Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.*
Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness (CHFFF) is a direct education curriculum for third to eighth graders that uses experiential learning to teach healthy eating and active play. Designed for use by paraprofessional and professional educators in a variety of settings, the goal is to improve the following research-based behaviors for preventing obesity and chronic disease: eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; consuming fewer sweetened beverages and high-fat, high-sugar foods; and increasing active play. The curriculum is available in both print and virtual versions.
CHFFF targets elementary and middle-school aged children in schools and other sites including after-school and summer programs. CHFFF was developed collaboratively with SNAP-Ed and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) professionals, and in 2010, nine SNAP-ED/EFNEP counties in New York piloted the intervention. The original curriculum was completed in 2011, a major update was done in 2015, and a new virtual version was created in 2020. Currently, CHFFF is used in all 50 states and three territories, primarily in SNAP-Ed, EFNEP and/or 4H programs.
In 2015, CHFFF was evaluated using a quasi-experimental (delayed intervention control group) study in NY EFNEP. After receiving CHFFF, youth significantly improved their dietary scores including overall quality (p<.001), vegetable intake (p<.001), fruit intake (p<.01), soda/fast food intake (p<.05), and intent to consume soda/fast food (p<.001). Youth also increased the frequency with which they read Nutrition Facts labels (p<.001) and shared about healthy eating with their family (p<.001), and were more likely to have tried a new food (p<.001) (Wolfe and Dollahite, 2021).
Additionally, CHFFF conducted a community-based evaluation between 2013 and 2015 in which paired t-tests showed significant (p<.01) positive changes before to after CHFFF education for consumption of vegetables, fruits, sweetened drinks, nutrition label reading, and other food and activity behaviors. These results can be found here.
The full curriculum and teaching kit can be purchased for $115.95. This includes all printed items (spiral bound lessons, 16 laminated posters, numerous visuals including 56 food package labels & 28 fast food cards, 7 2-page family newsletters, 2 worksheets, 32 game instruction cards, & recipes). This is optional as all files can be downloaded for free as well, although printing the 29 files/318 pages in color, some onto cardstock and/or laminated, some poster size, etc., is complex and time-consuming.
*SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States is a compilation of interventions. The toolkit was developed by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, The Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT), and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the USDA. It is designed and updated to help state SNAP-Ed administrative and implementing agencies identify evidence-based obesity prevention programs and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies and interventions to include in their SNAP-Ed plans.