Core Nutrition Messages Series: Part 2
Hi everybody. My name is Joyce Patterson.
I’m a nutrition consultant with HGM Management and Technology and it is my pleasure to welcome
you today to the second session of this webinar series. Today we’re going to be talking about
using consumer-tested nutrition messages to design motivational resources for your target
audience. Before we proceed, I would just like to recap some of the highlights from
the first session of the series. And if you were unable to attend that first session,
you can view the recorded videos at www.nutrition.gov and a lot of the information that we present
today does build upon the information that we presented in the first session. So we do
encourage you to view that video when you get a chance.
Okay so just to recap from last time, the USDA Food and Nutrition Services and their
partners, there are several partners listed here on the screen, along with a work group
that consisted of nutrition educators and nutritionists and communication specialists,
they worked together with the objective of developing nutrition messages and supporting
content specifically for moms and kids who participate in nutrition assistance programs.
And the purpose of these messages is to communicate the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate
in ways that are easy to understand and relevant and motivating for this specific audience.
It was a very collaborative process where the partners and workgroup met periodically
to provide input throughout the development process. And it was a very highly audience
focused approach as well where we had conducted several rounds of focus groups around the
country, not only so we could get to know our audience better, but also to test the
concepts and the content that we were developing to make sure that these materials truly are
resonating for this specific audience. So some of the key findings from our research
was that, for moms, fruits and veggies are still top of mind when it comes to healthy
eating, but we also found that many still serve 2% or whole milk to their families as
many of them, one of the reasons being that many of them perceive low fat or skim milk
to be diluted and watered down and perhaps may not provide the same nutrients that whole
milk provides. We also learned that there continues to be a lot of confusion about whole
grains as far as how to identify whole grains, which foods are whole grain, and what the
health benefits of whole grains actually are. And among the preschool moms, many are still
not comfortable with the idea of letting their children choose which foods to eat or how
much to eat or whether or not to eat. And as we know from the literature that giving
children more responsibility in the decision-making process and eating can help them to develop
good eating habits. And finally, from our focus groups, all of the moms had reported
regular access and use of computers and internet as well as many of them did have cell phones
with internet access. So the final product included 29 messages
that focus on child feeding, whole grains, milk, and fruits and vegetables. And there
are some messages specifically for mothers of preschoolers, some specifically for mothers
of elementary school kids, and some of the messages are appropriate for both groups.
And there are also messages for kids ages 8 to 10. And in addition to the messages,
there are about 35 pages of tips, advice, recipes, guidance, and tested photos to help
support these messages. We also developed ready-to-use online communication tools and
later in the session we’re going to be looking at one of those in more depth. And also for
kids, there is a video game and activity sheets available and for you there is also an Implementation
Guide available to help guide you in incorporating these resources into your educational programming.
So yes there a lot of resources available and these can be applied in a variety of ways
from online and social media to traditional print to counseling and group education, and
later during the session we’re going to hear from our speakers who will share examples
of how they’ve used these materials in their work. And we are looking forward to hearing
from them. And so by the end of this webinar, we hope
that you’ll have a better understanding of the benefits of using these consumer-tested
resources, as well as the key steps involved in developing a nutrition education tool.
And you’ll also see how others have used these resources and so we hope that will help provide
inspiration for you as you plan development of your next education tool. For some of you,
you’ll be earning some additional CPE credits by developing a new tool or refining an existing
tool that you have and incorporating the core messages. And you’ll be submitting that to
us for feedback from us to help you finalize that tool.
So we have an experienced group of speakers today, all of whom have had hands-on experience
in using these resources and in working with this audience. Our first speaker today will
be Judy Wilson, Senior Nutrition Advisor at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service; followed
by Alicia White, Senior Nutritionist in Child Nutrition at FNS; and Doctor Glenda Canaca
from the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center; and Danielle Quigley, of
the SNAP-Ed Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Program in New York. So now I will hand it
over to Judy who will talk to us about using these resources in creating inspiring nutrition
education tools. Again, thanks Joyce for that excellent overview of what was covered last September. As many of you know, we had to reschedule this webinar
from October to January, so I thank all of you who have come back and we also welcome
those of you who are attending for the first time.
