Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: Nutrition Workshops for Teachers

The Food Trust

Overview

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: Nutrition Workshops for Teachers is a direct education intervention designed to increase the knowledge and self-efficacy of teachers, in order to support them in providing SNAP-Ed direct education in their classroom. HBHM is a series of 8 workshops that provide background nutrition information, as well as ideas and resources for incorporating nutrition and physical activity into the school day. These teacher trainings are not designed to be delivered in isolation, but instead should be offered as part of a more comprehensive model of programming. SNAP-Ed resources should be provided to teachers as part of the series and professional development topics should align with these resources. When possible, SNAP-Ed staff should be supporting the site with PSE change to support the nutrition education programming and increase opportunities for students to make healthy choices.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

HBHM is designed to support a school-wide approach to nutrition education in low-income settings and should be offered on teacher professional development days in order to encourage full staff engagement. With all teachers receiving training and resources on a regular basis, it is very likely that the reach would be 100% of students receiving nutrition education. HBHM was designed for educational settings, including schools and early childcare sites.

Setting: Child care (Learn), School (Learn)

Target Audience: Preschool (<5 years), Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

HBHM includes the delivery of interactive workshops that provide teachers with nutrition knowledge and resources to teach their students about healthy eating and physical activity. In order to be successful, the workshops should be offered as part of a larger intervention, including direct ed taught by teachers and PSE changes at the site. The workshops are adaptable to a variety of grades and curricula, however, the workshop topics must match what is being taught to students. It may not be necessary to conduct all 8 workshops, but for maximum effectiveness each workshop requires a minimum of 30 minutes. Implementation of the intervention requires a discussion with site administrators to determine if there is time for the workshops to be delivered with all teachers. Then a curriculum must be identified for classroom-based direct ed so that appropriate workshop topics and dates can be chosen. Feedback should be obtained after each workshop and direct ed should be monitored for fidelity.

Intervention Materials

HBHM is a series of 8 workshops designed to increase the knowledge and self-efficacy of teachers, in order to support them in providing SNAP-Ed direct education in the classroom. Intervention topics include: MyPlate, Fruits & Vegetables, Healthy Snacking, Breakfast, Whole Grains, Calcium, Energy Balance, and Solid Fats and Added Sugars. Corresponding SNAP-Ed lesson plans should be provided to teachers as part of the series.

Intervention Materials

Materials are available at no cost.

Evidence Summary

Evaluation results demonstrate that the HBHM teacher training series increased teachers’ ability to teach nutrition concepts in the classroom (p=.005). Intervention teachers reported significantly higher confidence on the Nutrition-Teaching Self-Efficacy Scale tool from pretest to posttest compared to control teachers.  Monthly surveys revealed an increase in motivation to teach nutrition across all topics from pre-workshop to post-workshop. Monthly satisfaction surveys also showed high satisfaction with the workshops. On average, 99.2% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they enjoyed the workshops and 95.5% agreed or strongly agreed that they understood the topic better. A combination of rating scales and written comments were used to edit the workshops to better reach the target audience. Average teacher hours across intervention and control schools were similar due to the programming model, which demonstrates that a train the trainer model can be effective. The SNAP-Ed cost of the HBHM model was significantly less than the model used in the baseline or control schools. Overall, the evaluation results showed that the teacher workshops were effective in improving motivation and self-efficacy to teach nutrition topics in the classroom and that the model is cost effective.

Evidence-based Approach: Practice-tested

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
Environmental Settings ST5, ST6, ST7  LT9
Sectors of Influence
  • ST5a, ST7a: When looking at the specific questions that asked about topic specific self-efficacy and confidence (15 questions), intervention teachers reported significantly higher self-efficacy scores from pretest to posttest compared to control teachers t(61) = 3.040, p = .003.
  • ST6a: A paired t-test was used to determine if a school’s mean NTSES pretest score was significantly different from their mean posttest score. Mean scores increased between 10 and 16 points from pretest to posttest, with all schools showing statistically significant differences. An increase in mean teacher motivation was seen for all topics, pre- to post workshop, ranging from .67 to .81.
  • LT9a, LT9c: Average teacher hours across intervention and control schools were similar due to the programming model, in which all students received one lesson per month. The control group’s nutrition education hours per student were a combination of teacher-led education and lessons delivered by SNAP-Ed staff, while the hours per student in the intervention schools were delivered entirely by the teacher. The results demonstrate that a train the trainer model can be effective in providing the same amount of direct education to students as a SNAP-Ed led model, while leaving time for SNAP-Ed staff to participate in PSE projects.
  • LT9b: The SNAP-Ed cost of the HBHM model was significantly less than the model used in the baseline or control schools. Three different nutrition education models were compared to determine the average cost per direct education hour and conclude which program was most cost effective. The HBHM teaching model had the lowest average cost per direct education hour by almost $14.00.

Evaluation Materials

HBHM includes two validated tools for evaluating effectiveness and outcomes. The Nutrition-Teaching Self-Efficacy Scale (NTSES) is a 20 question pre and post-test survey that evaluates self-efficacy related to teaching a variety of nutrition concepts. The modified NTSES post-test also asks for feedback on the entirety of the series. A process evaluation is also available for use after each workshop to assess participant satisfaction, self-reported motivation, and any suggestions for future trainings.

Additional Information

Website: The HBHM in not currently available on the Food Trust website. Contact Heidi Gorniok for more information.

Contact Person(s):
Heidi Gorniok, RDN
Associate Director, Nutrition Programming
215-575-0444 x4118
hgorniok@thefoodtrust.org