Eat Well & Keep Moving

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Overview

Eat Well & Keep Moving is a direct education and PSE change intervention designed to equip children with the knowledge, skills, and supportive environment they need in order to lead healthier lives by choosing nutritious diets and being physically active. Designed for fourth- and fifth-grade students, its six interlinked components—classroom education, physical education, school-wide promotional campaigns, food services, staff wellness, and parent and community involvement—work together to create a supportive environment that promotes the learning of lifelong good habits, helps academic, physical education, and health education teachers guide upper elementary school students to make healthier choices while building skills.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

Eat Well & Keep Moving targets upper elementary students (4th and 5th graders) in a school setting. This evidence-based program has been implemented in all 50 states and in more than 20 countries.

Setting: School

Target Audience: Elementary School

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Eat Well & Keep Moving includes the following components:

  • The 8 Principles of Healthy Living—at least one of which is emphasized in each lesson:
    • Make the switch from sugary drinks to water.
    • Choose colorful fruits and vegetables instead of junk food.
    • Choose whole-grain foods and limit foods with added sugar.
    • Choose foods with healthy fat, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid foods with trans fat.
    • Eat a nutritious breakfast every morning.
    • Be physically active every day for at least an hour.
    • Limit TV and other recreational screen time to two hours or less per day.
    • Get enough sleep to give the brain and body the rest they need.
  • The Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate, a visual guide to help encourage children to eat well and keep moving
  • 48 lessons that supply students with the knowledge and skills they need for choosing healthy eating and activity behaviors, including:
    • 28 Multidisciplinary classroom lessons (14 lessons each for fourth and fifth graders)
    • 4 Promotions for the classroom that build on classroom lessons and provide students with the opportunity to put knowledge into practice
    • 16 Physical education lessons to compliment a school’s existing physical education curriculum, including the FitCheck tool for self-assessment of activity and inactivity
  • Food service guides, recipes, preparation tips, promotional materials, classroom tie-ins and food service staff trainings
  • Staff wellness workshops and training materials
  • Parent and community involvement guides, parent newsletters, and fact sheets
  • School wellness policies and materials

Intervention Materials

The entire curriculum of Eat Well & Keep Moving reflects the latest research and incorporates recommendations from the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It fits within school curricula, uses existing school resources, is inexpensive to implement, and is easy to adopt. The content is customizable to school and student population profiles and can help schools meet new federally mandated wellness policy criteria. Most important, armed with the knowledge they can gain from this program, elementary students can move toward and maintain healthy lifestyles throughout their lives. The curriculum can be purchased at http://www.eatwellandkeepmoving.org/Home/Resources.

Evidence Summary

The program began as a joint research project between the Harvard School of Public Health (presently the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) and Baltimore Public Schools. In extensive field tests among students and teachers using the program, children ate more fruits and vegetables, reduced their intake of saturated fat, watched less TV, and improved their knowledge of nutrition and physical activity. The program is also well liked by teachers and students.

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, ST3 MT1MT3
Environmental Settings MT5, MT6
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

Currently no tools or materials are available for the evaluation of the complete intervention.

However, many individual lessons and components feature tracking tools (i.e. Lesson 20, Go for H2O, provides a beverage tracking activity) and the Physical Activity Fit Check is a tool for self-assessment of activity and inactivity, which teachers and students can use to evaluate how students are progressing.

Additional Information

Website: The Eat Well & Keep it Moving website (http://www.eatwellandkeepmoving.org/) includes a program overview, sample lessons, training modules for teachers and food service staff, parent newsletters, supporting resources, and the complete Eat Well & Keep Moving program for purchase.

Contact Person(s):
Lilian Cheung
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Email: lcheung@hsph.harvard.edu

Brett Otis
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Email: otis@hsph.harvard.edu