Research & Funding

02046_00455

The Food Friends® Fun With New Foods®  and Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves®  were developed at Colorado State University in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Program messages and components have been thoroughly researched and tested.

 

 

 

fwnf-logoFun With New Foods is target audience driven. Preschoolers, parents, and teachers had, and still have, a tremendous amount of input into the program. The characters were chosen by kids; the kit (with the idea that all materials need to be in one place) was teacher-driven, as were many of the activities; and parents, chose the messages and graphics that are included in the Family Fun With New Foods component. Additionally, the program was designed with feedback from nutrition and child development experts. Fun with New Foods is designed to promote healthful eating habits among preschool-aged children. It has been successfully evaluated to ensure that changes in willingness to try new foods are attained. Data from food preference panel assessments showed that children exposed to the program significantly decreased the number of food refusals to new foods compared to children in a control group. Data from past years indicate that the program continues to work. The Fun with New Foods program, in concert with The Food Friends® Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves® physical activity program, can play a role in establishing healthful behaviors during the early childhood years. Establishing healthful eating and physical activity behaviors early may play a role in addressing the overweight and obesity problem in both children and adults, thus decreasing the risk for chronic disease later in life.

gmwmm-logoGet Movin` With Mighty Moves is target audience driven. Preschoolers, parents, and teachers had, and still have, a tremendous amount of input into the program. The graphics were chosen by kids; program concepts, such as having the Food Friends live, work and play in a town (Healthadelphia™) were developed by teachers; and parents gave input into how program messages and materials would be most useful in helping them to promote physical activity at home. The program was designed with feedback from experts in the fields of health promotion, exercise science, occupational therapy, and child development. Mighty Moves is designed to promote physical activity and enhance gross motor development among preschool-aged children. Mighty Moves has shown significant increases in preschoolers’ gross motor skills and physical fitness when compared to a control group. The Food Friends Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves program, in concert with the Fun with New Foods nutrition program, can play a role in establishing healthful behaviors during the early childhood years. Establishing healthful eating and physical activity behaviors early may play a role in addressing the overweight and obesity problem in both children and adults, thus decreasing the risk for chronic disease later in life.


Fun With New Foods Research Papers

Young, L., Anderson, J., Beckstrom, L., Bellows, L., Johnson, S.L. (2003). Making New Foods Fun for Kids. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 35:337-338

Young, L., Anderson, J., Beckstrom, L., Bellows, L., Johnson, S.L. (2004). Using Social Marketing Principles to Guide the Development of a Nutrition Education Initiative for Preschool-aged Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 36:250-257.

Bellows, L., Anderson, J. (2006). The Food Friends: Encouraging Preschoolers to Try New Foods.Young Children, 61(3), 37-39.

Bellows, L., Cole, K., Anderson, J. (2006). Family Fun with New Foods: A Parent Component to the Food Friends Social Marketing Campaign. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 38:123-124.

Bellows, L., Cole, K., Anderson, J. (2006). Assessing Characteristics, Needs, and Preferences of Secondary Audience for the Development of a Bilingual Parent Component to the Food Friends Social Marketing Campaign. Social Marketing Quarterly, 7(2):43-57. Johnson, S.L., Bellows, L., Beckstrom, L., Anderson, J. (2007). Evaluation of a Social Marketing Campaign Targeting Preschool Children. American Journal of Health Behavior, 31(1): 44-55.

Bellows  L., Spaeth  A., Lee, V., Anderson J.  (2013) Exploring the use of Storybooks to Reach Mothers of Preschoolers with Nutrition and Physical Activity Messages. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,  45(4): 362-67

Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves Research Papers

Bellows, L., Anderson, J., Gould, S.M., Auld, G. (2008). Formative Research and Strategic Development of a Physical Activity Component to a Social Marketing Campaign for Obesity Prevention in Preschoolers. Journal of Community Health, 33(3):169-78.

Bellows, L., Anderson, J., Davies, P., Kennedy, C. (2009). Integration of Social Marketing Elements in the Design of a Physical Activity Program for Preschoolers. Social Marketing Quarterly, 15(1): 2-21.

Bellows, L., Davies, PL., Anderson, J., Kennedy, C. (2013). Effectiveness of a Physical Activity Intervention for Head Start Preschoolers: A Randomized Intervention Study. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(1):28-36.

Bellows, L., Anderson, J. (2013). The Food Friends: Get Movin’ with Mighty Moves: A Physical Activity Program for Preschoolers.  Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,45(5):473-75.

Longitudinal Eating and Physical Activity (LEAP) Study Research Papers and Publications

Bellows, L.L., Johnson, S.L., Davies, P.L., Anderson, J., Gavin, W.J., Boles, R.E. (2013). The Colorado LEAP Study:  Rationale and design of a study to assess the short term longitudinal effectiveness of a preschool nutrition and physical activity program. BMC Public Health. 13:1146. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-1146

Burdell, A.*, Conlon, T*, Lopez, A.*, D’Hooge, A.*, Bellows, L.  (2014). Super Tasters and Mighty Movers: Connecting Nutrition and Activity Messages from the School to the Home. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(4S), S142.

D’Hooge, A.*, Bellows, L., Fitzgerald, C., Johnson, S.L., Anderson, J.  (2012). Super Tasters and Mighty Movers: Extending the Food Friends Message into Elementary School.  Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 44(4S), S73.

Research and/or implementation funding for the The Food Friends® programs has been provided by:

  • Cargill Corporation (2005-2007)
  • Caring for Colorado Foundation (2002-2005)
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Division CACFP (2004-2006)
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Division COPAN (2005, 2006, 2009)
  • Colorado Trust (2002-2005)
  • DHHS ACF Office of Head Start (2005-2007)
  • General Mills (2003-2004)
  • The Colorado Health Foundation (2009-2012)
  • The Colorado Health Foundation (2013)
  • USDA FNS Food Stamp Program (1999-2004)
  • USDA NRI (2005-2009)
  • USDA AFRI (2010-2014)