You know this is a very exciting time, I think, for nutrition educators. The advances in science
and technology and the wide access to the internet provide opportunities for us to reach
our audiences in multiple ways and through many different types of channels and venues.
The lower cost of computers and color printers and even color ink and other devices that
are connecting people around the world makes it possible for us to customize our tools
and to increase the personal relevance and this is even more feasible than it ever has
been in the past. Online images are accessible and affordable and more and more now there
are images that are appropriate for low-income groups, making it even easier for all of us
to create simple but effective tools and to tailor them to our audiences.
As Joyce said earlier, many low-income households have access to the internet and this gap will
continue to decrease. Many use it for health information. For example, the Pew Foundation
estimates that 25% of internet-users have watched an online video about health or medical
issues. And I know that many of you have as well because I recently did so myself.
Among low-income groups, they are spending even more time on social media than higher-income
groups. 87.5 minutes versus 39.8 minutes. That’s a lot of opportunity for all of us.
And this suggests that social media is a viable channel for reaching audiences. But mothers
still like more traditional ways of getting their information out. So a communication
approach that uses a variety of methods and channels has a better chance of getting to
our people not one time, but multiple times, and for being more effective because of that.
Now if you’re planning a broad-based communication or social marketing campaign, the NIH, NCI
I mean, and that’s the National Cancer Institute’s guidebook, which is commonly known as the
Pink Book, and it has been around for many years and undergone several revisions, is
an excellent resource. As shown on this slide, it uses a cycle that can be very useful when
developing materials, as well as for planning larger interventions. But you may not need
to use all of them. The Pink Book also provides information and
guidance about theories and models. Theories and models can help you to determine whether
a specific idea will work. And many of you are already familiar with using the Stages
of Change model shown here and others as well. But I wanted to also show you this chart,
which provides three other theories that are widely used in health communications and it
also shows the levels to which they generally apply. Now Joyce alluded to this earlier,
but the approach that we use in developing the Core Messages is based on the Social Marketing
Framework. But we also used assets from other models as well. And the Pink Book says that
this is a good way of addressing many of the problems.
Whether you are creating a simple brochure, a webpage, or an interactive tool, the steps
shown here can help you to create a more effective tool. The main advantage of using the Core
Messages is that some of the work has already been done, as indicated by this checklist.
Now you will still need to do additional work, such as segment your audience further to gather
information that may be unique to them, and to define your behavior goal. But a lot of
the heavy lifting has already been done. So let’s take a quick look at how to use these
different steps. The messages we’re discussing today were designed
for low-income moms with children 2 to 10 years of age that are eligible for or are
participating in one or more of the food assistance programs. The women in our research were English-speaking,
white, black, and Hispanic moms who were very acculturated to the American diet and society.
Most of them had two or more kids, had a high school education or higher, were married,
and about half of them were married or divorced and working either full time or part time.
If you plan to use the messages with an audience that is different in a major way from these
moms, you will need to do more extensive research and testing to ensure that the strategies
are appropriate and that the wording is clear, appealing, and inspiring to them.
Now the messages focus on four behaviors. If your goals align with these, the Core Messages
are appropriate for you. The child feeding messages for moms of preschoolers focus on
healthy eating practices, such as mothers eat and prepare food with their 2 to 5 year
old kids more often; they serve as good role models for healthy eating; they allow their
2 to 5 year olds to make food choices about how much, whether, and when they’re full,
etc. Now the messages regarding fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and milk are for
both groups. And as shown on this slide, we have 24 messages
that are specifically for moms. Fifteen are for moms of preschoolers only. Six are for
moms of elementary school only and three worked well with both groups. Now some of those fifteen
might work with older mothers, but if you want to do that you would need to do more
extensive testing. So before we get started, before you get started, review all of the
messages and become familiar with them, it’s very important.
