Core Nutrition Messages Series: Part 1

Core Nutrition Messages Series: Part 1


At this time I would like to formally begin
today’s webinar and introduce Judy Wilson. Good afternoon and welcome to our session
on “Developing Meaningful Messages, Putting Research into Practice.” This session today
is part one of a two part series that focuses on creating inspiring tools using these consumer-tested
resources. I’m Judy Wilson and I’m Senior Nutrition Advisor with the USDA Food and Nutrition
Service. Other speakers today include Joyce Patterson, who is a consultant with HGM Management
and Technology, and Sara Sloan who is the nutrition consultant with the Oregon Health
Authority. The objectives of today’s session are listed
here. As noted, we will focus on providing a project overview. We will discuss the key
research findings and review these materials with you so that you know what is available.
We will also share ways you can apply the messages into practice. Those registered for
the off-line component will gain additional insight through hands-on activities. So we
will start with the project overview, the process and the key research findings. As
you know, there are many messages, and consumers are sometimes confused about what appears
to be contradictions. The Core Nutrition Messages are part of the
Food and Nutrition Service’s overall efforts to promote use of consistent, science-based
messages across the nutrition programs. They help us to speak with one voice while addressing
key barriers that low income consumers face in putting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
and MyPlate into practice. They do so by addressing some of the key barriers and mediating factors,
and presenting this information in ways moms find relevant, feasible, and that inspires
them to make positive changes in their behaviors. Many of you work with the nutrition programs
so you know that together we reach millions of low-income people every day — and certainly
every year — and by working together we can maximize our impact.
We used a collaborative, audience-focused developmental approach that included key partners
in the developmental process. During all three phases we had this workgroup in place to one,
inform the development of the messages and two, to get ongoing input from the group that
we ultimately wanted to use these resources. The stakeholders also included FNS program
staff, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion — the people who do the Dietary
Guidelines and MyPlate — and Porter Novelli, a marketing and research firm, worked with
us to test and to finalize the messages. We used a developmental cycle based on the model
created by Sue Borra and her colleagues; however, instead of a four-step process, we used the
six-step process you see here. And the one thing I want to point out to you is that we…the
expert panel…defined the audience, they defined the behaviors and the message concepts
that were eventually tested with the audience. So they played a key role.
The workgroup also identified moms as a very important audience since they are the primary
nutrition gate-keepers and are also very important role-models for their kids. As you can see,
the topics and behaviors that we focused on included meeting the Dietary Guidelines for
the food groups and establishing child feeding practices that contributed to life-long healthy
eating. We tested the messages in locations across
the country. And as you can see, we did fifty-four focus groups in English and six in Spanish.
Over seventy-five percent of those involved participated in one or more of the nutrition
assistance programs. Race and ethnic groups of the moms were diverse
as illustrated here. And about fifty-two percent of the English-speaking mothers were employed
compared to twenty-six percent of the Spanish-speaking, Mexican-American moms.
And
the English-speaking mothers also reported higher education levels as you can see on
this slide. The project started in 2006 and consisted
of three phases, starting with phase one, and will conclude with phase three this fall.
Phase three involves the translation and modification of these resources for Spanish-speaking, Mexican-American
moms. So, what did we learn from mothers? Well,
mothers have a general awareness of the food groups but they lack a deep understanding
of some of them. Fruits and vegetables are top of mind when it comes to healthy eating
for our mothers, but whole grains were mentioned much less often. And most agreed that all
of the food groups are important as they work together for good health. So I thought this
was a very important finding. In terms of fruits and vegetables, again,
they were top of mind for moms, for their kids’ healthy growth and development. But
most moms believed that fresh is much healthier than canned or frozen, and rejected messages
that suggested that frozen and canned be used for this reason. So we have some work to do
there. Most of the mothers liked and were inspired by the idea of involving kids in
choosing what veggies to have and to help in preparing them.
In terms of milk, they agreed that milk is important for their children’s development,
but many believed that they get enough at school and were not clear on how much kids
need. Most of them still serve their kids two percent and whole milk, but in the last
round we did note that more and more were mentioning that they were hearing about one-percent
or less through WIC and through their SNAP-education. Taste and the belief that whole milk contains
more nutrients than lower fat varieties pose a strong barrier to use of other types of
milk for many. This is consistent with other research as well. Moms see low-fat milk as
diluted or watered-down. So current availability and the richness of the low-fat ultra-milk
may help to diminish this issue. So this is something that you might want to direct moms
to, is to buy the ultra-low-fat milk, either the one-percent or fat-free. They also view
milk as primarily a source of vitamin D and calcium, but they had an “a-ha moment”
when reminded that it has nine key nutrients to help kids grow, glow and go.
