Sprouts—Growing Healthy Habits Curriculum

Sprouts Overview

The development of healthy habits in early life is key for families and children to set the stage for a lifetime of health and wellness. Schools and early care settings can play an important role in educating children about nutrition, their bodies, and food sources.  The FRC’s research team has developed a healthy habits curriculum targeted for children ages 4 to 6, which seeks to increase awareness and knowledge of healthy routines—like healthy eating habits or sleeping patterns—that can be implemented in daily life. The curriculum has been piloted at local elementary schools and pre-K programs, and is currently being reviewed for use by childcare providers and afterschool/community-based programs. This curriculum includes facilitator guides that can be easily adopted and used in ways that best suite your population and resources. Each lesson has a specific focus that incorporates hands-on activities and interactive book reading. All 8 lessons can be taught in succession but that is not necessary, individual lessons or activities can be used separately to encourage healthy habits for young children.

Farm to Table—learn about where food comes from and the journey it takes to get from seed to stomach.

Cooking and Family Meals—talk about the importance of eating together as a family and how to help with dinner preparation at home.

Food Groups and Grocery Shopping—understand how to get involved in shopping for healthy food and differentiate between food groups.

Picky Eating: Eat a Rainbow—learn about different types of fruits and vegetables and the importance of trying new things.

Snacks and Beverages—explore differences in sugar content in a variety of beverages and learn about proper snack portion sizes.

Healthy Sleep Habits—learn about healthy bedtime routines and stress the importance of sleep.

Energy Balance—highlight the process of consuming and exerting energy and promote the benefits of adequate physical activity.

Healthy Screen Time—examine how screen time is related to health outcomes

Downloadable Overview

Sprouts Overview PDF

Research Team

  • Barbara Fiese, PhD, Family Resiliency Center Director, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Brenda Koester, MS, Family Resiliency Center Assistant Director, Human Development and Family Studies


This project is supported by the Christopher Family Foundation Food and Family Program.


Brenda Koester
Assistant Director, Family Resiliency Center
Phone: 217-244-6486
Email: bkoester@illinois.edu