The messages are organized by topic and type. They align with and support the Dietary Guidelines
for Americans and MyPlate. So after you look at them, select one or two messages that align
best with the behavior you want to achieve. Get input from a few of your clients and maybe
even your partners or your colleagues to ascertain which one of those do the best job of getting
the key points across and would be motivating to the mothers to take action. If you plan
to use photos, include them to ensure that there’s nothing offensive and that the photos
exemplify the desired behaviors. When deciding on format and channels, consider
using a variety of approaches since no one tool or channel will work for everyone. And
select the format that works best for most of your audience as your primary resources
and then add others that will play a supporting role depending on your funding and as you
get more of it. In terms of channels you should think about how your audience will find and
receive and experience the materials. Now most of you that are participating in the
offline component indicated that you are developing a brochure or other printed materials. But
keep in mind that there are a lot of quick and easy ways you can use the messages too
to reinforce your overall efforts. For example, the short ones can be used in Twitter messages,
for example. And you can insert them as well into your recipe sheets or books if you are
developing them to inspire mothers to try the recipes.
Once you’ve decided on your audience, the behavior objective, the message, and the format
and channels, you’re ready to develop the content and draft your tool. Now we have the
35 pages of supporting content, and they include mom-to-mom stories, bulleted tips, ideas,
Q and A’s, interactive sheets and more. And most of it is written at the fifth grade level
or lower for easy reading and clarity. And, you know, while we are writing for low-income
audiences, I think all audiences will appreciate the ease with which these materials are communicated
and how clear they are. So I wouldn’t be shy about using them with others.
As shown here, each page of supporting content has the message at the top that aligns more
closely with it. That said much of the content can be used across the topics. So much of
the content for this message might fit with another of the Child Feeding Messages, for
example. So review all of the content and select the part of it that works better with
your behavior goal. Identify chunks of information that you think is pertinent. You may have
to, and probably will need to, cut that down later and then organize it in a logical flow.
I also recommend that you include different types of information, i.e. tips with a narrative
or recipes, and always if you can include something to make it engaging and interactive.
The content that we have here provides the benefit of the what, the why, the how, and
even some inspiration. By combining a message with selected parts
of the supporting content you can quickly create articles for newsletters, for moms,
for schools and community groups. This one took about an hour and a half for me to do
including selecting the format that I like from Word and finding the content and message
that I wanted. Then I spent another half hour sort of playing around with where to put things. All of the information that is here came from the content on the previous
page that I showed you. The two sentences that are in yellow here are the only content
that I added, but the content in this area I did reorganize it for better flow and I
took this content from another message, “Feeding Kids Independence at Mealtime” to introduce
the section. The interactive component is that they decide what they’re going to do.
Just one quick additional example is this Fact Sheet, but I won’t spend much time on
it. I want you to see it for the white space and for, again, the key message at the top.
The final point that I want to quickly talk about is the importance of getting feedback
not only from moms, but also from your partners and from your colleagues that will be helping
you to disseminate and get the item where you want it to be. Get feedback from both
moms and partners and do it often and do it early. When you’re talking to moms, probe
for their understanding about the what, why, and how. Get information about what they like
more and less and whether there is anything that is offensive to them. Ask about what
advice they might give a friend from what they have read. And, when possible, test the
materials where they are going to be using it. You may test with individuals or in groups
and use either or both formal and informal methods to do so. The number of people that
you include depends on the product, but plan on 20 to 50, less if it’s short and simple,
more if it’s more complex. Now let’s look at Developing the Rollover,
a case study. You’ll see here that the first two steps are already checked off because
we had identified the audience and done our research. In the
first round of testing we got information from moms on their information-seeking practices
such as where they go to get information about health, how they like to get it, in what format,
the accessibility to the internet and to cell phones as well.
We found that all mothers had regular access to the internet and Joyce has already covered
that. And you can see in this area what are some of the key sources of information that
they looked at. So this indicated to us that the internet
was a viable channel for reaching our moms. So we tested these three concepts and from
the testing we determined that mothers really like different aspects of these tools, but
none of the tools or neither of the tools quite did the job as well as we wanted. With
the Rollover or the widget mothers like the simple format, the easy-to-use format, but
they reported that they wouldn’t click on something that looked like an ad. And they
didn’t like the fact that they would have to click in order to go to the next tip because
they feared that they would get spam or other information that they really did not want
to get. Feedback on the Rollover was generally very
good, it was non-intrusive, it didn’t require them to click because the information would
appear as they were rolling over the picture. And they like this aspect that was a scavenger
hunt type feature because they thought that was fun, but they were concerned that the
mothers wouldn’t just intuitively know to click on the picture.
