Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Participants Perceive That Zobey's Jungle Jive Promotes Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Their Preschool-Aged Children

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Low levels of physical activity and excessive screen time, among other factors, have been linked to overweight among preschoolers.1 A Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) survey showed that child preference has a role in determining the foods parents serve, and that many children ask for the foods they see on television (unpublished data). Family-based programs that combine a few simple physical activity and nutrition messages should be a primary strategy in preventing childhood overweight because parents serve as role models for their children.2 With this in mind, Texas WIC created Adventures of Zobey, a series of 4 DVDs for preschool-aged children and their families to encourage physical activity and promote healthy eating habits. Each Zobey DVD incorporates visuals and messages that promote nutritious foods and engage children in a story that makes television viewing active time. For example, in Jungle Jive, Zobey and a group of kids help the animals throw a surprise party for Elephant. They help Monkey make a fruit-a-licous sculpture cake-o-rama, help transport it to the party, and help Lion with his Jungle Jive dance for Elephant. Key nutrition messages include: healthy foods can be used for celebration, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and drink water (Figure). The videos incorporate social cognitive theory components such as behavioral capability, outcome expectations, observational learning, reinforcement, and self-efficacy.3 Child development and child movement specialists reviewed early videos for age-appropriateness.4 Currently, the Zobey series includes A Trip to Bugland (2007), Searching for a Rainbow (2007), Jungle Jive (2010), and Barn Dance Party (2011).