Telephonic Health Coaching Intervention (THC) Toolkit

The Telephonic Health Coaching Intervention (THC) Toolkit is a direct education intervention designed to:

  • Increase frequency of eating all five food groups
  • Increase frequency of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Increase whole fruit consumption by at least half a cup per day
  • Increase vegetable consumption by at least half a cup per day
  • Increase frequency of intake of fat-free or low-fat dairy including (dairy/nondairy) and yogurt, and decrease frequency of intake of full fat dairy (milk/yogurt)
  • Increase frequency of whole grains and decrease consumption of refined grains
  • Increase frequency of lean proteins and decrease frequency of high fat proteins
  • Decrease sugar-sweetened beverage intake
  • Increase frequency of low sodium foods
  • Increase minutes of daily physical activity

In order to achieve these goals, the THC intervention provides material to train SNAP-Ed educators to be health coaches that engage with clients by telephone and use behavior change techniques to craft individual goals related to healthy eating and physical activity. The increased intensity, duration and personalization of the THC intervention improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy food choices and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education

The Farmers Market Food Navigator Program

The Farmers Market Food Navigator Program is a direct education and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change intervention designed to increase use of farmers markets to purchase affordable produce, increase frequency of vegetables consumed by farmers market shoppers, and improve access to farmers markets through PSE initiatives. The program follows a social ecological framework and has four key components:

  • Conduct community outreach to build awareness of farmers markets and increase awareness of the food assistance programs available
  • Work with farmers market managers and vendors to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes that are supportive of healthy behaviors
  • Help shoppers effectively use their food budgets at farmers markets through tours that may include introductions to vendors, tips, and support
  • Provide resources and experiential nutrition education to shoppers at farmers markets, including tastings and cooking demonstrations

Food Navigators attend a one-day training and are equipped with a program Playbook that provides direction on how to carry out each of the four key components of their role, as well as provides guidance to farmers market managers and community partner organizations.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance, Other: Food Resource Management

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

The State Nutrition Action Council: Farmers Market Initiative

The State Nutrition Action Council: Farmers Market Initiative (SNAC) is policy, systems, and environmental change intervention designed to:

  • Increase knowledge of Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs available at farmers markets
  • Increase knowledge of locally grown fruits and vegetables and how to use, cook, and store them
  • Increase the use of Market Match and CalFresh redemption vouchers to support low-income shoppers in maximizing their purchasing power

In 2018, SNAC focused on increasing low-income shoppers’ utilization of their food and nutrition program benefits at local Farmers Markets, and in 2019, SNAC expanded its Farmers Market Initiative (FMI) into additional counties and markets, as well as added an on-site navigator component. The navigator model was tested at three markets, and the CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) Navigators were found to address barriers to shopping at farmers markets, including lack of knowledge and comfort using food assistance benefits. CFHL Navigators provided support to shoppers by distributing materials, promoting accepted FNS benefits, providing information on how to use FNS benefits, explaining Market Match, and providing interactive nutrition and health education activities on-site at the market for six consecutive weeks.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Senior Center Needs Assessment Toolkit

The Senior Center Needs Assessment Toolkit is a policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change intervention designed to allow SNAP-Ed partners and senior centers to assess the readiness of a senior center to make changes to nutrition and physical activity (PA) programming and assist senior centers and their partners in making evidence-based changes to the nutrition and PA policies, systems, and environment. The Toolkit consists of a needs assessment portion (sections one and two) that provides a structured way to gather information and should be completed by or with the Senior Center Director or person/people that have a strong understanding of the center. Section three can be completed by either senior center staff or a partner, such as SNAP-Ed, who may be assisting with nutrition and PA initiatives. Overall, the goal of this Toolkit is to facilitate centers to make changes that improve the health of participants through community-based prevention strategies.

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

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Food Smarts

Food Smarts is a direct education intervention that is designed to support healthy behavior change in the areas of healthy eating, food safety, cooking, and food resource management. Food Smarts is a flexible, learner-centered, multi-session nutrition and cooking program with several available lesson plans to fit the needs of a variety of settings. A kitchen is not required for the implementation of the intervention, but participants can be engaged in simple recipe preparation as an instructional strategy. The adult curriculum of Food Smarts is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. The youth curriculum is available in only English. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating  
Intervention Type: Direct Education 

Veggie Van (VV) Toolkit

The Veggie Van (VV) Toolkit is a policy, systems, and environmental change intervention designed to:

