It’s My Choice…Eat Right! Be Active (IMC)–Evidence Based Summary
Summary of Evaluation Methods It’s My Choice…Eat Right! Be Active (IMC) has 5 lessons: 1) MyPlate and Exercise for Health!, 2) Fruits and Vegetables Every Day!, 3) Whole Grains Every Day!, 4) Vary the Protein!, and 5) Choosing Healthy Beverages! Each lesson has a featured book, interactive activity that builds on the book reading, classroom enhancements, a tasting activity, a family flyer, and a recipe. IMC was originally tested and refined with expert and practitioner input, as well as pilot tested in several “real world” program settings. As the curriculum was adopted by UC CalFresh and EFNEP county programs across the state, additional outcome evaluation data became available. This summary includes outcome evaluation data from UC CalFresh’s retrospective Teacher Observation Tool (TOT) collected during FFY 2015 (October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015).1 The TOT captures teachers’ assessment of changes in their students’ behavior (5 items) and their own behaviors and practices (5 items) related to healthy food choices, trying new foods, dairy foods, fruits and vegetables, physical activity, and hand washing.2
Teacher evaluation data come from the 58 teachers who completed the retrospective TOT survey. In total, 1,388 students from Kindergarten to third grade were observed across eight counties (Fresno, Imperial, Kings, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity).
IMC is a nutrition curriculum through which students examine the key nutrients from the MyPlate five food groups and learn how to make healthy choices. It was designed for use with third grade-aged students in the school setting. The IMC classroom lessons are available in English with take-home family materials available in both English and Spanish.
Summary of Evaluation Results
TOT results indicated that the majority of teachers who delivered IMC reported agreeing or strongly agreeing that compared to the beginning of the school year more students: can identify healthy food choices (98%), are willing to try new foods offered at school (95%), bring fruit and/or veggies as a snack (66%), choose fruits/veggies in the cafeteria or at class parties (71%), and wash hands before handling food (78%). In addition, over two-thirds of teachers also perceived changes in their own behaviors and practices (i.e. offer healthy food choices, remind families to bring healthy snacks, encourage students to eat breakfast/be physically active, and make healthier personal food choices) when reflecting back to the beginning of the school year. In addition, UC CalFresh analyzed pre/post 3rd to 5th Grade Nutrition Education Survey data collected by EFNEP from students participating in the IMC curriculum. Although improvements were observed from pre to post in the percent of students reporting health behaviors (eating, physical activity, and hand washing), these changes were not statistically significant.
1. Keihner, A. & Egelski, E. A Summary of the Evidence-Base for Five UC ANR Curricula Commonly Used by UC CalFresh: (1) Go, Glow, Grow, (2) Happy Healthy Me, (3) My Amazing Body, (4) Good for Me and You, and (5) It’s My Choice. Available online at: http://uccalfresh.org/curriculum/uc-calfresh-curriculum/sharon-junge-curricula-evidence-report-final-8-23.pdf
2. Kaiser, L., Schneider, C., Neelon, M., Ganthavorn, C., Roche, B., Mendoza, C., & Matthiessen, T. (2013). Evaluation of Nutrition Outcomes in Youth: Challenges and Opportunities. In Trejos-Casillo, E. (Ed.), Youth: Practices, Perspectives and Challenges (pp. 3-15). New York: Nova Science Publishers.