Happy Healthy Moms aims to empower moms on an intrapersonal and interpersonal level through knowledge about nutrition, physical activity, and encouraging self-efficacy. There is a curriculum component that includes nutrition education and compatible physical education. The second (and equally as important!) component of the program is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In using CBT, program leaders and educators will address the barriers and stressors in lives of the women attending the workshops and boosting self-efficacy.
The program will take place over 6 weeks, with one ninety minute workshop presented each week. Workshops will start with nutrition education and CBT and move into physical education demonstrations later in the program. Workshops will include lessons, videos, demonstrations, and group discussions that will vary depending on the focus of the week. Individuals who are attending the program will be given handouts to supplement the nutrition and physical activity information supplied during the workshop. They will also be given “assignments” to apply what they learn each week and come back with some feedback of how it went (what was successful and what was not). In this way, each person can find what works for them on an individual level. These assignments include incorporating new behaviors (with the help of SMART goals), trying new recipes, trying to exercises, and initiating important discussions about health with their support systems at home. The intrapersonal work comes in with the focus on their individual behaviors and the interpersonal work is sparked by including their families/support systems and connecting with their peers (i.e. the other mothers in the program).
The program teams should consist of one nutrition educator, a trained physical activity educator (i.e. personal trainer or teacher), an event organizer, and marketing/outreach team who will be responsible for venue, connecting with local businesses, and advertising programs to the local community. It is possible that the nutrition educator and physical activity educator could be the same individual. It will be important for this person(s) to be able to demonstrate proper form when teaching various exercises. They must also be able to answer questions about nutrition or exercise in a detailed manner. The nutrition educator and trained physical activity educator will be provided with training materials and a program manual to guide them as they present the six-week long program. Given that they will have a solid background in their fields, the training materials for the program should be pretty straightforward. It will be important that these one or two educators have the ability to break down their knowledge in simple terms that will be effective for an audience that includes mothers from varying educational backgrounds.
The educator(s) will deliver the curriculum for the six week program, facilitate discussion among attendees, and help to guide change in behavior. The program attendees should feel confident in filling out worksheets given that go over information presented by the educator(s). They should also feel confident in practicing what they have learned at the workshops independently outside of the program. Participation will be measured by the feedback given each week after attendees have completed their “homework”. It will be clear from facilitated discussion how this went. In addition, a survey given at the completion of the program will help to determine how effective the strategies and activities of the program are.