Eat Together, Eat Better (ETEB)

Washington State University

Overview

The Eat Together, Eat Better (ETEB) is a direct education and social marketing campaign designed to promote family meals using three main themes: Celebrate Together, Cook Together, and Talk Together. ETEB resources support nutrition, parent, and youth educators in teaching the importance of family meals in “setting roots for a lifetime.” Participants discuss the benefits of family meals, discover new ways to enjoy more family meals and increase their motivation to incorporate family meals into their routine.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing

Intervention Reach and Adoption

ETEB materials include adult-focused, child-focused, and family-focused lessons. The program can be used by educators or parents and can be implemented in a variety of settings including in schools, after school, alongside community programs, adult programs, or programs in which parents and children can attend separate sessions.

Setting: Community, School, Faith-based community

Target Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women, Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Lessons for each theme (Celebrate Together, Talk Together, Cook Together) are available for adults, children and families. Recipe cards, conversation starters, educational activities for kids, and background information for educators are also available. Depending on the setting in which ETEB is implemented and the audience being targeted, there are a variety promotional materials including posters, tip handouts, bookmarks, magnets, and coasters. For use in educational settings, the “Borrow Box” has activities for each theme for use in various grades (K, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grades 5-6).

The Activity Modules can be downloaded from http://nutrition.wsu.edu/eteb/.

Adult Lessons Youth Lessons Family Lessons
CookTogether
Children learn about cooking by watching parents and caregivers. In this lesson, adults identify ways to engage the family in cooking together. Cooking together lets youth learn new skills and build confidence and independence in cooking. In this lesson, youth develop skills in kitchen safety. Cooking together establishes family traditions. In this lesson, families work together to plan meals to cook together.
  • Identify the benefits of cooking together that mean the most to them.
  • Identify appropriate skills for children to help prepare meals.
  • Plan a meal to prepare together as a family.
  • Describe kitchen safety rules using appropriate kitchen tool.
  • Plan kitchen safety based on recipe.
  • Prepare recipe to share with their family.
  • Identify a task for everyone to help in preparing the meal.
  • Identify the benefits of cooking together.
  • Prepare a recipe together.
Talk Together
Communication is how families connect. In this lesson, adults practice communication skills to promote healthy conversation at mealtime. Communication influences our choices and decisions. In this lesson, youth develop communication skills around food and food choices. Conversation makes for engaging family meals. In this lesson, families practice conversation skills using conversation starters.
  • Identify benfits of talking together at mealtime.
  • Practice communication skills.
  • Identify one communication skill
    to try at home when planning and preparing family meals.
  • Develop communication skills by taking turns talking.
  • Practice listening skills.
  • Create a list of conversation topics for family mealtime.
  • Select conversation starters to use at family meals.
  • Practice conversation skills as a family.
  • Prepare a recipe together.
Celebrate Together
Food is a very important part of how we celebrate. In this lesson, adults explore ways to pass along culture and traditions. The foods we use to celebrate shape food habits and preferences. In this lesson, youth explore healthy choices for celebrations. Celebrations unite people, giving them a common bond. In this lesson, families explore ways they celebrate and plan a celebration considering healthy choices.
  • Identify how family celebrations and traditions influence the health and well-being of our children.
  • Recognize that food is a very common and important aspect of celebrations.
  • Identify healthy choices for family celebrations.
  • Explore how families and communities celebrate.
  • Identify family traditions or rituals as celebrations.
  • Select healthy choices for family celebrations.
  • Identify parts of family celebrations that mean the most to them.
  • Plan a family celebration that includes healthy choices.
  • Prepare a recipe together.

Intervention Materials

The table below provides a summary of ETEB materials available to the public. Retrieved from: https://nutrition.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/414/2015/01/ETEBLeaderGuide.pdf

Available to download from Washington State University Extension (www.nutrition.wsu.edu)
Three Theme-based Activity Modules Each module supports one theme and includes three different 45-minute lessons, for adults, youth, and families. The lessons use interactive learning styles.
Target: Parents/caregivers, youth, and families
Recipe Cards Include kid-friendly recipes with suggestions on how to incorporate each of the themes into family meals.
Target: Parents, families
Talk Together Bowl & Conversation Starters Support all three themes and encourage youth and families to talk together at meals. Each sheet of Talk Together starters is age-specific. Target: Families
Borrow Box Educational activity kits for use in classrooms or after-school settings. Activities support each theme.
Target: School classrooms, youth K-6
ETEB Backgrounder Summarizes the science behind the slogan; includes annotated resource bibliography.
Target: Educators
Availability to order from Washington State Dairy Council (http://www.eatsmart.org)
Poster with Two B&W Masters The poster is 11 × 17 inches, full color. The line masters on the reverse side of the poster provide benefits and tips on how families can start eating family meals more often.
Target: Families, parents, youth Cost: $1.00 ea
ETEB Handout Two-sided color version benefits and tips on how families can start eating family meals more often.
Target: Families, parents, youth Cost: $0.30 ea
Magnets Refrigerator magnets with updated Eat Together, Eat Better artwork, promoting Celebrate Together, Cook Together, and Talk Together. Target: Families, parents, youth Cost: $0.30 ea
Coasters Include conversation starters to support the Talk Together theme and to get people talking about family meals.
Target: Families Cost: $2.00 per set of four
Bookmarks Include ve different bookmarks/themes; each has a unique activity. Target: Youth Cost: $3.75 per package of 30 different bookmarks

Evidence Summary

ETEB provides an evaluation for participants. However, there does not appear to be evidence of outcomes or impact for the ETEB program, specifically. The Leader Guide provides evidence supporting the family meals, including the positive effect on child dietary intake, academic achievement, and other psychosocial and developmental outcomes. The cited papers and specific pieces of evidence are available in the Leader Guide:

https://nutrition.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/414/2015/01/ETEBLeaderGuide.pdf#Page=34

The only published piece of evidence for ETEB is the following abstract:

Diane Smith, RD, MA. Creating Family Resilience Through Family Supper Club. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2016;48,7:S13.

Classification: Evidence-based

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST4 MT1, MT4 LT1, LT4
Environmental Settings
Sectors of Influence MT12

Evaluation Materials

Additional Information

Website: The ETEB website (http://nutrition.wsu.edu/ETEB/) includes an overview, ETEB lessons, ETEB borrow box, leader’s materials and incentive recipes.

Contact Person(s):
Martha Marino, MA, RD, CD
Director of Nutrition Affairs
Washington State Dairy Council
Phone: (425) 744-1616
Email: marino@eatsmart.org