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Eat Smart to Play Hard with an apple and the yellow toolkit strategy banner
Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.* Eat Smart to Play Hard (ESPH) is a six-week social marketing campaign in which the community collaborates to engage students, parents, teachers, school staff, and other stakeholders in a common goal to “Eat Smart” in order to “Play Hard.” This obesity prevention campaign specifically focuses on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among 8-11 year-olds in both rural and urban schools. During the campaign, students receive an activity booklet “Fun Book” that guides them through healthy eating and physical activities at home with their families. They return their Fun Book to school each week to receive a stamp from their teacher for every completed activity in order to earn incentives and a medal. ESPH coordinators hang promotional materials throughout the school and community to support the desired behavior. At the end of the six weeks, the campaign culminates in a fun day event where students and teachers celebrate their success while enjoying healthy eating and fun physical activity.
University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center
Funding Source
USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant
Free Material
Cost ($)
SNAP-Ed Toolkit Classification
  • Evaluated
Evaluation Information
In 2014-2015 using a matched control design, the prevention research center’s evaluation team conducted baseline and follow-up surveys with three study groups consisting of three schools that received ESPH, a comparison group that included three schools receiving another SNAP-Ed program, and a control group comprised of three schools without SNAP-Ed programming . From baseline to follow-up, the mean number of servings of fruits and vegetables increased by 0.77 (p<.05) in the intervention group, 0.43 in the comparison group, and 0.42 in the control group. Among children who participated in ESPH, those who completed more than 75% of the passport consumed 2.3 more servings per day of fruits and vegetables compared to those who completed less of the passport. In 2016-17, a pre-post survey was distributed to 11 schools located in four counties across New Mexico. Survey results showed that among ESPH participants, the daily amount of fruits and vegetables eaten significantly increased from baseline to follow-up with a combined consumption of fruit and vegetables of more than one-half serving per day.
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