So we addressed their feedback by creating a Rollover widget that combined the best of
both of those tools. When the moms roll over the pictures at the bottom that you see here,
they get a different message. Mothers wanted us to include more images of kids and, you
know, we did that. We have more cute kids and this tool also addresses the what, when,
and why. So we addressed most of the concerns, but still, before we finalized the tool, we
got additional feedback from our partners and we also got feedback from nine additional
moms to make sure that the tool was doing the job that we wanted it to.
While your messages and content are important, a great design can call the audience to your
product and I just wanted to point out a few of the design features that you might want
to keep, you know, in the back of your mind as you think about your materials that you’re
developing. For example, the placing of this very emotionally appealing photo to catch
the audience’s attention and guide the reader to this message. You got the whole grain and
it just guides them there. People read left to right and the flow of the material is left
to right. There is generous white space, it’s not crowded, we included the instructions
here, and we used the rule of three. No more than three fonts and no more than three accents
to prevent the page from looking too busy. To make the reading easier, you’ll notice
that there are no italics on the tool. So now let’s work together and do an interactive
exercise where we develop a tool. So, let’s do that.
This slide summarizes again the steps and we have the check marks there again because
we’ve already made those decisions. We’re going to do the tool for an English-speaking
mother of preschoolers. We’re using the research that was done for the Core Messages to do
this and because we need to keep it simple the format will be a bookmark and the distribution
channel will include community partners and sites such as libraries.
Many of you identified whole grains as your topic that you’re going to be developing materials
for. So the behavior is moms and kids consume the recommended amount of whole grains on
most days. So keeping this in mind, let’s look at what the objective might be, methods
might be. Now take a look at these two, the first one
is on “Whole grains make a difference” and the second one “Start them early with whole
grains.” If you prefer the first message, click on the raised hand in the upper right
hand corner of the board to show that you like that message best. Alright, so I’m seeing
some people clicking it. Fabulous! Alright, so, now looking at the second message, those
of you who like that one best go ahead and click on it too. Woah! Well it’s clear that
most of you want the message “Start them early with whole grains. So that’s the message that
we will be using. Now the bookmark is a very simple tool that
really serves to reinforce your larger educational initiative. So it should complement and reinforce
the major message and your goal. So you should consider what would work best with that message
we have selected “Start them early with whole grains.” Now look at the supporting content
here and if you think that “How to Tell If It Is a Whole Grain?” does the best job of
supporting that message, go ahead and click on the raised hand now. Alright, a lot of
you think that does a great job. Alright I’m going to clear those raised hands and I’m
going to ask that those of you that think that the second set of supporting content
“Fitting Whole Grains Into Your Preschooler’s Day” does the best job, go ahead and click
now. Oh, gee, it is very clear that the majority of you think that “Fitting Whole Grains Into
Your Preschooler’s Day” does the best job. So now let’s take a minute to just review
the product, what that would look like with that particular content. Okay, is this bookmark
ready for public use? Is it clear what the tool is about? Is it visually appealing? Does
it contain the content that provides the what, why, and how? Is it engaging? Is there an
interactive component? Is it easy to read? Does the visual reinforce the desired behavior?
If you think it does, go ahead and click. If you think it’s ready to give to people,
go ahead and click. Well a lot of people think it’s ready and
whether you think it’s ready or you don’t think it’s ready, you’re right because it
is ready, but what it’s ready for is for testing with your target audience and for getting
more input from your partners. The consumer testing and partner feedback are really critical.
The partners if you get them involved early and get their input and they feel some ownership,
they will be even more willing to help you to distribute it to the moms and some of them
might even do more. They might want to recreate it themselves or customize the tool for Spanish-speaking
audiences, for example. So that wraps up my part of the presentation, but feel free to
explore use of this tool. Remember, before you do so, test it and refine it with your
audience and your partners first. Now it’s my pleasure to turn it over to Alicia White,
who will share some of the ways they’re using the Core Nutrition Messages in Team Nutrition.
