|Reviewers Comments: ||The FRIDGE program consists of a well-organized, research-based and interactive curriculum. The purpose of the program is to get families talking about food and nutrition. The layout and design of the program is action oriented and requires families to actively participate. Without participation from the families, the program may not produce successful results. The illustrations and vocabulary are appropriate and although a reading level is not stated, the text appears to be suitable for the intended audience.
The curriculum does not specifically target a low-income audience, but is generally appropriate for any family, regardless of income level, who is interested in improving eating habits as a family through participation and team work. Certain sections could be modified to make them more relevant for families experiencing food insecurity. For example, when using this curriculum in a SNAP-Ed setting, the questions and activities in section three that deal with eating at restaurants should be enhanced to address the unique challenges encountered by families on an extremely limited food budget. Because of this, an educator with experience in nutrition, family relationships and working with low-income families would be best suited for delivering this content to SNAP-Ed participants. The complete curriculum is time consuming: the average lesson last 45 minutes, with a stated time range for the complete curriculum of 16-20 hours. This may make the complete curriculum best suited for a very structured series of classes, with participants who are committed to attending classes as a family over a series of several days or weeks. However, individual components and activities from the FRIDGE curriculum could be selected and used to enhance various other SNAP-Ed efforts.
All handouts and visual aids help support the underlying goal; to encourage families to communicate better. The handouts are simple and easy to understand. They cover topics from sugar consumption, portion size and MyPyramid.gov to family meal time and internet sources of food related information. Most of the handouts in section 2 require some explanation; this is where a having a nutrition related background could come in handy. No recipes were available with the curriculum; however the families are asked to compare past and present recipes to establish how different generations think about food.
Currently, educators interested in exploring this resource can download the complete curriculum for free as a PDF or order a printed copy at cost from the publisher. The print curriculum is delivered in a well-organized binder. As of review date, there is little online or Web support of this resource. A PDF fact sheet is available at http://intergenerational.cas.psu.edu/Docs/FRIDGEPostcard.pdf (PDF|77KB), however it would be helpful for educators who are not familiar with the curriculum if additional background information, summaries or sample pages of the materials were available online.
This curriculum does a great job including every group that makes up a family unit; children, parents and grandparents. It allows for discussion of otherwise un-talked about topics, such as food preferences and differences in generations and really puts these topics at the forefront of discussion. It is unique in the fact that all levels of a family dynamic are included.
Note: While the MyPyramid dietary guidance incorporated into this curriculum has not been updated to reflect MyPlate, the overall resource is still very useful. Educators can easily update information or references to MyPyramid.gov to MyPlate if necessary.