Using text messages to engage low-income parents in school-based nutrition education

Stephanie K. Grutzmacher, Erin Braunscheidel Duru, Katherine E. Speirs, Laryessa Worthington, Ashley L. Munger, Lisa A. Lachenmayr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Because children spend significant time in school settings, school-based programs have great potential to prevent childhood obesity. Nutrition education and physical activity programs may be more effective, however, when they engage parents to reinforce key messages and behaviors outside of school settings. The Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education program (FSNE) partnered with 23 Title I elementary schools in Maryland to develop and administer Text2BHealthy, an innovative text message program that engages parents in their children’s school-based nutrition education. Text2BHealthy sends 2 behaviorally focused text messages to enrolled parents each week. These messages provide actionable nudges that encourage improved nutrition and physical activity and reference upcoming free or low-cost opportunities and events in the child’s school and the surrounding community. Preliminary evaluation results suggest that Text2BHealthy resulted in improvements on a number of fruit and vegetable practices of parents and their children. Additional evaluation research is needed to demonstrate efficacy of text message programs and program components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-339
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Community involvement
  • low-income parents
  • nutrition education
  • obesity prevention
  • parental involvement
  • school-aged children
  • school-based intervention
  • text messages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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