New NPI tool to assess healthful eating and physical activity practices in places children learn

Dec 17, 2020

Child care sites, schools, and out-of-school programs are important targets for health promotions and practices to support children in healthy eating and physical activity. Cooperative Extension programs often partner with these settings to implement the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) policy, systems, and environment (PSE) interventions. Researchers at the Nutrition Policy Institute have developed a new set of tools to support Extension professionals in measuring and supporting SNAP-Ed program planning and evaluation efforts. The tools, called the site-level assessment questionnaires (SLAQs), assesses institutional healthful eating and physical activity practices in child care sites, schools, and out-of-school programs. In their latest study published in Journal of Extension titled "Assessing Healthful Eating and Physical Activity Practices in Places Children Learn", NPI researchers describe the development and feasibility testing of the new SLAQs tools. The questionnaires are available in two formats: a printable Word document that can be shared by multiple staff involved in completing the questionnaire (recommended for schools) and an online survey which can be completed live or from a pre-filled Word document questionnaire. Visit the NPI SLAQs website to gain access to the questionnaires and training materials. The questionnaire developed for schools can be used by schools to self-assess alignment with the final rule of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which outlines school wellness requirements for local educational agencies and schools participating in the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Study co-authors include NPI researchers Carolyn D. Rider, Amanda Linares, Janice Kao, Christina Becker, and Gail Woodward-Lopez. The study was funded by a grant from the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education.

By Danielle L. Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement