The poster outlines research on the health education implications of targeted
nutrition lesson plans at Head Start programs in South Central Minnesota.
The Head Start program in Mankato and University of Minnesota Extension collaborated to deliver and evaluate a nutrition education program directed
to preschool children and their families. The goal was to improve the healthy
eating patterns/preferences, physical activity and knowledge of health promoting
behaviors among participants. The evaluation was conducted to determine
whether the added nutrition components enhanced children’s healthy eating
habits. The health and nutrition program ‘Lessons in a Box’ included several
educational components. The main component was the Head Start children
receiving nine interactive lessons related to health and nutrition; these lessons
were delivered once a month. The lessons were led by Community Nutrition
Educators (CNE’s). The topics of each lesson included: Germs and Handwashing;
MyPyramid; Keeping Foods Safe; Fruits and Vegetables; Protein; Dairy;
Grains; Physical Activity; and Eating Healthy Snacks. These topics were
selected in consultation with the Head Start Nutrition Advisor. Each lesson
lasted 20 minutes. The second component involved determining potential areas
of concern based on the pre-assessment and prescribing relevant beneficial
pamphlets of didactic information to the parents. While the target population
was preschoolers, parents completed the pre-post assessments on behalf of
The results show significant shifts towards better eating and healthier BMI
percentiles. The results suggest that the “Lessons in a Box” are especially
beneficial for Head Start youth who may not already be in the healthy category.
Kunkel, Kelly; Hurtado, G. Ali; Conrad, Stephanie.
Lessons in a box make a difference for head start youth.
St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.