Florida Success Stories

Youth Understanding MyPlate Youth Understanding MyPlate

This article was written and submitted by Youth Understanding MyPlate.

Youth Understanding MyPlate (YUM) is a six lesson curriculum designed to teach children the messages of MyPlate through experiential activities that encourage healthy eating choices. Each lesson contains learning and physical activities, worksheets, a recommended children’s book, and a healthy snack that reflects the content of the lessons. These lessons are designed to be taught in a classroom and incorporate applicable Florida Standards.

Type of Program
School-based Nutrition Education

Years of Program Implementation
2012-2014

Number of Participants
Over 3,500 youth in grades 1-2 have completed all six YUM lessons and the pre/post evaluation in the past two academic years.

Target Audience
First and second graders

Program Evaluation
Knowledge of first and second graders was evaluated as an outcome upon completion of the YUM curriculum. The curriculum was implemented as six 30-minute lessons over a minimum of six weeks (one lesson per week). The same multiple-choice, 12-item survey was used at pre-test and post-test to assess nutrition knowledge related to MyPlate, foods with key nutrients, and the benefit of nutrient-rich foods/nutrients. Example items were “How many sections should be on your plate?” and “Which food has lots of calcium?”

Each adult participant completes a retrospective survey after each lesson. The data collected in this survey measures participants' intention to change their nutrition-related behaviors based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Nearly 5,000 adults completed this survey in 2014.

Evaluation data indicate the following:

For FY14, there was an 11% improvement in scores from pre-test to post-test for both first and second graders. For youth in first grade, post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores (7.0±1.4 versus 5.6±1.9, p=.041). Similarly, youth in second grade had higher post-test versus pre-test scores (8.5±2.4 versus 6.7±1.9, p<.001). A total of 68% of students increased knowledge.

For FY13, there was a 17% and 21% improvement in scores from pre-test to post-test for first and second graders, respectively. For youth in first grade, post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores (8.0±2.3 versus 6.1±1.8, p<.001). Similarly, youth in second grade had higher post-test versus pre-test scores (8.1±2.1 versus 5.6±1.6, p=.001).

For further information please contact Karla P. Shelnutt, PhD, RD. All logos are used with permission.