My TIME to Eat Healthy and Move More (My TIME)

University of Minnesota Extension

Overview

My TIME to Eat Healthy and Move More (My TIME) is a direct education intervention designed to actively engage parents and children in a co-learning process as they experience how to make healthy food choices and become more physically active. Instead of telling parents what is best for their family, My TIME offers hands-on activities to draw on their unique experiences.This facilitates an educational opportunity that encourages the learners to reflect, share, and ultimately identify goals and actions to create a healthier family. T. I. M. E. symbolizes the four core principles of the program: Together, Inspire, Motivate, and Empower. Over the course of a month, the parent and child work together with the home visitor to learn practical tips to eat healthily and move more. Taste-testing activities are used to inspire healthy eating. Simple ideas promoting daily exercise are offered to motivate parents and children to move more. Lastly, My TIME empowers families to stay connected to the goals and opportunities that they identified to improve the health of their family.

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

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

My TIME targets parents/caregivers and children ages 3-5 in home-based education settings. It was specifically designed for the home-based Head Start program visits. While it could be used in other home-based education programs with parents and preschoolers, it would be an appropriate fit for public health and school district programs.  Limited piloting was completed with a parent-led education group, a Latino parent/child summer Time to Share program, and a residential treatment facility for parents who have children present. Adoption was successful when the children present were close to the targeted age group and an available budget for food and materials were supplied for activity implementation.

Setting: (new): Home-based education, Child care (Learn)

Target Audience: Preschool (<5 years), Parents/Mothers/Fathers

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

My TIME includes an education curriculum and home visits from a trained teacher. Under the MN model of SNAP-Ed Education, My TIME was delivered in a train the trainer format where SNAP-Ed Educators provided curriculum training for home-based Head Start teachers to deliver the program. These intervention components provide the knowledge necessary to increase healthy eating habits and physical activity levels of parents and their 3-5-year-old children. While this curriculum has been used in group settings, ideally it’s best used in a one-on-one setting in a home. Teachers can model positive behavior, and parents have the opportunity to practice skills in a safe environment. Each of the units contains four 15-20 minute lessons, which can be taught over a month or combined as needed. In order to maintain the fidelity of the intervention, each lesson should do the following: review previous lesson, give an overview of nutrition or physical activity information, conduct hands-on learning activities, and complete the Family Snapshot activity allowing parents to identify a family strength and an opportunity for improvement. Training the home-based teachers to use the curriculum and providing technical assistance gives them the resources, confidence, and skills needed to ensure a successful outcome.

Intervention Materials

Intervention materials for My Time include the canvas curriculum platform, which consists of:

  • Facilitator Guide – designed to help facilitators establish and teach the curriculum
  • Units 1-6 lesson plans – each unit is divided into 4 lessons
  • Lesson materials
  • Lesson preparation instructions
  • Facilitator script
  • Participant Handouts
  • Links to web-based resources
  • Partner training materials – in development

To access materials, enroll in University of Minnesota’s CANVAS online learning platform at no cost.

Intervention Costs

Materials available at no costs.

Evidence Summary

My TIME was piloted with Head Start programs in MN over a 3-year time span. Demographics of participants were collected. Head Start home-based teachers provided feedback on each unit through a Qualtrics survey. The teachers documented on-going feedback from parents. Post evaluations were collected from SNAP-Ed Educators who provided technical assistance. Minnesota Valley Action Council’s Head Start Health Services Advisory Committee was given quarterly updates and provided feedback during the pilot phase. This committee included Head Start parents and staff, health and human services professionals, and other community volunteers who are representative of the racial and ethnic groups served by the local Head Start program. Technical assistance was provided to ensure the fidelity of the curriculum and provide teacher support. My TIME was revised three times based on this data.

Pilot analysis results showed that all fruit and vegetable consumption variables showed statistically significant positive changes. After the intervention, mean daily fruit consumption increased 0.5 servings/day (3.5 more fruit servings/week). For vegetable consumption, it was 0.3 servings/day (2.4 servings more/week). Before the intervention, 66% of participants ate more than one kind of fruit in a day. After the intervention, 93% of participants indicated they ate more than one kind of fruit in a day. Before the intervention, 77% of participants responded they ate more than one kind of vegetable and after the intervention, 86% of participants responded that they ate more than one vegetable in a day. Among physical activity measures, the ‘Physically Active’ time showed a statistically significant difference.

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 MT1, MT3
Environmental Settings ST7  LT9
Sectors of Influence
  • MT1c: FY18: (n=44) p<.001 positive change towards more variety (1.51 mean pre, 1.99 mean post, 0.48 mean difference), with 27.3% showing improvement of outcomes after the program.
  • MT1d: FY18: (n=44) p<.05 positive change towards more variety (1.74 mean pre, 2.08 mean post, 0.34 mean difference), with 13.6% showing improvement of outcomes after program.
  • MT1l: FY18: (n=44) p<.001 positive change towards more variety (1.51 mean pre / 1.99 mean post = 0.48 mean difference), with 50% showing improvement of outcomes after program.
  • MT1m: FY18: (n=44) p<.05 positive change towards more variety (1.74 mean pre, 2.08 mean post, 0.34 mean difference) with 40.9% showing improvement in outcomes after program.
  • MT3a: FY18: (n=44) p<.001 positive change towards more variety (15.85 mean pre / 34.3 mean post = 18.45 mean difference), with 68.2% showing improvement in outcomes after program.
  • MT3b: B: FY18: (n=44) p<.05 positive change towards more exercise time (2.26 mean pre / 6.62 mean post = 4.37 mean difference), with 40.9% showing improvement in outcomes after program.
  • ST7a: In FY 19, 18 home-based teachers from Minnesota Valley Action Council and the Inter County Community Head Start agencies are using MY TIME within their home-based program. Both of these HS programs were part of the pilot.
  • LT9c: Over the school year time frame, each Head Start home-based teacher commits to 4 hours of training and technical support, 2 hours of monthly prep, and 1 hour of active teach time/family/month.

Evaluation Materials

My TIME uses Minnesota SNAP-Ed Teen and Adult evaluation pre-post evaluation survey, which includes questions around healthy eating and physical activity. Nutrition questions include the amount of fruit and vegetable consumption and the variety of fruit and vegetable consumption in a day. Physical activity questions include exercise time, moderate-mild physical activity time, and sedentary activity time in a week. These are available with intervention materials.

Additional Information

Website: The University of Minnesota Extension website includes information on their courses, events, and research.

Contact Person:

Mary Krentz

krent001@umn.edu