247822 University/Media partnership aims to improve fruit and vegetable consumption in low-income families via culturally appropriate and tailored interactive nutrition education workshops held at Head Start and School Readiness preschool sites in Connecticut

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 5:30 PM

Tina Fox Dugdale, MS RD RN CD-N , College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Department of Allied Health Sciences, The University of Connecticut, Mansfield, CT
Heather Harrington, MS RD CD-N , College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Valerie Duffy, PhD RD , College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Fruit and vegetable (f/v) intake for income-challenged adults and children does not meet the current MyPyramid recommendations. The USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) aims to improve dietary quality, balance energy intakes with expenditures, and improve food resource management through nutrition education to those of economic disadvantage. We report on a 5-year partnership between CT SNAP-Ed, Registered Dietitians from the University of Connecticut, and a Radio Disney media team to deliver interactive nutrition education workshops to parents of preschool children enrolled in state and federally funded childcare programs. The goal of programming was to increase knowledge about local f/v and to motivate behavior change to increase the purchase, preparation and consumption of f/v by culturally diverse families shopping in local grocery stores in Connecticut. Needs' assessments with directors at selected sites fueled the science-based, hour-long script delivered as “entertainment education” by a trained bi-lingual media representative. The family-oriented workshops were peppered with bursts of physical activity to music with f/v themes. All participants received workshop materials in English and Spanish including recipes for the food preparation techniques and unit pricing discussed in the workshop. Outcomes include teachers' and administrators' reports that the workshops complemented the school-based initiatives to improve dietary and physical activity behaviors of families enrolled in their programs. Parents described the value of quality family time at an educational school-based event and reported that time in the kitchen increased after the workshop. All stakeholders found merit in reaching low-income families in this innovative multi-layered way.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1.List at least 4 benefits from community/university partnerships that enhance the delivery of quality culturally-appropriate nutrition education to diverse groups 2. Recall at least 3 ways that a nutrition education workshop delivered at a preschool site can reinforce school based efforts to teach healthy behaviors to parents and families

Keywords: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Interactive Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present the content of this abstract as I have developed this program from the ground up. I was fortunate to be able to establish a rich community partnership with a media outlet so as to enlist their assistance delivering nutrition information in this creative way, meeting the needs of the often-times young, low-literacy, income challenged parents.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.