The SNAP-Ed Toolkit is moving!

The Toolkit and its resources, including evidence-based interventions and the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, will soon be housed within the SNAP-Ed Connection website. Please look for future communication regarding that transition. Thanks. — The Toolkit Team

Growing Healthy Kids: Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Curriculum

Growing Healthy Kids (GHK) is a garden-themed, direct education curriculum aimed to integrate nutrition education with gardening to promote healthy eating and healthy choices among children, best aligned for students in 2nd and 3rd grade. GHK teaches nutrition education concepts closely aligned with MyPlate messages suitable for a SNAP-Ed audience and includes seven lessons with options for an outdoor, indoor, or hybrid (combination of activities from both mural and indoor gardens) garden, giving students opportunities to learn basic plant parts and try a variety of fruits and vegetables. Along with core journaling and gardening activities, lessons include food tasting activities, recipe printouts, physical activity options, coloring sheets, and suggestions for supplemental storybooks to go with lesson themes. Many connections to the Food Hero social marketing campaign exist within the curriculum. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating 

Intervention Type: Direct Education 

The OrganWise Guys Program (OWG)

The OrganWise Guys Program (OWG) can be delivered via both direct and indirect education including PSE change interventions designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and increase physical activity among participants as well as facilitate PSE changes in the settings in which it is conducted. SNAP-Ed staff or trained classroom teachers provide direct education through various curriculum to youth in childcare and school settings and provide support materials for families. The WISERCISE! program provides 10-minutes of desk-side daily physical activity in the classroom. Foods of the Month helps create a healthy cafeteria environment in schools and during family style eating/snacking in EC Centers via daily nutrition messaging and outreach to parents. The OWG gardening curriculum helps establish gardens while children learn to grow and consume homegrown food. This curriculum focuses on PSE changes by working with school wellness councils to develop policies that address foods served at school events, establish school gardens, and improve and promote school meals/snacks. Partnerships and parent/adult engagement in positive health behaviors can lead to PSE change that is sustainable and beneficial community wide. Indirect education includes a wide variety of behavior tracking tools for use at home to reinforce key messages. All the above items can be delivered in the traditional way using physical items or via the online platform across all target audiences. 

Additionally, The OWG online component allows for projects to collect usage data from all users on the platform. Data collection reports will be available to SNAP-Ed partners which tracks/reports on total time of each session with details on books read, activity sheets/newsletters downloaded, videos watched and physical activity (via new WISERCISE! level).  This usage report can assist with your PEARS reporting.  

 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance 

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change 

Heart Smarts

Heart Smarts is a direct education, PSE change, and social marketing intervention that combines healthy food access, nutrition education, and health and social services for individuals to improve their health and reduce their risk of diet-related disease. The program offers nine lessons for use in retail environments covering topics like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, sodium, sugar-sweetened beverages and making healthy choices along with nutrition-focused tip sheets. Each lesson includes taste tests, recipes, healthy food incentive coupons* and health screenings* (for blood pressure, weight checks, and healthy lifestyle counseling and referrals). Technical assistance and training is provided to site staff and storeowners to support PSE changes including healthier stores, businesses and communities.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing, PSE Change

*These Heart Smarts components (health screenings, including blood pressure and BMI; counseling and referrals; and healthy food incentive coupons help participants choose heart-healthy items at the site) are not allowable by SNAP-Ed. Heart Smarts lessons and food tastings can be used without these additional components. Screenings and coupons can be funded by grants or partnered organizations.

