About Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness
Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness is a 6-session program that encourages healthy eating and fitness through hands-on activities and experiential education. The program targets four main topics:
- Replacing sweetened beverages with low-fat milk and water
- Eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Eating fewer high-fat and high-sugar foods
- Playing actively 60+ minutes per day
Full lessons are 70-90 minutes, but can be shortened to 45 minutes with modifications to recipes and active games. Each lesson includes interactive nutrition activities, food preparation of a kid-friendly recipe, active games, a goal setting challenge, and a family newsletter. The scripted lessons follow the 4-A dialogue approach, which means they Anchor to past knowledge and experiences, Add new information, Apply by doing, and give an Away application to generalize to other situations.
Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness is a comprehensive and tested program that aligns with Texas TEKS for 3rd – 6th grade students.
The program materials are available in both English and Spanish. Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness is typically delivered by Extension agents, but teachers can be trained to deliver the program.
- 6 lesson plans (approximately 1 hour each)
- 12 kid-friendly healthy recipes (2 recipes per lesson)
- 24 active games (4 per lesson, variations for space and complexity)
- 6 family newsletters (available in English & Spanish)
- Goal setting in each lesson
To host a program, schools will need:
- Space for lessons and hands-on activities
- Plates, bowls
- Plastic forks/spoons
- Ziploc bags or plastic containers
Alignment with TEKS
A full summary of the TEKS by lesson is included in the curriculum. Below, the TEKS are highlighted for each grade level.
3rd Grade: Link to 3rd Grade TEKS
4th Grade: Link to 4th Grade TEKS
5th Grade: Link to 5th Grade TEKS
Interested educators should connect with their county AgriLife Extension office for more information. Find their contact information here: https://counties.agrilife.org/
Additional information about the program can be found here: https://fnec.cornell.edu/for-partners/curricula/chfff/
Evidence for Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness
- 3rd to 6th grade students who participated in Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness reported significantly improved dietary behaviors (including vegetable, fruit, soda, and fast food intake) and improved health behaviors (including reading Nutrition Facts labels and sharing something they know about healthy eating with their family).
- An earlier evaluation of the program with 3rd – 5th graders and 6th – 8th graders found similar changes in dietary behaviors, as well as an increased frequency of doing physical activities.
- Each lesson of Choose Health: Food, Fun, & Fitness is anchored in the Social Cognitive Theory, which helps students gain behavioral capacity for health behaviors, set expectations and expectancies, and build self-efficacy (an individual’s belief in their ability to do a behavior).