In terms of the whole grains, mothers showed significant confusion and lack of knowledge
about identifying them. They were not familiar with the health benefits of whole grains.
And when asked why they do not buy and consume more whole grain foods, they said that they
and their kids do not like the taste and they don’t want to buy them because they don’t
want to waste food. But mothers were very responsive to information about the nutrients
and health benefits of whole grains. Overall, in testing, they had a strong positive reaction
to information that was new or novel regarding the nutrients and the long-term health benefits.
But they really depended on visual clues as proof that a food is whole-grain and were
reluctant to read the labels to confirm. That is, if it was brown, they were more likely
to think that it is a whole-grain. And that is why you see in the message later, that
we’re saying look for one hundred percent whole-grain. Because they really don’t want
to read the labels to see whole-grain first. In terms of child feeding, all mothers appreciated
and aspired to having family mealtime, but most find mealtime stressful and messy, and
describe their kids as picky. And I’m sure that many of you that have kids can relate
to that. They struggle with their preschoolers to get them to sit down and eat, and to eat
certain foods. And many moms prepared their kids food from the stove and gave it to them
and they were skeptical about the idea of letting their child choose whether or not
to eat, or to choose how much to eat. They wanted their kids to eat at least a little
or some at dinner and many did not believe their children when they said, “Mommy, I’m
full!” Mothers want to be good teachers and found
it works learning and leading to be compelling in the role-modeling messages. So that’s something
to keep in mind. In terms of their information-seeking behaviors,
they were all — every single on in our focus groups — had regular access to computers
and the internet, but their levels of use and comfort varied. They all had cell phones
with internet access and about twenty five percent of them had smart phones, but cell
phones were not their preferred method of getting information. For those who were willing
to get information on their cell phones, they wanted to be able to opt in. In other words,
they wanted to choose whether or not to receive that information. Mothers stated that the
look for resources that were similar to what Joyce will be showing you later in terms of
the supporting content, such as tips pertaining to meal preparation, recipes, parenting skills,
etc. But they still like traditional outlets such as getting information in doctor’s offices,
magazines, cooking shows, and other dietary resources.
Now many of you work with mothers and, based on your experience, have a good idea about
what they would like, but people change on a continuous basis. Therefore, it is critical
that we periodically check to make sure that what we are trying to communicate is what
the consumer hears and understands. More importantly, we need to confirm that consumers find what
we are communicating relevant, realistic, believable, and inspiring. So let’s go to
our first poll. It has a few of the messages that we tested with moms of preschoolers.
We want you to select two you think resonated most with mothers. Make sure that you click
“Done” after you make your selection. We will then look at what mothers said and
compare it to your results. If you are in the room with multiple attendees, just note
your choice so that you can compare it to what mothers said and to what your colleagues
think too. So while the results are being tallied, let’s take a look at what moms like
best. Well, they selected “Start them early with
whole grains” and “Happy kids. Happy tummies”; “Start them early with whole grains” resonated
strongly with mothers in all groups. They agreed that introducing their children to
whole grains early makes a whole lot of sense and makes the process of serving whole grains
easier and helps them to form that habit early in life. When mothers heard “Happy kids. Happy
tummies” many of them laughed out loud. They find this message cute, catchy, and real.
They appreciated the information about whole grains and how it can make potty-time easier,
what’s considered by many to be important and very personally relevant because most
mothers have to deal with this. And while “Whole grains first” was well-received by
some mothers, many did not like the call to action, which was reading the labels as I
mentioned earlier. And most mothers strongly disagreed with the notion that whole grains
would make their health a power-house. So let’s look at what you thought.
Alright, so many of you agreed with the mothers, but some of you thought A and C were good
messages too, and so did I. This just reinforces the importance of testing. So let’s do another
quick poll. This time, a few messages of the milk messages
that we tested. Take a minute to determine which of these moms, which one — only one
this time — that moms found most relevant, motivating, and engaging. And remember to
click “Done” when you are finished. So while this poll is being tallied, let’s look
at what mothers said here. Moms said overwhelmingly that “There’s no
power like Mom Power” because it evoked feelings of empowerment. And this message resonated
with moms of both preschoolers and elementary aged kids. They agreed that they have a great
deal of influence over their children’s behaviors and their habits, but a few of them thought
that this idea was about control. You know, what mom says goes. So in you communication
you have to be clear that this is an empowerment message, not a control message. We eliminated
“Love and nourish them”, which many saw as demeaning and belittling to everything else
that they do for their kids. And “Set the table with low-fat milk and set the example”
was rejected because moms don’t want to drink milk at meals or they didn’t consider it feasible
because they do not set a table. So let’s look at how you replied.
