healthy options at School Events), CHEFS 4 Change (program for youth collaboration with local bodegas to support healthy ‘grab n’ go’ options), and Culinary Coaches (teaching other students healthy meal/snack strategies).

TBC School Food Ambassadors have been effectively utilized as partners with school food service to co-develop new school menu items and promote them with demos and sampling. This active collaborative creates peer-driven motivation for more students to participate in school lunch and breakfast, which is easily measured through school food service participation rates.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing, PSE Change

Motivating Adolescents to CHOOSE Health, MATCH

The Motivating Adolescents with Technology to CHOOSE Health (MATCH) is a direct education and PSE Change intervention designed to decrease BMI and increase healthy eating and physical activity among 7th-grade students. Lessons are taught over one academic year by subject-level teachers and provide a conceptual understanding of positive dietary and physical activity habits and the potential effects on health status. Lessons and are embedded within national curriculum standards for Math, Language Arts, Healthful Living, Science, and Social Studies. The behavior modification component includes individual application, self-monitoring, goal-setting, and skill-building to begin internalizing positive health behaviors. MATCH includes a web-based data management system that provides teachers with all necessary resources and materials, tracks participant results with functionality to generate reports, and allows school administrators and project staff to monitor fidelity and manage data. Students’ heights and weights and self-report health behaviors are collected pre- and post-intervention to assess the effectiveness of the program.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

One Healthy Breakfast Program

The One Healthy Breakfast Program (OHBP) is a direct education, social marketing, and PSE change intervention designed to improve home, community, and school food environments to ensure that every student starts their day with a healthy breakfast. Direct education is delivered by classroom teachers utilizing the Breakfast Learning Activities for Students and Teachers (BLAST) curriculum, an interactive lesson series that encourages students in grades 4-8 to learn behavior-changing skills through analyzing and evaluating foods and their food choices. Social marketing campaigns take place through branded promotional materials for use in schools and the community, monthly newsletters to families, and corner store social marketing to encourage students to choose healthy breakfast items. PSE change occurs through promotion of breakfast after the bell options in schools. These components are combined with community engagement to provide students and their families the tools needed to choose healthier options in the morning regardless of whether they eat at home, school, or at the corner store.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing, PSE Change

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: Nutrition Workshops for Teachers

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: Nutrition Workshops for Teachers is a direct education intervention designed to increase the knowledge and self-efficacy of teachers, in order to support them in providing SNAP-Ed direct education in their classroom. HBHM is a series of 8 workshops that provide background nutrition information, as well as ideas and resources for incorporating nutrition and physical activity into the school day. These teacher trainings are not designed to be delivered in isolation, but instead should be offered as part of a more comprehensive model of programming. SNAP-Ed resources should be provided to teachers as part of the series and professional development topics should align with these resources. When possible, SNAP-Ed staff should be supporting the site with PSE change to support the nutrition education programming and increase opportunities for students to make healthy choices.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

Intervention Type: Direct Education

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation) Healthy Schools Program (HSP)

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program (HSP) is a PSE intervention designed to create healthier school environments for students and staff. HSP addresses multiple factors that lead to poor health — from physical activity and nutrition to social-emotional health and sleep. HSP leads school and district staff through the following 6-step continuous improvement process to implement the Framework of Best Practices: 1) convene a School Wellness Committee (SWC), 2) assess the school health environment using the HSP assessment, 3) develop an action plan tailored to school priorities based on what is important and achievable, 4) explore HSP resources and tools, 5) take action to implement the plan and achieve school goals 6) celebrate success and monitor progress. HSP facilitates the development of partnerships during step one and provides support to schools to implement evidence-based policies and practices related to nutrition and physical activity. Schools document their need and readiness for change in step two by completing the HSP assessment. The sixth step addresses program recognition by celebrating schools’ success through Healthier Generation’s national recognition program. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

Intervention Type: PSE Change

VeggieBook, a mobile app for Android and iOS smartphones (VB)

VeggieBook is a social marketing and direct education intervention app that is designed to help users choose customized recipes and healthy eating tips which ultimately lead to increased vegetable-based preparation for meals at home. The app invites a user to create a new VeggieBook or SecretsBook. VeggieBooks are sets of recipes, each set built around 1 of 10 vegetables. A series of questions posed by the app helps users select recipes and food preparation tips of interest. Recipes use simple ingredients most households have and have been tested for user-appeal. SecretsBooks are 5 sets of illustrated ideas about food use and acquisition–Secrets to Better Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Shopping. The app’s emphasis on users’ choices promotes just-in-time learning.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing

Common Threads: Small Bites Program

The Common Threads: Small Bites Program is a direct education intervention designed to increase nutrition knowledge, vegetable consumption, and variety of vegetables consumed. The curriculum teaches students about nutrition and healthy cooking through a series of eight 1-hour lessons combining nutrition and knife-free cooking. In every lesson, students prepare a healthy snack, using recipes that meet USDA Guidelines, and provide opportunities to learn about and reinforce nutrition concepts and cooking skills. The lessons are grade-level banded, suitable for the in-school or after-school setting and are designed to support core content learning in math, English Language Arts, and science.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education