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Review of:

Nibbles for Health: Nutrition Newsletters for Parents of Young Children

Image courtesy of:
USDA/Food and Nutrition Service/Team Nutrition
Producer:USDA/Food and Nutrition Service/Team Nutrition
Date Produced:2002, revised 2008
  • CD-ROM
  • Poster
  • Curriculum
  • Newsletter
  • Early Childhood (2-5 yrs)
  • Child Care Providers
  • Nibbles for Health was developed for child care center staff and parents of young children enrolled in child care centers.
  • General Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Meal Planning
  • MyPlate/DGA Training
  • Portion Sizes
  • Vegetarian Diets
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Food Safety
Description:Nibbles for Health is a project developed by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The newsletters and sharing sessions are intended for parents of preschool-aged children who participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides meals and snacks in child care and adult day care facilities. However, these nutrition education materials can be used in other settings, such as the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, to help parents and other caregivers promote healthful eating and active living to young children. In 2008, FNS revised the document and posters to reflect the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid.

Nibbles for Health offers a newsletter approach for reaching the parents and other caregivers of young children in your program. It is created as a series of easy-to-read, practical, and empowering messages. Each one addresses parentsí concerns about healthful eating and active living for the personal health of their child, family, and self. Descriptions and how-tos for four short sharing sessions are included, too. Simply presented, the focused messages are in a format that is easy for you to use.

Cost:Available to child care centers upon request from Team Nutrition. Also available in PDF.
Ordering Info:Available to child care centers upon request from Team Nutrition, using this online order form: http://tn.ntis.gov/
Web Site:http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/Resources/nibbles.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.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.
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.
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.

Learning activities are incorporated within each of the forty newsletters, as well as the four sharing sessions (workshops).
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.

The CD-ROM includes four short, interactive sharing session (workshop) ideas, plus forty (two-sided) colored newsletters. Each sharing session includes a lesson plan with expected learner outcomes, summarization of keypoints, recommended posters and newsletters to utilize.
K. Recipes (if included)
No recipes are included.

One of the newsletters deals with the topic of snacks, and offers basic suggestions from each of the food groups, but no recipes per se.
L. Recipes (if included)
M. Instructional Resources
Instructor resources included with suggestions for enhancing the teaching process. Suggestions for follow-up learning activities/discussion questions included.

Packet includes four posters--1) MyPyramid, 2) How Much Do YOU Eat?, 3) Enjoy Moving, and 4) READ IT before you EAT IT!", along with two packages of mini-posters (25 per package of the following two titles)--1) MyPyramid: Steps to a Healthier You, and 2) Enjoy Moving.
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.

A. Role Models
Positive role models are provided in text and illustrations. Role models presented as having many roles, traits, and emotions.

Parents/caretakers are illustrated as positive role models.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Not applicable.

MyPyramid graphics depict people of various racial groups.
C. Different lifestyles and food patterns
Material reflects, but does not emphasize, a variety of values, practices, and/or food patterns representative of different lifestyles, cultures, and socioeconomic levels.

Most of the text and illustrations that highlight MyPyramid recommendations depict the lifestyle of the "stereotypical" middle class Caucasian.

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.

Empowering messages are incorporated into each of the forty newsletters, encouraging the parent/caretaker to incorporate the eating/physical activity messages that are offered with their preschool child(ren).
C. Vocabulary
Vocabulary used is appropriate for intended audience. Minimizes use of technical terms and if used, are defined.
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 attractive, and stimulate interest, without being too busy. There is good balance between print and blank space.
F. Visual Quality
Paper weight used is heavy enough so that print from one side cannot be seen on the other side. Text is written in a font size that is easy to read, and the main body is not written in capital letters.
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 probably at the elementary age grade level. But, no assessment method is provided.

Web Sites
A. Currentness of Information
Web site information is current; there are no broken hyperlinks.

Main website cited is mypyramid.gov. But, the Leader's Guide does include an "Additional Resources" document listing addition websites that help supplement MyPyramid recommendations.
B. Readability
Text size is adequate for viewing. Good contrast between text and background.
C. Navigation
Navigation through the web site is logical and aided by navigation buttons and a site map or search tool.

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
Nice to have "everything you ever wanted to know about feeding preschoolers" in one resource kit. Resource kit is thorough--CD-ROM containing the entire Leader's Guide, forty newsletters, four posters, and packages of mini-posters. Information accurately reflects MyPyramid recommendations for the whole family.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
It would be nice to include posters or mini-posters depicting the MyPyramid for Preschoolers recommendations, within the resource kit. This information was included in several newsletters, but it would be nice to have these "handouts" in packages of 25 (similar to the ones that were provided in the kit, for easy dissemination. It also would be nice to have the newsletters translated into Spanish, and to include some of the Spanish MyPyramid posters and mini-posters in the resource kit. For ease of duplication, it would be nice to have the camera-ready newsletters in black and white, as well as color. The kit indicated that the CD-ROM would include the newsletters in black and white. But the one for review was in color only.
C. General Comments
A great nutrition education resource! Accurately depicts MyPyramid recommendations for parents/caretakers, as well as preschoolers. Not only does the leader's guide depict the importance of eating healthy, but also offers suggestions on how to "balance" intake with output, in the form of "active" play.
D. Overall Summary
Great nutrition education resource! Caretakers working within the CACFP would find this kit very practical and easy to use, as would WIC nutrition educators, and preschool teachers.

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