Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time
Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change
Intervention Reach and Adoption
Setting: Childcare (Learn)
Target Audience: Preschool (<5 years), Parents/Mothers/Fathers
- The NE component of the intervention has 15 lessons to choose from. At least 9 of the lessons should be implemented within a school year in order to achieve program outcomes.
- The PA component has PA activities using portable play equipment and music. PA activities must be incorporated into the lesson plans regularly throughout the school year to achieve intended outcomes.
COWP staff train preschool staff in the beginning of each academic year. Post-training evaluations assess teacher confidence in curriculum implementation and identify any further training and technical assistance needs. Classroom observations and delivery tracking logs monitor fidelity. Teacher feedback forms improve program quality.
Other components that are highly recommended are: The COWP PSE change process COWP PSE intervention as well as Parent Wellness Workshops, both components are featured in the SNAP-Ed Toolkit.
- Toddler and Pre-K classroom-based nutrition education/physical activity curriculum (15 lessons)
- Family letters with recipes and health tips (English/Spanish)
- Culture of Wellness in Preschools: Policy, System and Environment Change Process (COWP-PSE)
The following items are available upon request:
- Toddler classroom-based nutrition education curriculum
- Pre-K classroom-based nutrition education curriculum
- Evaluation tools (current and prior years)
The listed materials are available on the COWP website.
- Focus group data: 23 focus groups were conducted with preschool teachers to identify needs, barriers and facilitators to program implementation. Meetings minutes from a day-long retreat with teachers who had used the curriculum in preschool and kindergarten classrooms informed adaptations
- Teacher feedback forms administered with each NE lesson to make continuous quality improvements
- Teachers are surveyed annually to assess acceptability of the curriculum
- COWP Lesson Observation Form: COWP staff use this tool to observe lessons in the classroom, to gather feedback on fidelity to the curriculum, and to inform potential modifications throughout the year
- We utilize the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) quality improvement framework to continuously collect data, make small changes, and study these changes to improve our curriculum and ensure it serves the target audience.
Outcomes that occurred include:
- Leveraging of funds (in-kind donation of teacher time)
- Aligning curriculum with academic standards (Colorado Academic Standards, Teaching Strategies Gold, and Head Start/Early Learning Framework)
- Staff reporting an increase in healthy eating and physical activity because of the program
- Delivering materials to each school provided opportunities for strong relationship-building with school staff and positioned COWP for more impactful work with parent engagement and PSEs
- Providing ongoing training to implement curricula and increasing staff buy-in and commitment
- Quarterly observations of NE/PA Lesson delivery in the classrooms are needed
- Ongoing Technical Assistance provided for new teachers
- Alignment of COWP NE/PA curriculum with COWP PSE curriculum to support the sustainability of these components
- Identification and training of a center-specific wellness champion to help promote program delivery
Manuscripts currently in press with peer-reviewed journals:
- Development of a Dissemination and Implementation Framework for an Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Program
- An exploration of constructs related to dissemination and implementation of an early childhood systems-level intervention
Evidence-based Approach: Research-tested
|Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST)||Changes – Medium Term (MT)||Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT)||Population Results (R)|
|Environmental Settings||MT5, MT6|
|Sectors of Influence|
MT1: Healthy Eating
- MT1l, MT1m: Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables using Plate Waste methodology to measure children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables before and after the COWP NE intervention.
MT3: Physical Activity and Reduced Sedentary Behavior
- MT3b: Increased moderate to vigorous physical activity as demonstrated by the SOPLAY method, demonstrating a 20% increase of overall MVPA scores from 2012 – 2016. Increased child vigorous activity as demonstrated by accelerometer data.
MT5: Nutrition Supports
- MT5a: Number and proportion of sites or organizations that make at least one change in writing or practice to expand access or improve appeal for healthy eating using the COWP’s Evidence-Based PSE Menu. Since 2017, COWP has worked with 135 sites in 16 Counties.
MT6: Physical Activity and Reduced Sedentary Behavior Supports
- MT6a: Number and proportion of sites or organizations that make at least one change in writing or practice to expand access or improve appeal for physical activity or reduced sedentary behavior using the COWP’s Evidence-Based PSE Menu. Since 2017, COWP has worked with 135 sites in 16 Counties.
- SOPLAY Methods: https://activelivingresearch.org/sites/activelivingresearch.sdsc.edu/files/SOPLAY_Protocols.pdf
- SOPLAY & Accelerometer results
- Plate Waste Protocol/Results
Formative Evaluation Tools:
- Focus Group Protocols
- All- Day Retreat Agenda and Meeting Minutes
Process Evaluation Tools:
- NE/PA Classroom Observation Tool
- Teacher Feedback Forms
PSE Change Evaluation Tools:
- The Culture of Wellness in Preschools: Policy, System and Environment Change Process (COWP) Evidence-Based PSE Menu/Checklist
Creating a Culture of Wellness in Preschools:
Director, Rocky Mt. Prevention Research Center, Colorado School of Public Health
*Updated as of August 23, 2023