Alright, so most of you agree with the moms, but a few still like the other messages. I
mean, “Love and cherish” was one of my favorites so I was really disappointed that they didn’t
like that one. So I think that the important thing here is that, while our experience in
working with mothers is valuable, consumer-testing can tell us if our perceptions match reality
of today’s mothers because mothers and the technology are changing.
In conclusion, messages that resonate with moms tap into their emotions and emphasize
the influence they have on their children’s lifelong habits. The findings underscore the
need for communications to be flexible and to fit into the busy lives of moms. And finally,
it is important to highlight the health benefits of using simple, plain language to provide
concise information about nutritional content and to address the reasons mothers should
follow the call to action using inspiring words that tap into their emotions and their
aspirations for their kids. The Core Messages can help by jump-starting the resource development
process because a lot of the formative work has been done for you. Now Joyce will share
with you some of the Core Messages products. Joyce?
We’re now going to take a look at all of the final messages that were developed along with
the photos that were tested with these messages. And we’ll also look at the tips, advice, and
guidance that was developed to support these messages. Together, these elements speak to
moms in ways that are emotionally relevant, motivating, informative, and easy to understand.
There are a total of 29 messages that focus on child feeding, whole grains, milk, and
fruits and vegetables. And of these, there are messages specifically for mothers of preschoolers,
others for mothers of elementary school kids, and some of the messages are appropriate for
both mothers. There are also messages for kids age 8 to 10 years old. There are over
35 pages of tips, advice, easy recipes, and guidance, as well as tested photos. And there
are also ready to use online communication tools, as well as activity sheets and a video
game for kids. So educators can use these materials to create a variety of educational
resources, such as print materials, digital presentations, web resources, or video and
audio materials. And an Implementation Guide is available to help guide you in your planning
and development of these resources. Okay so first we’re going to look at the eight
milk messages that support the MyPlate consumer messages about making the switch to fat-free
or low-fat milk. The Core Messages address the mediating factors, barriers, and beliefs
that are specific to moms, encouraging them to continue to serve their kids milk and inform
them about the health benefits of switching to low-fat or fat-free milk. So in the following
several slides we’re going to be showing all of these messages in their entirety, and if
you are unable to read through the entire messages throughout this presentation, please
rest assured that these are all available online for you to access. Okay so in focus
groups, mothers related to messages that spoke to the influence they have over their children,
their lifelong habits, and their health. And findings also suggest that mothers drink considerably
less milk than their children. The messages shown here are for mothers of preschool children.
There’s no power like Mom Power, Mom is a child’s first teacher, and Strong bodies need
strong bones. They emphasize Mom Power and role-modeling and also encourage mothers themselves
to consume low-fat or fat-free milk. The first message, “There’s no power like Mom Power”,
can also be used with elementary school moms. These messages are for mothers of elementary
school kids. They’re still growing and milk matters. Studies show that milk consumption
starts to decline when kids become school age. In focus groups, many moms felt that
their kids got enough milk at school and few consumed milk with their dinner. These messages
remind elementary school moms that their kids are still growing and milk is still an important
part of their diet. There’s also supporting content available to support this message,
and that helps moms understand how much their children need, ways they can increase consumption,
and why milk is important. In focus groups, kids agreed that good health is important,
and one of their top reasons for staying healthy was to have more energy. They also identified
physical activity as important for staying healthy, and these messages speak to these
concepts and reinforce the importance of milk for powering up and playing hard. There are
five whole-grain messages that support and reinforce MyPlate’s consumer message of making
at least half your grains whole grains. In focus groups, moms expressed significant confusion
about whole grains, as you had heard earlier, and the Core Messages aim to address this
confusion and help mothers understand which foods are whole grain, how to identify foods
made with whole grain, and why whole grains are important. The messages shown here are
for mothers of preschool kids. “Whole grains make a difference” and “Start them early with
whole grains. The message at the top can also be used with elementary school moms as well.
