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Review of:

Jump into Foods and Fitness

Producer:Michigan State University Extension, 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Sciences
Date Produced:2006
  • Curriculum
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
  • General Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Food Safety
  • Grains/Whole Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Protein
Description:Jump into Foods and Fitness (JIFF) is Michigan State University’s hands-on nutrition and fitness youth curriculum, which is designed to help youth make healthier nutrition choices and build active lifestyles. The JIFF curriculum contains eight 1 to 1˝-hour lessons, including a pre and post evaluation. Each JIFF lesson includes background information for the educator about nutrition and fitness, three fitness activities, two food activities, a healthy snack recipe, and an activity on food safety; each lesson also includes a take-home family newsletter. The curriculum has been newly revised (2006) to reflect updated USDA MyPyramid guidelines. The key educational messages are increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, increasing physical activity, and making healthier snack choices. Programming is currently delivered in elementary school classrooms, after-school programs, summer programs, and 4-H groups. In several Michigan counties, the JIFF activities are being taught by 4-H teen peer health educators.
Language:Not currently. In May, we submitted a proposal for a Multi-cultural Mini Grant to have the family newsletters translated into Spanish, and adapted (recipes, web sites, etc.) for Hispanic youth and families.
Cost:$13.50 plus shipping
Ordering Info:Jump Into Foods and Fitness (4H1602) costs $13.50 plus shipping. You can order it from the MSU Bulletin Office on line or by phone, fax or mail:
Kristina Derhammer, Associate Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development, Health and Well Being Programming
(517) 432-7606
Web Site:http://web1.msue.msu.edu/cyf/youth/jiff/index.html


A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material based substantially on MyPlate or 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
B. Scope
Scope of information appropriate for target audience and essential topics discussed in appropriate detail.

Targeted to grades 3-5, with a mix of activities and information to be appropriate within this range.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.

Curriculum divided into eight modules, each with information and activities on nutrition and physical activity.
E. Accuracy
Information is accurate and recommendations current with content of MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
F. Learner Background
Material does not assume that reader has background information.
G. Learning Objectives
Learning objectives identifiable and met.

Each activity lists objectives and an associated "learning and life skill."
H. Learning Activities, Projects, or Interactive Learning Tools
Material includes a variety of stimulating and interesting learning experiences, questions, projects, or suggestions for further action that will involve the reader.

Numerous games and activities are offered supporting MyPyramid and physical activity.
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. No brand name promotion or obvious sponsor bias.
J. Inclusion of learning objectives, learner activities, instructional aids, lesson plans, evaluation component, identification of required instructional materials, web site with additional materials.
Material includes five or more of the above.

Has all of the above, except for additional materials on their own web site (however the JIFF web site has links to other sites with materials and activities at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/cyf/youth/jiff/JIFF-families.html).
K. Recipes (if included)
Overall, recipes are compatible with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
L. Recipes (if included)
Recipes do not include any nutrient analysis.
M. Instructional Resources
Instructor resources included with suggestions for enhancing the teaching process. Suggestions for follow-up learning activities/discussion questions included.

Each module has comprehensive instructions and a take-home newsletter for the family.
N. Credits, References and Resources (Including dates, publisher, etc.)
Current and complete credits, references, and resources listed.
O. Summary
All major ideas summarized or reviewed to reinforce key concepts; summaries easily identified.

Each module includes a review activity/discussion.

A. Role Models
Does not include negative stereotypes but fails to consider role models in nontraditional roles.

Illustrations depict a cartoon kangaroo character, "Jiff the joey." The introduction explains that kangaroos were chosen because they are "active, intriguing animals that fascinate kids of all ages."
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Not applicable.
C. Different lifestyles and food patterns
Material does not address a variety of values, practices, and/or food patterns representative of different lifestyles, cultures, and socioeconomic levels.

Recipes included are variations of mainstream standards.

Print Materials
A. Writing Style
Main ideas are clear and flow smoothly.
B. Writing Approach
Writing approach is positive and personal. Active voice is used most of the time.
C. Vocabulary
Vocabulary used is appropriate for intended audience. Minimizes use of technical terms and if used, are defined.

The curriculum is targeted to adult or teen volunteer leaders who do not have a background in nutrition.
D. Supportive Illustrations
All of the illustrations contribute to the material and are on the same page as their textual references. Tables and graphs are as simple and easy to read as possible. All information needed in graphs and tables is provided in a form requiring no further explanation.
E. Layout and Design
Color, design, and layout of material are adequate but do not stimulate interest.

The curriculum is in black and white, which makes it bland but ideal for photocopying.
F. Visual Quality
Paper weight is heavy enough, print is mostly easy to read without much of body text in capital letters.

Some pages have a lot of information, but there is a good layout for each activity.
G. Headings/Cueing Devices
Clear headings are provided for each topic area. Cueing devices (shading, boxes, arrows, etc.) are used to direct attention to key points.
H. Approximate Reading Level
Reading level is at 6th, 7th or 8th grade level.

For adult and teen volunteer leaders.

Web Sites
A. Currentness of Information
Web site information is current; there are no broken hyperlinks.
B. Readability
Text size is adequate for viewing. Some portions of text difficult to read.

The web site is designed to promote the curriculum and hard copy manual. Pages are heavy with text and have been converted from the written manual instead of developed specifically for the web.
C. Navigation
Navigation through the web site is logical and aided by navigation buttons and a site map or search tool.

The web site has navigation for educators, parents and youth, though with very limited material for each group. However, it provides several helpful links. There are no additional games or activities for youth on the web site.

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
This curriculum is very well researched and has lots of fun activity ideas for the age group (8-11 years). Each module emphasizes healthy eating and fun physical activity. Gearing the curriculum to volunteer leaders makes it more affordable, as are the materials and other resources needed for the activities.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
Development of the web site to keep youth engaged after they have completed the curriculum, and to provide a resource for volunteer leaders. Including some full-color posters would be helpful.
C. General Comments
This curriculum is a welcome addition to the toolbox of educational ideas. Activities tested well with two 8-year olds.
D. Overall Summary
This curriculum is a complete, "turn-key" package to integrate MyPyramid basics and helps make physical activity fun. It is inexpensive and easy to implement, but it does not include audio-visuals, so it depends heavily on the teaching skills and enthusiasm of the group leader to keep youth engaged.

Reviewer Rating
Any opinions expressed about any resource in this web site (either expressly or implied) are solely and completely the responsibility of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Highly Recommended

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