Alicia? Good afternoon everyone. I’m thrilled to have
the chance to tell you about how the FNS Core Messages are being used in Team Nutrition
resources and materials. For those of you that aren’t already aware, Team Nutrition
is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service that supports the
Child Nutrition Programs through a number of behavior-oriented strategies. One of the
ways in which are the provision of multi-faceted, integrated nutrition education for children
and their caregivers. This education is designed to build skills and motivation for children
to make healthy food and physical activity choices as part of a healthy lifestyle. So
through Team Nutrition, schools today have access to many free nutrition education materials,
including classroom lesson plans, posters, music, parent handouts, and computer games.
These nutrition education materials rely extensively on audience-tested messages to ensure that
they’re clear, relevant, and motivational. So now I’m happy to go through some of the ways
in which Team Nutrition has these audience-tested FNS Core Messages in our materials.
We have used the whole grains and milk messages and tips in our parent handouts, including
this MyPlate at Home parent handout, which accompanies the Serving Up MyPlate curriculum
for elementary schools. As you can see here, we paired the strength of the written message
with reinforcing images. So we did further focus group test this handout since we were
incorporating new images in conjunction with the FNS Core Messages.
In this Serving up MyPlate lesson for fifth and sixth grade, we’ve used the Track and
Field game, also developed under the Core Message project, to help reinforce learning.
In this lesson, which focuses on why it’s important to eat a variety of foods from all
the food groups, the Track and Field game helped reinforce this concept in a fun and
interactive way by having children answer nutrition questions as they compete in a javelin,
high jump, long jump, and dash. In addition, Team Nutrition has also extensively
used the Eat Smart to Play Hard messages in a number of ways from posters to these free
downloadable graphics that schools can incorporate on their school lunch and breakfast menus.
Team Nutrition’s Dig In! Lessons engage fifth and sixth graders in growing, harvesting,
tasting, and learning about fruits and vegetables. The FNS Core Message supporting content related
to fruits and vegetables has been incorporated into Dig In! At Home, which is a beautiful
color booklet for parents. This publication was also further focus group tested with parents
during its development since we have paired the FNS Core Messages as well as other supporting
content that matches the curriculum for what children are learning about in school.
This spring, Team Nutrition will release a popular Events Idea Booklet that provides
elementary and middle schools with ideas and supporting resources for school-wide events
that promote nutrition and physical activity. As part of this resource, Team Nutrition has
further designed and formatted the FNS Core Message Kids Activity Sheet for use as ready-to-go
handouts in conjunction with these certain events. So these are all just a few of the
many ways Team Nutrition has put the FNS Core Messages into action and I encourage you to
stop by teamnutrition.usda.gov to see our many evidence-based materials and resources.
All of our materials are downloadable for free, and free print materials are available
to schools and childcare that participate in the Federal Child Nutrition Programs, such
as the National School Lunch Program. So I thank you for your time and look forward to
receiving your questions. I am now going to turn the presentation over to Glenda.
So, the New Mexico SNAP-Ed social marketing project started a few years ago when the state
agency wanted to use the FNS Core Nutrition Messages to be consistent among programs and
implemented agencies. Because of the big Spanish-speaking population in New Mexico, materials needed
to be in Spanish. So knowing all the work that had gone into developing the messages
and all the research and also following the Guidance for Maximizing the Message, they
decided that a simple translation of the materials wouldn’t suffice, but that some research needed
to be done. So that is how the partnership between SNAP-Ed New Mexico and the University
Of New Mexico Prevention Research Center started. During the first semester of 2013, New Mexico
piloted the first social marketing campaign on fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy
using the FNS Core Nutrition Messages. The target audiences were low-income, Spanish-speaking
mothers of pre-school age children, mothers of school-age children, and mothers of children
age eight to ten. The venues chosen were the Head Start, the Elementary School, and the
grocery store in the community. So we developed banners, posters, and videos with the messages.
