Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit*.
The ReFresh curriculum is a direct education intervention designed to encourage students to consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat or fat free dairy products and to be more physically active. Composed of a series of eight nutrition education units, ReFresh is designed for implementation in fourth and fifth grade classrooms throughout the school year from October through May. Lessons align with Common Core courses such as math and language arts and offer opportunities for taste testing, discussion, and reflection. Throughout the ReFresh curriculum, the following behaviorally-focused messages are emphasized:
- Make half your plates fruits and vegetables
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Increase physical activity
- Maintain calorie balance
The ReFresh curriculum was developed, piloted, and evaluated through a Team Nutrition grant to the Maryland State Department of Education in partnership with Maryland SNAP-Ed. The intervention was research-tested during the initial grant period. Results demonstrated positive associations between program participation and individual-level nutrition-related indicators (taste preference, consumption, self-efficacy, trying new foods). Impacts were demonstrated across varying intervention conditions as well (i.e., no intervention (control); cafeteria improvements only; cafeteria improvements and ReFresh nutrition education) with the greatest changes occurring within the schools that implemented multilevel approaches.
* 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.