Overall, moms were especially responsive to information about the health benefits of whole
grains, as well as tips for getting their kids to eat more whole grains. Many preschool
mothers in testing related to this message, “Happy kids. Happy tummies.” Difficulty with
potty time was a common issue among them, and interestingly, when we translated this
message into Spanish and tested it with Spanish-speaking mothers, they preferred the message to say
“Happy tummies. Happy kids.” So this is just an example of the importance of formative
research and testing your materials with your target audience to make modifications that
ensure that you’re achieving maximum impact. Here we have messages for mothers of elementary
school kids. “Give yourself and those you love the goodness of whole grains” reiterates
the MyPlate message of making half your grains whole grains and this message is also appropriate
for mothers of preschool kids. The message “Start every day the whole grain way” capitalizes
on the fact that breakfast is the time when people are most likely to serve whole grains
in their meal. The message encourages mothers to serve whole grains before school to give
their kids a good start to their day. There are five fruit and vegetable messages that
reinforce the MyPlate key consumer messages of making half your plate fruits and veggies.
These messages encourage mothers to increase accessibility in the home, set good examples,
and involve kids in choosing healthy foods. Research shows that these are effective approaches
to affecting behavior change. In testing, the messages “They learn from watching you”
and “They take their lead from you” resonated strongly with moms of preschoolers. Many moms
reported that they’ve observed their kids copying or mimicking them, and many moms also
considered themselves to be role models for their preschool children. So they found these
messages to be believable and relatable. These messages for elementary school moms spoke
to the common experience of kids coming home from school hungry and looking for a snack.
These messages encourage mothers to keep fruits and veggies in easy reach and to involve their
children in making healthy choices. Kids may be more likely to eat foods that they choose
themselves. These messages were appealing to kids age 8 to 10 because they preferred
messages that melded fantasy with being the best you can be. These results were consistent
with other research that showed that this age group is motivated by the ideas of having
more energy, being strong and fast, and maximizing their performance at play or sports. There
are 9 child feeding messages that promote cooking and eating together, role modeling,
and the division of feeding responsibility. These following messages are most appropriate
for mothers of preschool children. In focus groups, mothers often associated mealtime
with ideas of togetherness, family time, and communication. Virtually all mothers aspired
to have family meals, and the messages “Cook together. Eat together. Talk together” and
“Make meals and memories together” spoke to these aspirations. “Patience works better
than pressure” and “Let them learn by serving themselves” address the division of feeding
responsibility. They encourage moms to provide healthy choices from which kids get to choose,
to allow their kids to serve themselves and to teach their kids to listen to their own
hunger and satiety cues. While many moms were skeptical about the idea of letting kids serve
themselves, the idea was actually more highly accepted when the words “learn” and “teach”
were included in the message. The concept was much more appealing when presented with
the idea of helping their kids advance developmentally. Mothers who exhibited some skepticism about
DFR were responsive to messages that emphasized the long term benefits of good health and
lifelong habits. The message “Feed their independent spirit at meal times” again highlights the
opportunity for children to learn healthy habits when allowed to make their own food
choices. This message, and “Let go a little to gain a lot”, are also appealing for mothers
who are preparing their children to start school and to learn how to be more independent.
While some mothers struggle with the idea of letting children decide when and how much
to eat, they were responsive to the idea of removing pressure from mealtime and making
it more relaxed and enjoying each other while enjoying family meals. Many moms related to
the message, “sometimes new foods take time”, and believed that it reflected their own experiences.
It reaffirmed for them that they were doing the right thing by continuing to offer a new
food and to keep trying. Mothers are often concerned about whether or not their children
are getting enough nutrition, and this message provides mothers with that piece of mind that
if their child only eats a little at one meal, they will likely get what they need over time
and in other meals and snacks. The mothers who were open to DFR related to this message
and felt that it reflected their current child feeding practices. So now we’re going to take
a look at the tips, advice, and guidance that were developed to support these messages and
provide moms with the why and the how to implement these behaviors. Again, there are over 35
pages of narratives, mom-to-mom stories, bulleted tips, questions and answers, interactive tools,
and recipes. The content reflects language that resonated with mothers during our focus
group testing and materials range from stories from mothers who are just thinking about making
change to actionable tips from mothers who are ready to take action. When you download
these materials, the supporting content is shown with suggested Core Messages. However,
you can mix and match portions of the supporting content with appropriate messages and photos,
and other tips in ways that are going to be most applicable to your audience depending
on the demographics, their stage of change, or other factors that are relevant to the
objectives of your intervention. Here we have an example of a Mom Story, “Using Mom Power
for Good”. For this story, many mothers found it to be relatable, informative, and helpful,
and again it addressed mothers’ sense of empowerment and the influence they have on their children’s
development. They especially liked that it included practical information about how they
can increase their family’s consumption of low-fat or fat-free milk. You can use Mom’s
Stories as inserts in newsletters where you can match it with an appropriate core message,
or you can incorporate them into blogs and combine them with tips or recipes. As you’ll
see later, when we talk about communication tools, this format can also be presented orally
where dialogue and a video was taken directly from the story. Story-telling has always been
an effective way of communicating, and now social media makes it an even more powerful
tool and the possibilities are endless. This is an example of a question and answer format.