This was phase three of the project, the result of a couple of years working really hard and
learning from our experts, the audience. It was hard work and challenging and what helped
us so much is that we were following very closely the work done by FNS. We were applying
the work to a very specific audience but following a general framework. So the team went through
the steps that Judy described. In phase one, we conducted focus groups to get to know the
audience, we exposed participants to the core concepts and explored delivery methods. On
phase two, participants were presented with the Core Messages and supporting content in
Spanish and got the opportunity to give their feedback about the use of specific words in
Spanish and if the messages resonated to them. And again they got the opportunity to design
a campaign that would work for them. In phase three, we developed the materials, pretest
them, and then implemented the campaign. The big two topics that we wanted to concentrate
first were fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy. We already had the feedback from the
focus groups that they liked videos as one way to deliver messages, so we embarked in
creating a video in Spanish similar to the FNS video on milk, and one brand new on fruits
and vegetables. Anyone that has developed a video knows how
hard it is. So we had to find the actual person that was going to connect with mothers, the
right location, images, so many details. But the important piece was already there. We
used the messages and supporting content that FNS had already tested and that we had tested
during Phases one and two with our audience. We didn’t have to create anything. All the
stories from moms were there, reflecting their barriers, there were practical tips, and what
we already knew from our testing, it had the motivation.
These are some of the shots of the video. It follows as much as possible the style of
other FNS videos. A mother talking, telling her story, her experience. We added the 2
messages that were chosen by the audience and gave concrete examples of the desired behavior.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of pretesting with the intended audience as
Judy already mentioned. Since we were piloting the campaigns and studying
the feasibility to implement as part of other nutrition programs, we had reinforcement activities
with the three intended audiences. As part of our Family Events at the elementary school,
mothers would look at the video in their own language, and as a group discuss them. In
those groups they were asked to write down their thoughts about the video. In this slide
you can see some of their responses. They loved the tip about dipping apple in pineapple
juice! We already knew that from the formative research focus groups, they told us that.
So in the final video we showed the whole process of dipping apples into pineapple juice.
When we pretested the video and also during the implementation of the campaign, moms told
us they liked it very much. As part of our process evaluation we gave participants an
evaluation form and asked them to tell us what they learned. If the activities had convinced
them about making changes, and what were those changes.
Many of our programs are working towards the same goals; increasing fruits and vegetables,
low-fat dairy, whole grains. The goal of our project is to use the same messages across
the programs to be consistent, to maximize our messages. We are developing a tool kit
to make it accessible to anybody. There will be a user friendly website that people can
access and get the posters, add their logo and contact information and send it to the
printer to create posters banners, billboards. A consistent campaign across the country already
tested, ready to go. Now Danielle will tell us about New York’s Just Say Yes to Fruits
and Vegetables project. Danielle? Thank you and good afternoon everyone. I’m
thrilled to share some of the work that New York State has done to promote and utilize
the FNS Messages through online uses. First, I’ll start by sharing a little history about
the Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables program, also referred to as JSY. JSY provides
nutrition education programs to low income, SNAP-eligible families with the intent of
increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, preventing overweight and obesity, and reducing
the risk of chronic disease. JSY provides direct nutrition education through classes
held at food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and farmers markets, and also in direct nutrition
education through its website. At the time that phase one FNS Messages were
released, the JSY program was undergoing a major renovation with their website and curriculum.
At the program, we really wanted to do more to empower families to eat healthier. And
additionally, our State Health Department was working to create unified messaging among
all nutrition and food assistance programs like the Child and Adult Care Food Program,
WIC, and the Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program. And we found that the FNS Messages
were directly applicable to our work in terms of obesity prevention, working toward increasing
fruit and vegetable consumption, and encouraging healthier child feeding practices. So for
JSY, we identified three key areas to promote the messages. First, sprinkled throughout
our website, and I’ll show you some of those graphics on the next slide, through podcast
messages on the website, and also used as part of our curriculum. So at this time, I’d
like to play a short, one minute podcast message for you and this one promotes good role modeling.
