Husky Nutrition On-the-Go Sugary Drink Curriculum from UConn Health
Husky Nutrition On-the-Go (Sugary Drink Reduction) is a direct education program for the parents of preschool children. Husky Nutrition works in conjunction with in conjunction with three other programs (Husky Reads, Little City Sprouts, and technical assistance for policy change) to form our coordinated education and environmental changes efforts for early childcare education centers. For the PSE efforts, a critical component of the program is its high level of dosage (reaching up to half of the target population in a year). Husky Nutrition was first incorporated into the program in 2008 with funding from USDA/NIFA/NRI that allowed for the development and evaluation of a curriculum to reduce sugary drink consumption and purchase in conjunction with an upper division service-learning course to support the program. In week cycles, educators set up display boards and greet parents when they pick up their children at targeted early childcare centers. Previous research extensively tested the content and sequence of the messaging on sugary drinks. Parent encounters include an activity for parents to apply knowledge and skill learned during the lesson, the repetition of a targeted message for the week, and informational handouts and gift to reinforce that message. Each team of two students, wearing identifying T-shirts, visits one center per week and develops relationships with parents during their multiple encounters. To assist in timely delivery, SNAP-Ed staff have the appropriate display board and supporting materials for each lesson ready for the student educators to pack into the van and provide additional training for the lesson. Previous participation in Husky Reads is a pre-requisite for enrollment in the 3-credit service learning class that supports the Husky Nutrition program. This class provides greater depth of understanding of the health inequity, food security, and the role of sugary drinks in child health.
Evidence for Husky Nutrition On-the-Go Sugary Drink Reduction
This program was originally based on the grant, "Effectiveness of an IMB-based Intervention for Reducing Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Preschool Children" which was funded under USDA/NRI 2008-55215-19071. Please find the research evidence for this program in the "Completed Projects" section of the Center for Population Health website, or click the button below:
The Sugary Drink Reduction (SDR) intervention includes a sequence of eight discrete messages on the information, motivation, or skills needed to the understand why and how to decrease sugary drinks in a child’s diet. SDR includes eight boards, designed for weekly delivery by trained undergraduates. The effectiveness of each individual board, different intervals between board presentations, or delivery by non-students has not been evaluated. Partners have used the boards for single-sessions and note high participant satisfaction. Although the board’s text is in English, the simplicity of the messages, as well as research staff capacity and student fluency in Spanish, allow for greater participation. This section includes:
- Lesson guides for each week with educator aides and scripts, lists of needed equipment and supplies, and photos of the display boards,
- Syllabus for the supporting three-credit service-learning class,
- Supporting videos (not part of the original intervention), and
- A description of the role of the SNAP-Ed manager in the program.
Husky Nutrition On-the-Go Lesson Plans
Lessons have only been tested as a series. There is an introductory class and a final summary game that can be included to make this a 10-lesson series. The following are the core lessons that have been updated since the original curriculum:
- Lesson 1 - 100% Juice Vs Juice Drink [PDF]
- Lesson 2 - How Much Real Juice? [PDF]
- Lesson 3 - No More Than 4-6 Ounces of 100% Juice [PDF]
- Lesson 4 - We Have the Same Amount of Sugar [PDF]
- Lesson 5 - How Many Servings? [PDF]
- Lesson 6 - Protect Your Child's Smile [PDF]
- Lesson 7 - What Would Your Doctor Recommend? [PDF]
- Lesson 8 - What Has More Sugar? [PDF]
Husky Nutrition Service Learning Course Syllabus (NUSC 3171)
The syllabus for the spring 2020 service learning course at UConn is below:Husky Nutrition Course here.
Sugar Sweetened Beverages Video Lessons
A series of 11 short videos were created to support the Husky Nutrition On-the-Go lessons. They can be found on the SNAP4CT YouTube page as a Sugar Sweetened Beverages playlist. The first video in the series is included below:
Husky Nutrition Program Manager
Since it is run as a service learning course at UConn, the Husky Nutrition program requires oversight by an experienced Program Manager. This individual participates in program developmental and planning, provides logistical support, assists with student recruitment and registration, and works with the evaluation team and instructors to ensure that the class aligns with the SNAP-Ed evaluation plan and framework. Find more on the "Role of the Husky Nutrition Program Manager" here [PDF].
For more on Husky Nutrition projects, please visit the UConn Health's Center for Population Health website.
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