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.

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

Food Talk: Better U

The Food Talk: Better U (FTBU) curriculum is a direct nutrition education and obesity prevention curriculum taught by paraprofessionals in a classroom setting and focuses on healthy weight management tailored for SNAP-Ed eligible adult Georgians. FTBU includes both nutrition and physical activity (PA) components as weight management and obesity prevention strategies and helps participants increase portion control, decrease intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, make small healthy “shifts” in everyday food choices, and increase PA consistent with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate guidance, and 2018 PA Guidelines for Americans. The curriculum is comprised of a series of four, 90-minute direct education classes that include the following elements: interactive learning activities, interactive sharing among participants, guided PA, cooking demonstrations and recipe tastings, goal setting, and food and/or PA tracking homework.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Food eTalk

Food eTalk is direct education intervention designed to increase participant’s daily intake of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products; decrease daily intake of sodium; improve food resource management, food safety practices, and physical activity. The 6 interactive eLearning modules are self-paced and the mobile-nature of many Internet accessing devices (i.e., smartphones) encourages learning at the point-of-decision making, such as engaging in quick Food eTalk video-based lessons in a supermarket or restaurant. Additionally, the asynchronous “anytime, anyplace” lessons aim to mitigate traditional barriers to attending in-person classes, such as issues with transportation, variable work schedules, and child-care limitations. Food eTalk includes 6 interactive lessons, 6 accompanying cooking demonstration videos, and 4 “just in time” education videos with focus on meal preparation, food shopping, and food safety in the home.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education

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

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

Harvest for Healthy Kids

Harvest for Healthy Kids (HHK) is a direct education and PSE change intervention that promotes healthy eating habits among preschoolers through repeated exposure to a variety of fruits and vegetables and contributes to vibrant and resilient local food systems. The curriculum includes materials for 13 foods. Each month, a target fruit or vegetable is featured in meals and  classroom activities. The activity plan includes lessons (e.g., read-aloud book, cooking, planting) and “fast and fun” activities that could be used to transition children from one activity to the next (e.g., clapping out ru-ta-ba-ga). Picture cards are a key feature of the curriculum and show children how the food is grown and its different varieties. The program includes “Teacher Bites” with background information for each fruit or vegetable. To engage families in the program, teachers send home a monthly newsletter, which includes produce tips and a recipe. Recipes that feature the target foods are also available to allow early care and education settings to integrate the foods into their snack and meal service.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Eat Smart to Play Hard

Eat Smart to Play Hard (ESPH) is a six-week social marketing campaign in which the community collaborates to engage students, parents, teachers, school staff, and other stakeholders in a common goal to “Eat Smart” in order to “Play Hard.” This obesity prevention campaign specifically focuses on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among 8-11 year-olds in both rural and urban schools. During the campaign, students receive a passport booklet that guides them through healthy eating and physical activities at home with their families. They return their passports to school each week to receive a stamp from their teacher for every completed activity in order to earn incentives and a medal.  ESPH coordinators hang promotional materials throughout the school and community to support the desired behavior. At the end of the six weeks, the campaign culminates in a fun day event where students and teachers celebrate their success while enjoying healthy eating and fun physical activity.

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

Intervention Type: Social Marketing, PSE Change