Child Health Initiative for Lifelong Eating and Exercise (CHILE) Plus

The Child Health Initiative for Lifelong Eating and Exercise (CHILE) Plus is a multi-component nutrition and physical activity education program for preschool age children and their families. CHILE Plus is the dissemination project of CHILE, a randomized control trial conducted by the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center (UNM PRC). CHILE Plus is based on the socioecological model and includes 6 components that fit into this model: the classroom curriculum, staff professional development, food service, family engagement, grocery store collaboration, and partnership with local health care providers and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program providers.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

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

Brighter Bites

Brighter Bites is a school-based health promotion program designed to change the behavior of children and their families to prevent childhood obesity and achieve long-term health outcomes.. Brighter Bites includes: a) weekly produce distribution, b) nutrition education in schools and for parents, and c) a weekly fun food recipe tasting experience during produce pick up time. Brighter Bites is implemented for 16 weeks during the school year and 8 weeks during the summer. Participating schools are also trained to implement the evidence-based Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) curriculum other evidence-based programs that promote healthy food choices and physical activity. This comprehensive approach supports the shift in the culture of each school and families within that school toward being healthier and more focused on nutrition and healthy living.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: Direct Education, 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

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

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