Poster Abstract| Volume 49, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT 1, S78-S79, July 2017

Small Bites, Big Change! Teacher-Facilitated Nutrition Program Increases Healthy Eating Knowledge and Vegetable Consumption


      Evaluation of a classroom-based, teacher-facilitated, nutrition intervention aimed to improve healthy behaviors and knowledge about healthy eating.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      Social-ecological model based community-based program designed to be lower-cost, high reach, and align with Common Core standards.


      Target audience was students 7-14 years of age (n=367) during school year 2015-2016 in under-served schools in Chicago and Miami. Common Threads’ Small Bites community-based program teaches students nutrition through eight 1-hour lessons combined with hands-on snack preparation. Teachers were trained to deliver Small Bites and received grade-appropriate curriculum to teach in their classrooms.


      Small Bites effects were assessed using a quasi-experimental, pre-post survey design. The majority of participants qualified for free- or reduced-price lunch (84%). Binary and count variables were assessed with generalized linear mixed models, ordinal variables with cumulative logistic mixed models. Participation in Small Bites resulted in a net increase in students with improved nutrition knowledge (32%, p<.001) and higher odds of answering individual questions correctly (all p<.001). Net number of students who consumed a greater variety of colored vegetable groups at least once the previous day increased after programing (9%, P=0.03) and amount consumed of each vegetable color group increased for two out of four vegetable groups (P≤.001). The odds of a student reporting agreement with the statement “I show my family how to cook at home” increased after programing (OR=1.47, P=.05).

      Conclusions and Implications

      Small Bites increased nutrition knowledge, vegetable intake, and healthy behaviors, supporting nutrition education as an important step in healthy behavioral changes.


      Walmart Foundation; Whole Kids Foundation