This answers the question, “How do I know my kids are getting enough food and nutrition?”
There are also other q and a’s for questions like “Does fat-free and low-fat milk deliver
the same nutrition as whole milk?” or “Why should I let my kids make decisions about
which foods and how much to eat?” And there are many more q and a’s for frequently asked
questions that you likely here often in your practices. Mothers especially liked actionable
advice. Through bulleted tips, you can provide moms the strategies and actions they can take
to make behavioral changes. In the example shown here, there are a lot of bullet points
listed. And bullet points are great because mothers like to have choices. However, you
don’t have to use all of the bullet points at one time. We recommend selecting two or
three points that are of specific concern to your audience and focusing on just a few
behaviors at a time. In this advice from a nutritionist, mothers valued this information
and considered a nutritionist as a highly credible source. This content put many mom’s
minds at ease about the sporadic eating habits of their children and many were relieved to
hear that it’s common for kids to sometimes not eat or just eat one food. Again, this
format is a ready-to-go tool that can easily be inserted in newsletters, blogs, in printed,
digital, or spoken format, and you can use the entire story or just take excerpts from
it. Here we have an example of an interactive tool that you can use to assess whether the
moms in your audience can identify whole grains. And there are other similar tools that are
available that you can use in other assessments or goal-setting exercises with your audiences.
Alright in the focus groups, mothers demonstrated significant confusion about whole grain foods
and how to identify them, so here in this supporting content we address this confusion
and help mothers understand which foods are whole grain, as well as how to identify foods
with whole grain ingredients. On the next slide, messages and supporting content that
explain the health benefits of whole grains were generally top-rated among mothers, and
in this content mothers gain an understanding about the fiber and nutrients in whole grains
and how eating these foods may help maintain overall health for them and their children.
On the next slide, we share examples of several easy recipes that are available for moms to
help their kid’s try to eat more whole grains or low fat milk products, like a wake and
make burrito, a whole grain pita stuffed with veggies and cottage cheese, or a healthy pizza,
or a parfait moms can make with their kid’s. And then on the next slide, we have examples
of activity sheets for kids, which allow them to learn about healthy eating in a fun and
interactive way. And focus groups show that having a game, activity, or other engaging
item, such as an easy recipe, were clearly important to capture kids attention and help
convey the messages. So now with the next slide, we’re going to introduce the Communication
Tools. Now that we’ve seen the many messages and the variety of tips, advice, and guidance
that’s available, let’s deeply look at the communication tools that FNS has also developed.
