Target Behavior: Breastfeeding, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity
Intervention Type: Direct Education
Intervention Reach and Adoption
Setting: Community, Faith-based community, School
Target Audience: Adults, Parents/Mothers/Fathers
Nine core lessons:
- Welcome to Eating Smart Being Active
- Get Moving!
- Plan, Shop, $ave
- Fruits & Veggies: Half Your Plate
- Make Half Your Grains Whole
- Vary Your Protein Routine
- Build Strong Bones
- Small Changes Matter
- Celebrate! Eat Smart & Be Active
Three optional maternal and infant lessons:
- Eating Smart and Being Active During Pregnancy
- How Will I Feed My Baby?
- Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods
Each lesson contains physical activity, participants actively involved in food preparation, and tips for food safety, saving money at the grocery store, and parenting related to the topic of the lesson.
Numerous lesson support materials and training resources are available at no cost on the curriculum website and the Eating Smart • Being Active mobile app is available for free from the App Store (Apple) and Google Play (Android). The app includes access to all recipes and physical activities in Eating Smart • Being Active, a physical activity tracker, and a unit price calculator.
In a separate research project, researchers compared behavior change outcomes from Eating Smart • Being Active with behavior change outcomes of prior EFNEP curricula in five states. Eating Smart • Being Active generally produced better outcomes than curricula used previously. In addition, when comparing pre and post test scores from participants taught Eating Smart • Being Active, participants reported significant, positive behavior change in food resource management, nutrition, food safety, and physical activity. Researchers also found that participants who received Eating Smart • Being Active increased their fruit and vegetable intakes. This research is published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior and won the Best Article Award for 2016. Similar results were seen in an Iowa study of a draft version of Eating Smart • Being Active.
Lastly, two qualitative evaluations of the curriculum were conducted using focus groups and interviews; investigators are currently preparing these results for publication. The first study focused on the physical activity aspects of Eating Smart • Being Active; researchers found that the participants, peer educators and state level coordinators from four states generally liked the physical activity components of the lessons and that participants make positive behavior changes as a result of the physical activity content of Eating Smart • Being Active. The second study looked at the satisfaction of ESBA among paraprofessionals and state level coordinators from four states. Generally both groups like the curriculum, found the curriculum easy to use, found that their participants like the curriculum and think that the curriculum content makes a difference in their participants’ lives.
Additional information on the evidence-base of Eating Smart • Being Active and specific evaluation studies can be found at: https://eatingsmartbeingactive.colostate.edu/eating-smart-%e2%80%a2-being-active/about/evidence-base/.
Eating Smart • Being Active was piloted by four states (California, Colorado, Iowa, and South Carolina) for six months. Results from the pilot and formative evaluation (described above) drove the editing process leading to the original version of Eating Smart • Being Active. The curriculum was released in 2008, revised in 2010, 2017 and again in 2023 to comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. The 2023 version includes updated food package labels with the new Nutrition Facts Label and enhanced tools to aid peer educators in planning and packing for lessons and teaching participants food preparation skills. Eating Smart • Being Active is used by EFNEP and/or SNAP-Ed programs in more than 40 states and US territories.
Programs report increased behavior change in their programs as a result of implementing Eating Smart • Being Active. Specifically in Colorado in FY22, after completing Eating Smart • Being Active:
- 89% of participants showed improvement in nutrition practices
- 89% of participants showed improvement in food resource management
- 78% of participants showed improvement in food safety
- 78% of participants showed improvement in physical activity
- 57% of participants showed improvement in vegetable consumption
- 71% of participants showed improvement in solid fat and added sugar consumption
|Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST)
|Changes – Medium Term (MT)
|Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT)
|Population Results (R)
|ST1, ST2, ST3, ST4
|MT1, MT2, MT3, MT4
|LT1, LT2, LT3, LT4
|Sectors of Influence
Colorado State University
Colorado State University
*Updated as of October 25, 2023