Choose Health Action Teens

Engaging youth in health promotion through the peer educator model

The Choose Health Action Teens (CHAT) program is a collaborative initiative of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program and Cornell’s Division of Nutritional Sciences that integrates youth civic engagement with efforts to encourage healthy lifestyles by engaging teens in teaching healthy eating and active living to younger youth. CHAT trains interested teens to help teach the Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness (CHFFF) curriculum to younger youth in after-school programs, summer camps, schools, and other settings. Teen educators are recruited and provided with a structured 12-hour training, as well as support and mentorship throughout the program.

Evaluation suggests that participating teens gain leadership and facilitation skills and also change their own eating and physical activity habits.

The CHAT program is intended for use by Cooperative Extension educators and other adult mentors with some knowledge of nutrition and experience working with youth. Those without a nutrition background are encouraged to carefully review the CHFFF curriculum and materials including the background for each CHFFF lesson and work closely with a local nutrition professional if possible in learning and implementing the curriculum.

To Access CHAT Materials or Training