Together, We Inspire Smart Eating (WISE)

Together, We Inspire Smart Eating (WISE) is a direct education intervention designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in children in early education programs as well as in the home. WISE delivers developmentally appropriate food experiences and promotes behavior change through its 3 components: classroom curricula, parent engagement content, and educator training. The intervention is designed to be delivered across a 9-month term with food experiences and supporting activities executed weekly. This program creates positive changes in child and family eating behaviors that align with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, specifically, increasing the number of servings of fruit and vegetables consumed and an increase in a variety of fruits and vegetables consumed. Social media content is available for programs interested in using the content to engage families and early childhood educators in the WISE program goals.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Teen Battle Chef (TBC)

Teen Battle Chef (TBC) is a direct education and PSE change intervention designed to develop skills in nutrition, cooking, and leadership for participants and their families through cooking lessons, a PSE campaign, ongoing nutrition education, development of youth leaders, and supporting a culture of wellness in partner organizations. TBC includes eight sessions in which participants learn plant-focused recipes and cooking skills to compete in cooking battles. After eight weeks of skill development, the Teen Chefs choose one of four tracts to impact PSE change. The four tracts are bundled with the curriculum license and include School Food Ambassadors (for collaborating with schools’ food service), Special Event Headliners (for ensuring healthy options at School Events), CHEFS 4 Change (program for youth collaboration with local bodegas to support healthy ‘grab n’ go’ options), and Culinary Coaches (teaching other students healthy meal/snack strategies). The Teen Battle Chef LIVE online version allows for online instruction using an online delivery platform, such as Zoom or Google Meet.

TBC School Food Ambassadors have been effectively utilized as partners with school food service to co-develop new school menu items and promote them with demos and sampling. This active collaborative creates peer-driven motivation for more students to participate in school lunch and breakfast, which is easily measured through school food service participation rates.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Farm to Early Care and Education

Farm to Early Care and Education (farm to ECE) is a PSE change intervention designed to increase access to healthy, local foods in ECE settings through local food purchasing and gardening; increase the quality of the ECE setting through food, nutrition, and agriculture

related experiential education; increase children’s acceptance and preference for healthy foods; increase children and family knowledge about healthy foods and local food systems; and  positively influence child, family, and provider health behaviors. Farm to ECE includes a set of activities and strategies that include 3 core elements of farm to school – local food purchasing, gardens, and food, nutrition, and agriculture education – implemented with the goal of enhancing the quality of the ECE environment and the educational experience in all types of ECE settings. As farm to ECE is not a “one size fits all” strategy, the core elements adapt readily to different settings, geographic locations, enrollment numbers, and diverse ages and abilities of children. Farm to ECE aims to advance racial and social equity by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high quality education opportunities for all children.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Food Hero

Food Hero is a multi-channel social marketing campaign designed to change family and community behaviors.  Food Hero includes an extensive evaluation process. The program is designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income Oregonians, and components of the campaign have been used widely in other states and countries. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change, Social Marketing

CATCH – Coordinated Approach to Child Health

The CATCH Program is a PSE change and direct education intervention that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional health of youth through its Mind-Heart-Body approach and coordinated framework. Program objectives include improving children’s nutrition choices, increasing physical activity, and creating a healthy school culture and climate that supports and empowers children in a developing and practicing positive health behaviors that support their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Since 1988, CATCH has been empowering school communities to cultivate Whole Child wellness as a lever for student success and social equity.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Healthy Kindergarten Initiative

The Healthy Kindergarten Initiative (KI) is a direct education and PSE Change intervention that includes an integrated, holistic approach to educating children and their caregivers about making healthy food choices and being physically active. Education is coupled with access; families are connected to local, healthy foods through innovative ways and community partnerships. Lessons integrating nutrition and healthy habits were developed to fit Pennsylvania educational standards; however, they can be adapted to meet the educational standards for other states. Learning how food grows and who grows it in combination with frequent food tastings and hands-on gardening may help increase fruit and vegetable consumption among young children. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

CATCH Early Childhood (CEC)

The Coordinated Approach to Child Health Early Childhood (CEC) is a direct education and PSE change intervention designed to nurture a love of physical activity (PA) while introducing classroom-based gardening, nutrition, and healthy eating in children ages 3-5. Modeled after the nationally recognized CATCH Program, CEC provides an environment where PA, health education, gardening and healthy eating behaviors are valued and taught. The program gives children the opportunity to walk, run, jump, dance, and move their whole bodies while playing and having fun.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE)

The Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE) program is a voluntary nutrition and physical activity recognition program for licensed child care centers and family day care homes in California. Administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the program is designated for Early Care and Education (ECE) sites that participate in the CACFP and serve preschool aged children (ages two to five). The overall goal of the program is to promote high-quality nutrition and wellness practices at ECE sites to support children’s health and readiness to learn.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: PSE Change

ReFresh

The ReFresh curriculum is a direct education intervention designed to encourage students to consume more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and to be more physically active. Composed of a series of eight nutrition education units, ReFresh is designed for implementation in fourth and fifth grade classrooms throughout the school year from October through May. Lessons align with Common Core courses such as math and language arts and offer opportunities for recipe preparation, taste testing, discussion, and reflection. Throughout the ReFresh curriculum, the following behaviorally-focused messages are emphasized:

  • Make half your plates fruits and vegetables
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains
  • Increase physical activity
  • Maintain calorie balance

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Farm to School

Farm to school is a Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change and direct education intervention designed to improve access to local foods in pre-k to 12th grade school settings and provides education opportunities that encourage healthy eating behaviors. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. Each farm to school program is unique, but often combines elements of local procurement or serving food from local producers in meals and snacks, alongside food, nutrition, and agriculture education in the classroom and beyond, such as the cafeteria and school garden. 

PSE backing for farm to school make farm to school practices the norm in classrooms and cafeterias throughout the year. Policy efforts focus on integrating farm to school supports into organizational statements and positions, such as procurement policies, wellness policies, and resolutions. Systems change include those that make organizational procedures and programs more supportive of farm to school. Examples include hiring farm to school or garden staff, partnering with distributors to carry and label local product, creating a grant program to fund school gardens, and building local or State-wide farm to school coalitions. Environmental changes are observable in your physical or social surroundings. Farm to school environmental supports may include, but are not limited to, local foods promotional and marketing materials, school gardens/farms, and food systems courses and classes. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Healthy Behaviors Initiative (HBI)

The Healthy Behaviors Initiative (HBI) is an after school (AS) program designed to enable and recognize on-site staff to offer practical, user-friendly and effective nutrition, physical activity (PA), and food security intervention activities. HBI is a multi-level effort for the children, site staff, sponsoring organizations, and the multi-county Superintendent regions to complement in-school and community resources. A key to success in the infrastructure is the opportunity for AS programs to become certified by the Center for Collaborative Solutions as a HBI Learning Center. Learning Centers provide modeling, peer support, mentoring, and exchange among AS sites in their geographic areas.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating; Physical Activity

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Michigan Harvest to Table

Michigan Harvest to Table™ (MiHarvest) (formerly called Michigan Harvest of the Month™ (HOTM)) is a multi-level intervention designed to increase consumption of and access to fruits and vegetables; increase consumption of locally grown produce by connecting growers to schools in their communities, retail, farmers market, and emergency food settings; and link child-focused nutrition education in schools with adult-focused supports in community based food access settings. MiHarvest™ features ready-to-go supplemental nutrition education materials that can easily be integrated into the core curriculum and are aligned with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing, PSE Change

Cooking with Kids BIG little Project

Cooking with Kids BIG little Project is a school-based food nutrition education curriculum program designed to educate and empower children and families to make healthy food choices through hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultural traditions.  The program uses three nutrition education and obesity prevention approaches: direct education, multi-level interventions at multiple complementary organizational and institutional levels, and community and public health approaches to improve nutrition. Cooking with Kids BIG little Project includes integrated curriculum guides (bilingual and grade-specific) with cooking and tasting lessons, how-to-videos, recipes, and other resources. Cooking with Kids, Inc. provides nutrition education in SNAP-Ed qualifying public schools and supports community and public health approaches, including the development of teaching kitchens in schools and the support of Farm to School and Child Nutrition Program staff training. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change