These tools are not only ready to use tools that you can start using today, but they are
also examples of how these messages and tips can be applied in a variety of formats to
provide your audience with multiple modes of learning. On the next slide, you’ll see
that there are three YouTube videos available, one for Child Feeding, one for Milk, and one
fro Whole Grains. And each video is about two and a half minutes long and the dialogue,
as I mentioned earlier, is drawn directly from the Core Messages, Mom Stories, Tips,
and Recipes. You can add a link to these videos on your webpages or in your communications
to share with your audience, or you can copy the code from YouTube to embed the video directly
onto your website. On the next slide, we show you that there are rollover widgets, which
can also be downloaded to your website, and there are rollovers for Child Feeding, Whole
Grains, and Milk. And again, the content is pulled directly from the Core Messages and
related tips. On the next slide you’ll see that, for each of these rollovers, when you
hover your mouse over each photo at the bottom, a tip appears in the box below. And on the
next slide, as you’ll see, there is a different tip that appears for each photo and no clicking
is necessary. So the rollover format addresses a common concern among mothers that by clicking
on something, they will introduce a virus onto their computer. Alright and on my last
slide there is an online game that is available for kids that allows them to have fun while
learning about low-fat milk, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. The game has a track and
field theme that features four events: javelin, high jump, long jump, and dash. And for each
event, there is a question and answer format that improves knowledge, motivation, and skills
in making healthy choices. The questions are time sensitive, and the faster they answer
the question, the better their score. This concept was well-received in focus groups
and kids found it challenging and fun, as well as a game that their teachers and parents
would approve. So as you can see, there are a wealth of messages and tools available that
you can incorporate into your current educational programming. I’m now going to hand it over
to Sarah, who is going to discuss how you can put the Core Nutrition Messages into practice. Okay, so as you’ve heard, the Core Nutrition Messages are designed to reach and resonate with low-income mothers and 8 to 10 year old children. The messages and their supporting
content can enhance theory-based interventions that address the behavioral outcomes the messages
cover. In the next ten minutes, I will review some of the ways you can integrate the messages
and supporting content into ongoing nutrition education activities. I will discuss a few
of the things you should consider and strategies for incorporating the messages and related
topics, advice, and guidance into communication channels. Given that, I want to emphasize
that it is very important to be aware of your audience’s preferences for ways they prefer
to receive information and the methods that will provide the best results. As covered earlier, the Core Nutrition Messages support national and USDA nutrition goals. The messages can
also be used to support program policy and procedures, including the WIC food package,
Child Nutrition Program meal standards, and SNAP-Ed guidance, thus helping to connect
and strengthen the nutrition education components of these programs. Nutrition educators can
utilize a variety of engaging and educational approaches to help program participants improve
their eating habits. With a little planning, you can easily incorporate the Core Messages
into many of these efforts. Think of them as like building blocks that can enhance and
add new vitality to your nutrition education efforts. So when planning your activities,
it is important to consider your audience and make adjustments for cultural relevance
to better meet the needs of the populations you serve. For example, if a large portion
of the participants you work with have religious beliefs or practices that preclude serving
milk or milk products with certain foods at meals, you can modify the supporting content
to offer appropriate alternatives, such as serving milk or milk products at snack time
instead of dinner. When possible, test your modifications with the audience to ensure
the information is clear and that it has the intended effect. Research indicates that using
multiple delivery points, as well as a variety of communication tools and ways to disseminate
consistent messages to the individual, family, community, social peers, and public policy
makers increases the likelihood of success. Multi-level and multi-faceted methods increase the audience’s exposure to the messages and it allows more opportunities to share the
information with them at critical decision points. Therefore, it is important to know
where to reach moms, and to understand the communication methods that actively engage
them. Audience research and community assessments can provide insight on how to reach low-income
mothers, such as where they live, work, shop, get services and spend free time, what nutrition
programs they participate in, and how they like to receive information. Federal Nutrition
Assistance Program data can provide valuable information, such as authorized WIC and SNAP
stores with high average monthly benefit redemptions, program sites serving large numbers of moms,
schools with high percentages of kids receiving free meals, and childcare and afterschool
programs participating in the Child and Adult Food Care Program. Nutrition Assistance Programs
may also conduct consumer surveys to get feedback on services. These types of data and survey
input may be useful in your planning for how and where to reach your audience. We know
several of you on the webinar today have begun to incorporate the messages in the work that
you do and we appreciate you sharing that with us. Now I’d like to briefly highlight
some of the ways the Core Messages can be applied using a variety of methods and in
different programs serving low-income groups. You can easily incorporate the messages into
both individual counseling and group education encounters. For individual education the information
can presented in a circle chart format, allowing mothers to choose the topic they are most
interested in. The rollover widgets and video clips can be used interactively to help provide
information about consuming whole grains, switching to low-fat milk, and focusing on
family meals. For group sessions, you can show the videos during facilitated discussions,
use the supporting content to address questions or concerns that come up. You could then offer
participants a take-home handout featuring the Core Nutrition Messages and supporting
content as a way to reinforce the group discussions. In addition, you can integrate the messages
into anticipatory guidance, which can help moms prepare for expected physical, social,
and behavioral changes during their children’s current and approaching age and development.
