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Culture of Wellness in Preschools with Toolkit Strategy logo

Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.*

The Culture of Wellness in Preschools (COWP), Parent Wellness Workshop Series (PWW) is a direct education intervention designed to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, increase moderate to vigorous physical activity, and reduce sedentary behaviors among preschool parents and their children. The COWP PWW’s 6-week series begins with an assessment of 7 obesity risk factors. Parents receive a Family Wellness Summary to increase parents’ awareness of their, and their preschool children’s, current eating and physical activity behaviors and areas which could be improved. COWP PWW facilitators use motivational interviewing counseling techniques to discuss the Family Wellness Summary results and set goals around healthy eating and physical activity for each course participant. The remaining 5 workshops educate parents on various nutrition and physical activity topics with techniques to improve their and their family’s health behaviors. Parents then receive a post-Family Wellness Summary with a counseling session at the end of the series to understand where improvements in healthy eating and physical activity were made.

Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center-Colorado SPH-University of Colorado Anschutz
Funding Source
Free Material
Cost ($)
SNAP-Ed Toolkit Classification
Evaluation Information

In 2011, to develop the program, the COWP creators conducted focus groups with preschool directors and teachers to better understand the current wellness initiatives going on at the preschool sites, what were barriers and facilitators to eating healthy and being physically active, and what types of health-promoting activities preschool staff, children and families desired. Additionally, the COWP team conducted focus groups in English and Spanish with Head Start parents from six Denver Metro delegate agencies.

As part of the process evaluation for the COWP PWW, facilitators complete a survey following every workshop. Data are reviewed regularly to improve the COWP PWW series.

Outcome evaluation data are assessed using pre- and post-survey data (all results are statistically significant from pre- to post-, p<.001):

  • Adults increased fruit and vegetable consumption by 45%
  • Children increased fruit and vegetable consumption by 55%
  • Adults decreased sugar-sweetened beverages by 46%,
  • Children decreased sugar-sweetened beverages by 44%
  • Children increased number of active days per week by 50%
  • When the 9 obesity risk questions for parents and children are summed to create an overall obesity risk score at pre- and post-intervention, there was a statistically significant decrease in the risk score for both parents (adults) and children
Evaluation Framework Indicators
SNAP-Ed Connection Comments

*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.

Review date
Reviewer Initials