Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.*
The Healthy for Life (HFL) Community Nutrition Program is direct education designed to change relationships with food and nutrition by inspiring individuals and families to make healthy food choices part of their everyday lives. It was designed from the community engagement model, emphasizing participants’ contribution in refining the program. Also, community fit was ensured through the consideration of existing programs along with the target population and facilitator capabilities. Program material was designed to be culturally relevant and facilitators should connect and establish a reciprocal sense of trust and respect among participants. The materials are flexible and can accommodate individuals with time constraints, limited budgets, and minimal nutrition knowledge. The program aims to improve participant confidence and attitudes to sustain healthy behavior change. The recommendation is to offer at least four educational experiences, over 2-3 months to equips individuals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to discover, choose, and prepare healthy food. Through facilitated food discovery experiences, participants will build food literacy to improve their health.
Healthy for Life targets communities with the greatest need in a variety of settings. To date, the program has been implemented by more than 70 community-based organizations. The program aims to empower communities by providing community-based organizations with impactful, science-based educational experiences to ultimately equip individuals with the skills and confidence to shop and prepare healthy home cooked meals. Participants in the program during the initial year (2016) were predominately female, Hispanic or African American, lower income, younger than 34 years old, had high school or lower educational attainment, and had two or more children living in their household.
The Healthy for Life evaluation tools include a pre/post survey to assess changes in participant confidence to prepare healthy foods at home, frequency of healthy shopping behaviors, and consumption of fruits and vegetables. The Healthy for Life evaluation survey should be administered at the beginning of the first educational experience and then again at the end of final experience or every three months following the first educational experience.
Materials available at no cost. However, tools need to be requested and reviewed for potential use by American Heart Association’s Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
*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.