The discussion outline you see on this slide is one of the Massachusetts Touching Hearts,
Touching Minds resources. The messages, supporting content, video clips, and rollovers can be
incorporated into web-based education to supplement the corresponding topics. The videos on DVDs
could be used to communicate the messages in waiting areas by showing them in a repeating
loop. Increased access to the internet makes it possible to reach more people more often
with nutrition messages and related tips and advice. You can use the internet to carry the messages
to moms by building the messages into social marketing and outreach efforts. Use social
media to draw moms to your online resources and messages, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs,
and outlets that reach specific ethnic and population groups. On the right of this slide
is an example of a USDA Tweet and Facebook page featuring the family meals message. On
the left of the slide is an example of New York’s Just Say Yes campaign, which you will
hear more about in the next webinar in October. There are numerous ways the Core Messages
and related materials’ both in print and traditional media formats can be used. This slide lists
several examples you might consider incorporating into your program. You can also use the Core
Messages and resources to support state-wide collaborations and I’d like to share how this
is happening in Oregon. The Nutrition Council of Oregon is a diverse group of nutrition
professionals from Oregon’s public health education and healthcare sectors. Members
include the WIC program, extension, Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Dairy Council,
Aging and People of Disabilities, SNAP, Oregon Food Bank, Headstart, Northwest Portland Area
Indian Health Board, and more. This group decided to incorporate the family meals Core
Messages and supporting content into their Shared Meals Initiative. They also used the
Maximizing the Messages document to guide development of materials and resources. Outcomes
of the family meals promotion include a governor’s proclamation promoting September as Shared
Meals Month, frequently asked questions with talking points for promoting the messages
locally, and session-guides to use with participants in nutrition education groups to raise awareness
of the importance of family meals. Additional supporting materials are still in development.
In deciding what you will do to get your messages across, it is important to keep it clear,
focus on one or two behaviors, connect with moms, address what matters to them and take
your message to them, use stories when possible, and provide options from which they can choose.
I hope this has given you some ideas for how you can apply the Core Messages in your own
programs. You can find all of the Core Messages and the supporting materials at the FNS website.
The link is here on the bottom left of your screen and it is also on the registration
materials you received earlier. You can view these materials by topic and audience by clicking
on the sidebar or the link. In addition to these materials, you will find background
information, the communication tools, research highlights, training materials, and specific
examples from various agencies for how they are using the messages and resources. We hope
that you will use these materials to jumpstart your new and ongoing nutrition education projects
and invite you to share your work with us at the email listed on the slide. We will
now address a few of the questions we have received so far. You can still go ahead and
submit questions through the notes feature on your screen. If we are unable to get to
all of the questions, we will post a frequently asked questions on the training materials
webpage and share it via email. So we’ve gotten a few questions. Are people able to hear me?
Yes they are. We’ve gotten a few questions about where you can get the materials and
about the photos. We will be providing information on where you can access the photos. Many of
the photos were purchased online by USDA and are very inexpensive, so we are able to give
you the sources where you can go and get those photos. Some of them, however, are owned by
USDA. So you can contact us and let us know which photos you are interested in. Be very
specific. It would be good if you would send like an actual photo in your email to show
us what you’re looking for, tell us how you plan to use it, etc. We are limiting use of
the USDA Core Messages photos with products that relate to the Core Messages, so bear
that in mind. Thanks. Mimi are there other questions? Sure, and I just wanted to add
on to that as well Judy, the SNAP-Ed Connection also hosts lots of different pictures that
would fit in with the Core Messages as well, and those can be used for free. So we can
send out follow-up information about that. And there were some questions just about how
to access recording of this webinar and we will be getting that together and post it
online. I will have AT&T send out an email to all of you all when that is available so
you can go back and view it when needed. I’m just going through some of the questions now.
So one of the questions is, “It appears the data on smartphone use is from the 2007 focus
groups. We suspect that more low-income moms have smartphones now. Do we have any more
current data on that?” The data on the smartphone use is actually from the 2010 focus groups
and the numbers jumped tremendously. Remember that we said that they all have phones with
internet access but only 25% of them indicated that they actually had smartphones. But again,
you can’t put too much credence in that specific number due to, you know, the type of research
that we were doing. So I would look at the census data as a great source. However, I
think this is pretty consistent with what the census was saying and with what, Joyce
what’s that other source that we used? Uh Pew Internet Data. Right, Pew Internet, so
you could look there for information too. Our Western Regional Office did a technology
survey and I don’t know if anyone’s, but we could talk to them and share that information
with you as well because their data is much harder than the data that we are talking about
today. But we could share that with you when we do the responses to other questions, if
there are any. Okay and then Judy I have another question too and this is not just for Judy
it’s for all the presenters, but the question is, “Why is there a specific focus on moms?
