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Table 3 Practical strategies, their contents and implementation

From: Development of the DAGIS intervention study: a preschool-based family-involving study promoting preschoolers’ energy balance-related behaviours and self-regulation skills

Intervention levelPractical strategiesStrategy contentsImplementation
PreschoolEarly educators’ trainingsIntervention aims, timetable, materials and theoretical background
Group discussions on intervention implementation
Manuals were distributed, and their contents were scrutinized
Based on MindUp™ training
Before the intervention started, all early educators participated in 5–5.5-h training; at the halfway point of the intervention, the early educators participated in an additional 2.5–3-h training
ManualsShort theoretical introduction to the contents of the theme
Activity ideas to do with children at preschool
Connection of the theme and activities to the national core curriculum for early education and care
Materials that should be distributed to parents during the theme period
One manual for each theme (altogether five themes) was distributed during the training sessions
Meeting with preschool managersInformal meeting aiming to recognize the problems that preschools might have with programme implementation
Meeting informed the researchers how each of the preschools preferred the mentoring visits to be organized
Was organized 2 weeks after early educators’ trainings; managers from all intervention preschools gathered together in the town hall where the meeting was held
Mentoring visitsVaried slightly according to the needs/wishes of the early educators and manager: either an organized meeting with early educators and manager or free discussion only with early educators in each group about how the intervention implementation had startedWere organized 2–3 weeks after the intervention start at the preschools
Booster e-mails with pedagogical tipsReminder that a new theme was supposed to be started at preschools
Additional practical activity ideas about how the theme could be discussed with children at preschool
Were sent at the beginning of each new theme
Preschool and familyActivity afternoonsIncluded activities that were related to the ongoing theme and that parents could do together with their children; all activities were such that the children had practiced the things at preschool before the afternoon and could show their parents how to do the activitiesWere organized at preschools by early educators; one activity for each EBRB theme
FamilyEducational letterGeneral information on target behaviour of the theme: how the behaviour benefits health, increases skills and supports family life
Tips for how to perform behaviour (e.g. increase PA as a family, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, decrease sugar intake, regulate children’s screen use)
Information on the recommendations and normative information on the behaviours on average (e.g. average screen time or fruit and vegetable consumption of the study participants)
Normative information on how other parents on average try to support the health behaviour in question
Were distributed to parents in paper through the preschool; one for each theme
DAGIS e-mailsIncluded links to existing materials on the internet regarding the theme that was ongoing at that moment
Two of the e-mails included video clips related to the theme
Were sent to families through the preschool; one for each theme
Personal feedbackPersonal feedback on child’s EBRBs based on the baseline measurements; alongside personal results, the averages of the study cohort were presentedWere sent directly to participants by researchers; one for each theme
Map applicationA map application where:
Children and parents could tag their favourite places to be physically active and that they would recommend to other families
Early educators could tag activity places where the group had visited during the preschool day and share the places with parents
Early educators could create orienteering maps for themselves as well as for other groups
Was presented to parents by early educators during the screen-time-related theme
Family and childBingo boardBingo board including fun activities that parents and children could try together at homeWere distributed to parents as a part of the educational letter
ChildMindUp™ curriculumThe curriculum aims to develop self-awareness, self-management, and self-regulation through attention awareness practices and lessons. Several activities include physical activity and eating (Maloney et al. 2016) (e.g. children were taught how the brain works by using fictive animal figures, and being mindful in their physical activity)Was implemented in the preschool groups
Activities related to EBRBsSensory-based activities and other activities related to fruit and vegetables
Games and other activities (e.g. physically active Christmas calendar) to increase PA
Were implemented in the preschool groups
Two storybooksOne of the storybooks was about the balance between inactivity and PA; the other storybook was about being brave with tasting food.
At preschool, the stories were meant to be read with the whole group and adjusted for the group’s age; both stories included pictures, which made it possible to go through the stories using only the pictures
Were distributed to each preschool group as well as every family; family storybooks were attached to their educational letters