The OrganWise Guys Program (OWG)

 The OrganWise Guys Program (OWG) is a direct education and PSE change intervention designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and increase physical activity among participants, as well as facilitate PSE changes in the settings in which it is conducted. SNAP-Ed staff or trained classroom teachers provide direct education through various curriculum to youth in child-care and school settings and provide support materials for families. The WISERCISE! program provides 10-minutes of desk-side daily physical activity in the classroom. Foods of the Month helps create a healthy cafeteria environment via daily nutrition messaging and outreach to parents. The OWG gardening curriculum helps establish gardens while children learn to grow and consume homegrown food. These curriculum focus on PSE changes by working with school wellness councils to develop policies that address foods served at school events, establish school gardens, and improve and promote school meals/snacks. Partnerships and parent/adult engagement in positive health behaviors can lead to PSE change that is sustainable and beneficial community wide.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Heart Smarts

Heart Smarts is a direct education, PSE change, and social marketing intervention that combines healthy food access, nutrition education, and health and social services for individuals to improve their health and reduce their risk of diet-related disease. The program offers nine lessons for use in retail environments covering topics like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, sodium, sugar-sweetened beverages and making healthy choices along with nutrition-focused tip sheets. Each lesson includes taste tests, recipes, healthy food incentive coupons* and health screenings* (for blood pressure, weight checks, and healthy lifestyle counseling and referrals). Technical assistance and training is provided to site staff and storeowners to support PSE changes including healthier stores, businesses and communities.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing, PSE Change

*These Heart Smarts components (health screenings, including blood pressure and BMI; counseling and referrals; and healthy food incentive coupons help participants choose heart-healthy items at the site) are not allowable by SNAP-Ed. Heart Smarts lessons and food tastings can be used without these additional components. Screenings and coupons can be funded by grants or partnered organizations.

FoodShare

FoodShare is a PSE change intervention designed to improve food security and health outcomes through fresh food access and affordability. Every 2 weeks residents can order a Fresh Food Box using cash or SNAP/EBT. The program is a SNAP Healthy Bucks site (a state SNAP healthy incentives program), which allows SNAP recipients to receive a $10 healthy incentive to go towards the cost of their box. Each Fresh Food Box contains 12-14 varieties of culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables, always with a mix of more common items (e.g., apples) and less common items (e.g., radishes). A recipe card that is culturally relevant to participants and based on the produce in the box in a given week is also included. The program is situated within an academic medical center and community-based hospital system. A screening and referral process was created that links patients to FoodShare.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Thumbs Up for Healthy Choices in Food Pantries (Thumbs Up)

Thumbs Up for Healthy Choices in Food Pantries (Thumbs Up) is a policy, systems, and environment (PSE) change intervention designed to improve the visibility and appeal of healthy choices for pantry users, leading to an increased selection of these healthy choices. Thumbs Up utilizes low-cost nudge strategies to make healthy choices easier in pantries. Prior to implementing Thumbs Up, educators evaluate the pantry’s readiness for change by conducting a baseline assessment using the Healthy Food Pantry Assessment Tool (HFPAT). Once the baseline is established, educators work with pantries to identify areas the pantry management is interested in improving. Educators then use nutrition criteria outlined in the toolkit to identify foods that are low in sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat. At the end of a pantry’s partnership with SNAP-Ed, or the end of the fiscal year, the HFPAT is used again to track changes made to improve the visibility and appeal of healthy items.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: PSE Change

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

Nutrition Environment Food Pantry Assessment Tool

The Nutrition Environment Food Pantry Assessment Tool (NEFPAT) is a PSE change intervention that includes a food pantry environmental assessment designed to quantify the nutrition environment of food pantries and promote the adoption of healthy food pantry best practices. NEFPAT users complete the intervention in 5 phases: partner engagement, assessment, action planning, intervention, and re-assessment. Users identify potential pantry partners and develop a strong partner relationship. Users find a baseline score by determining the pantry’s strengths and areas of improvement for its nutrition environment. Pantry personnel and NEFPAT users then collaboratively customize small or large-scale action plans that address food distribution styles, pantry layout, promotion techniques of healthful foods, variety of fruits and vegetables available, accessibility of information about community resources, and meeting the needs of a diverse pantry audience. NEFPAT includes suggested best practices for these categories to create a pantry environment that promotes dignity and inclusivity, and a space that makes the healthy choice, the easy choice.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Mindful Eating in Preschool Setting

Mindful Eating in Preschool Setting (MEPS) is an intervention designed to prevent and reverse childhood obesity, help children develop healthy relationships with food, prevent the development of eating disorders, and instill early taste preferences for diverse healthy foods. MEPS includes training child care centers’ teaching staff on the basics of mindfulness and mindful eating and its implementation in classrooms. Its main premises are removing all distractions (technology, TV, toys) while eating; bringing children’s attention to foods on the table, and talking about foods’ colors, tastes, textures, and origins; engaging children in table setting and cleaning, serving themselves, and helping their peers (elements of family-style dining); encouraging (never forcing) children to try different foods; ensuring mealtimes are always at a table, using plates – never on-the-go; teaching children to eat when hungry, and not to turn to food in distress or when bored. Staff training consists of 3 1-hour training sessions with a follow-up upon need with workshops and technique demonstrations for further implementation in classroom settings.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education

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

Grazing with Marty Moose

Grazing with Marty Moose (GWMM) is a youth direct education and PSE intervention designed to help 3rd grade students make healthier food and physical activity choices while encouraging schools and parents to create environments that support students in making these choices. Nutrition educators teach the 5-lesson series in classrooms and work with teachers, administration, and staff to implement classroom and school-wide PSEs. Students explore MyPlate and food groups while trying new physical activities and foods in each lesson. PSE changes are implemented at the classroom and school level to encourage healthy eating and increased physical activity of all students.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

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