|Pilot Testing: ||A pre- and post- survey was developed to measure behavior change, rather than knowledge alone. Making a behavior change is valuable in contributing to developing habits that will help students with lifelong healthy patterns.
The survey was developed for 4th grade students. The survey was piloted in the spring of 2008 with several classrooms. Two to three students in each class were interviewed to check question comprehension. Students affirmed their comprehension. No changes were made in the survey. IRB approval was obtained in the fall of 2008 from Oregon State University IRB. The survey was administered in 32 classrooms in the fall of 2008. There were 387 respondents.
Results and Interpretation/Discussion.
This curriculum approaches behavior change in a fun, interactive format. New behaviors are practiced and repeated in the classroom format with positive reinforcement that is auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Some students already had positive behaviors that are measured in this survey at the desired behavior level.
To affect behavior change with this curriculum, we deliver six weekly lessons and invite the teachers to also support the messages that are important to Enjoying Our Healthy Harvest with additional activities that we provide to the teachers each week. Through this combined effort, 80.1% of all the survey respondents improved at least one behavior.
By offering a variety of skills to learn about and practice, students were able to adopt and improve at least one behavior that gave them current value. Repeated exposure to knowledge and comprehension discussion and activities regarding nutrition basics supported the skills demonstrated and practiced at each lesson. Combining the basic concepts of the lesson with academic focused activities also helped support core content learning. Perhaps learning about where a vegetable grows, what a carrot looks like when it comes out of the ground – with the greens intact – or creating a story or creating an advertising jingle for carrot consumption combine to enhance learning and influence behavior change for the selection and safe preparation of a tasty fruit or vegetable.
For full survey questions and results, email Glenda Hyde at email@example.com.
|Reviewers Comments: ||Enjoying our Healthy Harvest is a complete nutrition education curriculum that covers the proper selection, cleaning, handling and safe preparation of fresh produce from the farm or the market to the table. The curriculum was designed for low income youth in a classroom setting, but incorporates general principles that could benefit older teens or adults.
Except for the first lesson which reviews hand washing, all of the lessons focus on a particular fruit or vegetable. Each lesson includes several components including hands-on, visual and auditory pieces. Lessons include a tasting component, however some lessons are not clear about how to set up the tasting or do not include recipe directions. All lessons include a general outline for the facilitator, discussion questions, about 2-3 activities, a list of materials needed, parent handouts and links to support materials for additional background information. Additional materials are required for some of the lessons, including a germ-glo kit with a black light and special lotion for the hand washing lesson.
The curriculum is prepared at a fourth grade level, but could be modified to be used with other grade levels. Some of the activities, such as the one on correct cutting and knife safety, seem to have a higher reading level and may be more appropriate for older students. The curriculum incorporates social studies, writing, math, geography and science skills. Lessons are organized as a weekly curriculum with ten sessions, each about 30 minutes in length. Lessons are not cumulative, and can be combined or reorganized to fit a facilitator’s needs, however, at least six sessions are recommended for maximum impact. Facilitators will need to do some groundwork before the lesson in preparation for the lesson. Many of the lessons require the facilitator to do some food prep before the lesson begins. It is necessary for the facilitator to have a background in food preparation and/or nutrition as many of lessons include gaps or questions without answers which the facilitators will need to provide.
During each of the lessons, students learn about the selection, preparation, and taste of nine different fruits and vegetables (apples, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, corn, pears, raspberries, pumpkins and watermelons), along with important food safety skills. Facilitators are also provided a sample teaching record to track the number of hours spent on each lesson and specific messages, and activities completed in the classroom. Teacher evaluations are provided for classroom teachers to evaluate the facilitators. Pre- and post-tests are also included for the facilitator to track the student’s progress. These evaluations were used in the pilot study in fall 2008. The results are available online.
Lesson plans for each of the specific fruits, vegetables and hand washing, as well as support materials and introductory curriculum pages are accessible online. All online files are available in PDF format. Files can be personalized to include your agency and school name, however the facilitator would have to contact the curriculum publisher (see below) for the word file. Handouts, some background material and parent handouts are not available online. Because of this, assistance from the publisher may be needed on obtaining the additional needed to teach the curriculum.
Enjoying our Healthy Harvest is based on the principles from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and MyPyramid. Resources from MyPyramid and the Fruits & Veggies More Matters® initiative are used.