“If you’re like me, you want to set your kids up for a healthy future. I realized if I wanted
to teach my kids to eat more fruits and veggies, then I needed to set a good example. As a
busy mom, do you have a hard time eating fruits and veggies? Let me share some tips with you
that help me eat more fruits and veggies and help my family eat more too. Stir fast, frozen
berries into yogurt for an energy-packed breakfast for yourself and for your family. Pack cut
up veggies, like baby carrots, celery sticks and green pepper strips for your own lunch
and let your kids know what mommy will be eating at work. Bring food along for a snack
on the run for your kids and yourself. Lots of fruits are easy to take with you, like bananas, apples,
and oranges. Serve canned beans as a main dish or a side dish for dinner. They’re delicious
and so quick and easy to serve, and rinsing canned beans in cold water makes them lower
in salt. When you eat dinner together with your children, try to make sure that half
your plate is veggies. Make fruits and veggies a part of every dish for your family and yourself.
Let your children see you enjoying fruits and vegetables as meals and snacks. They take
your lead from you. Eat fruits and veggies and your kids will too.”
So we have a total of four podcast messages sprinkled throughout the website that support
the following FNS themes: Produce pickers, making fruits and vegetables available, division
of responsibility and as we just heard, role modeling.
Here are a few examples of what you find on JSY’s website. These photos were taken from
USDA’s SNAP-Ed Connection website and also from the New York state program. Some examples
include “Cook together. Eat together. Talk together”, “Eat smart to play hard”, “Let
your kids be produce pickers”, and one of my all-time favorites, “They learn from watching
you. Eat fruits and veggies and your kids will too.”
So in 2012 it estimated that 54,000 individuals were exposed to the FNS Messages through the
website and also nutrition education classes. And for the coming year, we’d also like to
incorporate the YouTube videos and the Rollover widgets as well.
Our program really values these messages. They’re positive, action-oriented; they’re
short, simple and easy to understand. We have a very high comfort knowing that the messages
have been tested and accepted among our target populations. And most importantly, they directly
support JSY’s vision of empowering families to be healthier and increase consumption of
fruits and vegetables. I’d like to thank you for your time, and I’ll turn this over to
Joyce now for questions. Okay, so we have time for a few questions
now. So I am going to read one that we received for Alicia. “Are the printed materials available
at Team Nutrition for WIC agencies as well?” Hi, thanks Joyce. Well all of our materials
are available in an online format and can be downloaded and reproduced by anyone. The
printed materials that can be requested can only be requested by those entities participating
in one of the Federal Child Nutrition Programs, which would be the National School Lunch Program,
School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program, so that is not just
WIC in and of itself. But you can go to the website and download and reproduce any of
our materials. Okay great, thank you. Let’s see, I have a
message for Danielle. “Could you please describe what kind of focus group testing was done
in the development or assessment of the JSY podcasts?”
Sure. So where we had done focus group testing was actually in the development of the website
itself. What we wanted to do was get an idea of what information participants wanted from
the JSY website and what we found was that the great majority were really looking for
healthy recipe ideas and recipes that could be divided into several major categories,
such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, snack ideas, thirty-minute meal ideas. And
so where we had spent the majority of our time with focus group testing was really with
the layout and the content of the website and not so much with the focus group testing
of the messages themselves because USDA had done focus group testing.
Okay, great. Alright, so I have a message that anybody could answer here. “These messages
were mostly geared towards promoting what to eat, but what about messages promoting
about what not to eat? Which is more important?” Anyone?
Federally, positive messages are more effective and that is why we chose to promote the foods
to increase. That also aligns with the Dietary Guidelines and the food groups that we are
talking about are those that the Dietary Guidelines also is recommending that people eat more
of. Alicia, did you want to add anything to that?
No, I mean I agree, and generally we tried to use the promotion of positive messages,
especially in our messages geared toward children. We do have information though, in activities
included in our curricula and other resources, including that MyPlate At Home, which encourages,
you know, and provides guidance about choosing drinks with fewer added sugars and that kind
of thing, but they’re not considered FNS Core Messages, per se.
Right and I think that what we do is tell them what not to do in a more subliminal way.
For example, choosing fruits and vegetables packed in water or that are low sodium, rather
than saying don’t buy foods that have a high sugar content or a high sodium content is
another way of saying what not to do, but saying it in a positive way.
Okay, we’ve gotten a couple of questions Judy and Danielle, questions about Spanish translations.
“Danielle, is your podcast going to be available in Spanish?”
