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Review of:

Veggiecation Program

Image courtesy of:
Lisa Suriano
Producer:Lisa Suriano
Date Produced:7/1/10
  • CD-ROM
  • Video
  • Booklet
  • Fact Sheet
  • Brochure
  • Poster
  • Curriculum
  • stickers and recipe books
  • Early Childhood (2-5 yrs)
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
  • General Nutrition
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Vegetables
Description:Veggiecation is a nutrition education program to help the educate and empower children to love vegetables and help them reach their recommended number of daily servings. Veggiecation uses enchanting, realistic looking vegetable & bean characters to excite & teach students about healthy foods. It provides teachers and parents with simple lessons and recipes that can easily be integrated in the regular classroom curriculum or family time.
Cost:$59.99 for school program and 1 year membership to website / $23.99 for At Home program
Ordering Info:May order online or via Purchase Order
Web Site:http://www.veggiecation.com/shop


A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material incorporates and uses some of concepts in MyPlate or 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
B. Scope
Scope of information appropriate for target audience and essential topics discussed in appropriate detail.

The materials were developed to "incorporate healthy foods and nutrition as an unimposing part of class time, lunchtime, and family time." The recommended activities are based on state curriculum standards. The information in the booklets is from the New York standards (where this program was developed). By setting up an account, you can obtain the standards for your own state. There is a mix of incorporating veggication into literacy, math, social studies, etc. curriculums.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.

The descriptive pamphlet that accompanies the materials gives a comprehensive overview of the materials and how you can make contact for more information.
D. Organization
Material is organized but not all major points are easily identified.

There 3 "Veggiecation Classroom Companion" booklets -- for grades 1 - 3 respectively. While, the suggested activities vary somewhat, the same posters and recipes are used for all levels. In some cases, the learning activities call for making a food either in the classroom or by the school lunch staff. A stove is usually needed for this. This may not be realistic in many schools.
E. Accuracy
F. Learner Background
Material does not assume that reader has background information.
G. Learning Objectives
Learning objectives identifiable and met.

Learning are based on state/city curriculum standards for schools -- see comments in other areas for more information on this. This is a novel idea that lets users customize the material to fit it into existing classroom activities rather than use it as an "add on" to other things they must do.
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.

In addition to teacher-lead interactivities, a "Veggiecation Activity Book" is included with activities for kids, such as coloring pages, mazes, word games, dot games, etc. You can tell that this was developed by one of the Veggiecation team members who had actual experience in the classroom.
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. Company name may be mentioned but product name is not contained in text or illustrations.

A few recipes include a brand name by an ingredient when it is essential to the outcome of the recipe.
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.
K. Recipes (if included)
Overall, recipes are compatible with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The "Veggiecation Recipes" included with the materials emphasized only 9 vegetables: parsnips, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, kale, snap peas, zucchini, and asparagus. No reasons were given in the recipe book while choices were limited to these vegetables. There were just 36 recipes. Was unclear as to whether versions of the recipes were available in large quantity sizes if school lunch staff wanted to make them in conjunction with classroom activities.
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.

There are "Veggiecation Classroom Companion" books that match lessons to curriculum standards. The standards in the Classroom Companion are New York State and/or New York City standards as Veggiecation is a New York based program. The Companion says you can obtain your state's standards by visiting www.veggication.com/login -- it appears you will need to set up an account to do this.
N. Credits, References and Resources (Including dates, publisher, etc.)
Credits, references, and resources current but incomplete.

No specific credits listed in materials packet; however, links to some supportive materials and bios of the team producing the materials are included on the Website at http://www.veggiecation.com
O. Summary
No summary or review is included.

A. Role Models
Not applicable.

No pictures of people -- just delightful, whimsical illustrations of vegetables.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Not applicable.

See above comment.
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.

The "Veggiecation Recipes" included with the materials emphasized only 9 vegetables: parsnips, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, kale, snap peas, zucchini, and asparagus. No reasons were given in the recipe book while choices were limited to these vegetables. There were just 36 recipes.

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.
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.

Information about educational standards related to a lesson is grouped together on the same page in a colored box.
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.

Well organized as to key points with headings, bullets, shading, bolding, etc.
H. Approximate Reading Level
Reading level is at 6th, 7th or 8th grade level.

Audiovisual Materials

A. Concept Presentation
Audio and/or visuals are mutually supportive to presentation of concepts.

The theme song was bouncy and fun - the type that would encourage you to be active. You can listen to it on the http://www.veggiecation.com website. Cute stickers to give children telling what foods they tried. Ballot box "ballots" for rating vegetables a novel idea!
B. Pace
Presentation progresses at a pace that permits comprehension. Pacing of dialogue is appropriate for absorbing concepts presented. Blank time is provided.

This would depend on the person using the materials.
C. Auditory Quality
Speaker, voice and music are clear; sound is audible and has good quality.
D. Visual Quality
Visuals are clear and properly framed; graphics and titles are clearly visible; color, lighting, and editing enhance presentation of content.

Posters are available in both English and Spanish.
E. Continuity
Continuity provides cohesiveness and smooth flow. Visuals in logical order. Auditory portion precisely matched with visual portion.

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

It is helpful to visit the http://www.veggiecation.com website to learn more about the materials included in this program and additional supportive materials available for use with the program. You also have the opportunity to play the theme song, that accompanies the materials, on the website.
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.

It was a little confusing at first to return to the home site when visiting the store as the top navigation menu changed. A "home" link, however, was still included ... only in a different place.

Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
1) Uses novel approach in basing activities on existing school curriculum standards. (2) Integrates vegetable education into a variety of areas: math, social studies, etc. (3) Can be used to reinforce eating vegetables at school, in after-school & extracurricular programs, and at home.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
1) Might include additional vegetables or provide some science-based reasons why the ones spotlighted were chosen. (3) Give some examples of how to coordinate the materials among 1, 2 and 3rd grade classrooms if all 3 grades decide to use them ... the posters and recipes might seem repetitive if used in several grades.
C. General Comments
Visit the website for more information at http://www.veggication.com and/or contact the author for more information if you have questions about how you might integrate this program into your educational system if you have questions about whether it would work for you. It offers a novel and exciting approach to encouraging vegetable consumption.
D. Overall Summary
Even if you couldn't use this program exactly as is -- it could stimulate you to think of new ways of integrating promotion of vegetables into classroom settings.

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.

Recommended with Reservations

Read other Review for this resource.

Other Reviews:
This resource was also reviewed in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB), Volume 44, Issue 3 , Page 280.e7, May 2012 http://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(12)00004-8/fulltext