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

Eat, Move, Win

Dairy Council of California’s Eat, Move, Win (EMW) program is a direct education intervention, which consists of five online lessons that seek to improve high school students’ awareness of their food environment and the link between food and health. The lessons are accessed online to engage high school students in reading and writing activities, game-based interactions, and teacher-facilitated discussions. The program aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, encourages appropriate portions from all 5 food groups, and leverages the USDA SuperTracker.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education

My TIME to Eat Healthy and Move More (My TIME)

My TIME to Eat Healthy and Move More (My TIME) is a direct education intervention designed to actively engage parents and children in a co-learning process as they experience how to make healthy food choices and become more physically active. Instead of telling parents what is best for their family, My TIME offers hands-on activities to draw on their unique experiences.This facilitates an educational opportunity that encourages the learners to reflect, share, and ultimately identify goals and actions to create a healthier family. T. I. M. E. symbolizes the four core principles of the program: Together, Inspire, Motivate, and Empower. Over the course of a month, the parent and child work together with the home visitor to learn practical tips to eat healthily and move more. Taste-testing activities are used to inspire healthy eating. Simple ideas promoting daily exercise are offered to motivate parents and children to move more. Lastly, My TIME empowers families to stay connected to the goals and opportunities that they identified to improve the health of their family.

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

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

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

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