  • Increase access to healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables in lower income and/or food insecure communities
  • Help the target population improve their diets through skill building
  • Address the interplay between the physical food environment, individual perceptions of that environment, and self-efficacy
  • Address multiple dimensions of access to fresh produce for lower-income and under-served communities, including availability, affordability, accessibility (geographic and financial), and accommodation
  • Improve self-efficacy for finding, purchasing, and preparing fruits and vegetables or other healthy foods via cooking and nutrition education interventions

VV achieves these goals via mobile farmers markets that present cooking demonstrations, recipes, taste tests, and nutrition education to help customers better use the produce they receive. VV mobile markets also accept SNAP benefits, electronic benefits (EBT), and other relevant local food incentive and benefit programs, as well as employ a bundling model in addition to a la carte purchasing. The bundling model allows the VV mobile markets to sell more items at a lower cost and expose participants to a greater variety of fruits and vegetables. Markets operate a minimum of 10 months out of the year and typically source produce locally or regionally.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: PSE Change

10 Tips for Adults

10 Tips for Adults (10 Tips) is a multi-level direct education intervention designed to reinforce messages related to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, increasing physical activity, consuming more water, and providing SNAP eligible adults with the skills to purchase healthy foods on a budget. The curriculum can be used in a variety of community-based settings frequented by SNAP eligible adults that complement and reinforce PSE interventions such as community gardens, healthy retail, worksite wellness, and healthcare clinical community linkages. The curriculum was designed to be implemented by qualified, professional Nutrition Educators and includes two distinct, but complementary, four-session series: Series A: Choosing MyPlate and Series B: Eating Better on a Budget. 10 Tips works to increase participants’ perceptions of the importance of a healthy diet and decrease their perceived barriers to shopping, cooking, and eating healthy on a budget. Each session includes a recipe demonstration and tasting to introduce participants to new healthy foods and simple cooking techniques to reduce perceived barriers to preparing healthy foods. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time, Other: Budget-savvy shopping strategies   
Intervention Type: Direct Education 

Cooking Matters for Healthcare Partners (CMHP)

Cooking Matters for Healthcare Partners (CMHP) is a direct education and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change intervention designed to increase participant consumption of fruits and vegetables by 15% based on the pre-post program surveys, increase participant access to direct nutrition education, and link SNAP/WIC eligible individuals to preventative community health interventions. To achieve these goals, the program couples the evidence-based Cooking Matters for Adults (CMA) curriculum with produce distribution at the end of each class so that participants can practice their cooking skills at home. For six months after completing the CMA class, participants have monthly nutrition education sessions with clinic nutritionists and redeem their produce via voucher redemption at Fresh MARTA Markets. Overall, the program increases access to direct nutrition education and produce in locations where SNAP/WIC eligible individuals seek health services, in order to change participant behaviors relating to fruit and vegetable consumption and food resource management.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance, Other: Food Resource Management

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Healthy for Life Community Nutrition Program (HFL)

The Healthy for Life (HFL) Community Nutrition Program is direct education designed to change relationships with food and nutrition by inspiring individuals and families to make healthy food choices part of their everyday lives. It was designed from the community engagement model, emphasizing participants’ contribution in refining the program. Also, community fit was ensured through the consideration of existing programs along with the target population and facilitator capabilities. Program material was designed to be culturally relevant and facilitators should connect and establish a reciprocal sense of trust and respect among participants. The materials are flexible and can accommodate individuals with time constraints, limited budgets, and minimal nutrition knowledge. The program aims to improve participant confidence and attitudes to sustain healthy behavior change. The recommendation is to offer at least four educational experiences, over 2-3 months to equips individuals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to discover, choose, and prepare healthy food. Through facilitated food discovery experiences, participants will build food literacy to improve their health.  

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating  
Intervention Type: Direct Education 

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy (SSSH)

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy (SSSH) is a direct education intervention designed to help older adults increase physical activity, decrease sedentary behaviors, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and sustain physical activity participation and healthy eating behaviors post program. SSSH strives to meet the need for effective community-based physical activity (PA) and nutrition programs, so classes are offered by trained SSSH instructors in familiar locations such as churches, community centers, and senior centers. SSSH consists of 16 one-hour sessions over eight weeks. Participants complete a warmup, a prescribed set of upper- and lower-body strengthening exercises, and a cool-down. SSSH challenges participants through incremental increases in exercise volume and intensity. Each PA session is followed by a nutrition lesson, and lessons are tailored to older adults by addressing topics such as fiber, bone health, and vitamins and minerals for healthy aging. In addition to weekly group classes, participants are encouraged to complete the program on their own once a week, including preparation of the recipes. After the course ends, participants are still encouraged to continue at home or with a community group. The overall goal of SSSH is to increase PA and improve nutrition behavior to help seniors maintain independence.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education