Do you worry this may adversely impact other caregivers, especially since the family dynamic
is so different now from what it has been historically? For example, there are more
moms in the workplace, more dads at home. Thank you for the webinar.” Sarah would you
like to take a stab at that or…? Sure, I think from when we were doing part of the
research, the moms are the gatekeepers of the family as far as what foods come into
the home and certainly it would be important to share this information with other caregivers
but I think that was the intent. And you can correct me if I’m wrong Judy, that’s why we
focused on the mothers. That’s correct and if you look at the CDC health communication
site and look at the notes they have there and some of the research there, while certainly
the comment is a valid one and the trends may be shifting, mothers still are the predominant
food gatekeepers in the home based on that data as well. So that is why we are focusing
on moms. Great, do we have time for one more? I think so, one more. Okay, do you see a pattern
in who emerges as the lead agency for local collaboration. I guess that’s in terms of
local collaboration using the core nutrition messages. I think anyone who has the motivation,
the inspiration, and the time can emerge as a leader and I encourage all of you to pick
up the banner and go out there and lead the charge because this is very important work
that you are doing. So your training and your background provides you with the skills so
pick it up and lead it. I don’t see any emerging trends. I think personal interest and conviction
is key to success. That’s great you know anyone can do it. And I have one more Judy this is
a good one. Your work developing messages started in 2006 and it’s 2013 now. How long
will these messages be relevant? What is the shelf-life? I think that’s and excellent question.
I thought so too. I think that you have to, you are the primary gatekeeper for how long
these messages will work. Interestingly enough when we did the 2010-11 studies and even
in testing the Spanish materials this year with Spanish speaking mothers, the translation,
they got it. They were into it. But as Joyce mentioned, the Spanish mothers made a tweak
on the “Happy Kids. Happy Tummies.” They thought “Happy Tummies. Happy Kids” was a better message
for them. But they loved these messages and if I could quote one of the moms, she said
“When I read these, they made me cry, they really touched my heart” is what she was saying.
But as you do your development and as you get your input from consumers, you will see
if there’s a shift and when you do I hope that you will let us know. So Mimi I think
with that we should probably move into the wrap-up. That sounds good. Alright, so, before
we close we want to remind you to complete the offline activities about 350 of you have
registered for this. You will get hands-on experience in using the messages that will
hopefully help you to use them more effectively in your practice through the hands-on experience.
And if you also signed up for part 2 October 3rd and that hands-on activity, once you submit
your draft to us you’ll get feedback from the team here today as well as some of the
people who were on the workgroup for the core messages and that will help you even further
to advance the creation of your tool. So I just wanted to remind you of the due date,
which is shown on our next slide here Eddie. The Readings/Q&A should be submitted to us
by the 23rd. Mimi emailed the materials out to everyone who signed up for the online activities
for this session. I believe that was yesterday or the day before. Mimi is that correct? Correct
I sent them out this morning as well and I’ll do one last check after this webinar because
people were signing up until two o’clock so I’ll do one last clean sweep. Alright and
then you can expect to get the questions relating to the readings starting tomorrow if not today.
So you will get the questions so we ask you to respond to those by the 23rd. So we’re
giving you more time because we’re late getting them out. The worksheet, which is just a tool
to help you think through and plan what you want to do is due on the 23rd and then you
should complete the draft and redrafting of your tool by the 2nd of October before the
next webinar, but you don’t need to submit that. You will submit that at the last webinar
in the series. So with that we’ll move on to the next slide. Based on the next session,
you will refine your tool, you will obtain some consumer feedback, you will revise it
and submit it to us, and then you will get your feedback. Now those of you who are registered
for the offline activity for this session, you have already received the registration
information for the next session, so go ahead and sign up because we want to make sure that
there’s continuity, that the people who did the offline activity for this session have
first chance at being a part of the offline activity for the second session. But we are
only able to accommodate 100 people in that session so I urge you to go ahead and sign
up for it. Please when you get the feedback form that Mimi will send you today or tomorrow,
maybe Monday, please take time to provide us with your feedback. We want and need your
constructive criticism. We apologize for any technical difficulties that we have today
but we will be smoothing those out for the next webinar. And if there’s anything that
you want, that we talked about today, that you want to know more about, such as the research
on child feeding, etc, let us know because we do plan to do a couple more webinars early
in 2014 so we want your input into what you would like to see us address. And then finally,
in my last slide, just a big thank you for all that you do every day to help people across
this country to eat better, and to live healthier lives, and to be more secure in their food
availability. You do a great job and behalf of all of those that we serve together, I
thank you.