At the time we don’t have a podcast in Spanish but I think it’s a great idea and something
that our program should work towards. That’s a great question for me because I’d
forgotten to say that we have completed the translation of all of the Core Messages and
we expect to be releasing those shortly. So, and more immediately, keep in mind that Glenda
has done translations as well and those materials might be available and accessible. Glenda,
are they? Can people download those from your site? They’re definitely available already.
The videos, so we have the Spanish video for fruits and vegetables and milk, and we have
also the posters. I would encourage at this point for people to contact me directly and
I can tell them more specifically. We’re still testing more and more. We’re developing whole
grains. Some people have individually asked me and I sent them my contact information
but I will write it down for everybody right now. Contact me. They’re definitely available
and we enjoy if some more Spanish-speaking people can access these.
Okay, great, we have a couple minutes more for questions here so there’s one here that
says, “Was any WIC program used to help in testing or measurement of value from any of
these messages?” WIC participants probably represented a third
of the moms that were in the focus groups. And the good news for those who work with
WIC out in the field is that, from 1980, I’m sorry, 2008 when we did our first line of
focus groups, to the second round of focus groups that we did in 2010-11, the WIC participants
that were in those groups had really changed their perspective, particularly related to
the division of feeding responsibilities. And more of the moms in WIC were really accepting
of those tenets in the latter group than they were in the first group. So that was
encouraging you then, you know, the staff, some of the staff from WIC were at those,
from headquarters, were at those focus groups and they got to hear that. And so, clearly,
you’re doing a lot of good work out there and people are getting your messages.
Okay, great, and we have time for just one more and we’ve gotten a number of questions
about, Judy, when people can expect to access the slides and where they’ll be available.
Much quicker than the first time. We’re now trying to get the slides up on the website,
on the Core Messages website, very quickly. Our goal is maybe by Tuesday, Wednesday of
next week we can have those up. But certainly within a week the slides will be available.
The video may take a little bit longer and it will be up on the Nutrition.gov website.
Mimi, would you say within a week? But in any event, we will let you know when it’s
available. We’ll send an email. Yes, absolutely. Okay, great thank you Judy.
It is about time for us to start wrapping up. Thank you for all your great questions.
Just to summarize today, we were able to illustrate some of the key steps involved in creating
educational tools. And we emphasized the importance of audience research, content development,
and getting feedback from audience and partners. And we also discussed the key content to include
in your tools, including the what, the why, and the how, as well as the importance of
making your tools engaging and even including an interactive component to help the audience
retain the information and increase the likelihood that they will actually take action. We also
provided some design tips as well as some additional references to help guide you in
developing your tool. Unfortunately we couldn’t go too in-depth in just this one hour, but
do remember that less is more. And finally, we saw some great examples from the field
and a big, big thank you to Alicia, Glenda, and Danielle for showing us just how endless
the possibilities can be. So thanks so much to our speakers, but thanks
especially to all of you for joining us today. The next step will be for those of you who
are registered for the offline activity, you can now take the information that you’ve gotten
from these sessions to refine the tool you’re working on and submit a draft to us by January
24th. And you can expect to receive some feedback from us within a few weeks. And we hope that
you will be able to apply that feedback and eventually finalize your tool and use it in
your practice. And the Implementation Guide is currently being updated as well to include
all of these great new materials and we’ll be emailing a link out to all of you to this
Implementation Guide as soon as it is ready. And the same thing goes for the Spanish translation
that Judy had mentioned. As soon as that is ready we will be emailing those out to you
as well. And I just wanted to share with you the website
address where you can download all of these messages and content and photos. And if you
do apply them in your work, we would love to see what you’re doing with them. So please
absolutely share your work with us and email them to us at this email address shown here
at the bottom of the screen. We look forward to seeing that.
And, finally, here is a list of resources just to provide you with more information
to further help you as you develop your educational tools. And before we go I just wanted to pass
it back over to Judy. Thanks Joyce and thank you, all of you, for
joining us again and I wish you well in your efforts to reach and improve the eating habits
of those you serve. You do great work and it’s very much needed and it’s very much appreciated
by all of us here at headquarters at Food and Nutrition Service, USDA. So thank you