Our goal is to use a social marketing framework to reduce obesity and prevent chronic disease in the children, families, schools, and communities across New Mexico by making it enjoyable and fun to eat healthy and exercise.

Eat Smart to Play Hard is a 6-week campaign during which the community comes together to engage students, parents, teachers, school staff, and other community members in a common goal to “Eat Smart to Play Hard.” This campaign focuses on helping 8- to 10- year-old elementary school children increase their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables by introducing and reinforcing the concept that eating healthy will help them to play.

Families have a great deal of influence over children’s behaviors, so this campaign is designed to involve family members in making healthy decisions regarding diet and physical activity. Our campaign includes using a passport, student champions, posters, banners, newsletters and the Fun Day for a successful outcome. We strategically developed these tools to make it a fun learning experience for children and their families to make healthy recipes and engage in fun activities at home.

Principal Investigator: Glenda Canaca, MD

Start Date: January 2010 –

Sources of funding: New Mexico Human Services Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-ED)

This project is funded through the USDA, and is subject to The USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.


Browse the Eat Smart to Play Hard Collections:

Campaign Strategies

Formative Research

Passport Recipes