The Food Friends: Get Movin' With Mighty Moves

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Unclear + Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Obesity, Physical Activity
Target Audience 

This program is for children in preschool.


The Food Friends®: Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves® program, initially developed for use in Head Start programs, is a school-based or child care based program that is designed to increase physical activity and improve gross motor development in young children.


A randomized controlled trial conducted in eight Head Start centers demonstrated significant changes in gross motor skill development for preschoolers in the intervention group compared to the control group.  No significant changes were observed for physical activity behaviors or weight status.  This program appears to be effective for enhancing gross motor skill performance but was unable to establish efficacy for increasing children's physical activity levels or impacting their weight status.


The Food Friends: Get Movin' With Mighty Moves program was developed at Colorado State University with feedback from experts in health promotion, exercise science, occupational therapy, and child development and is designed to complement the The Food Friends: Fun With New Foods* program.  This program intends to help teachers engage children in structured movement activities that could increase physical fitness and gross motor skills efficiency.

The program is comprised of three components that include teacher/provider training, classroom/family child care home implementation, and home connection. The program objectives include the following:

  • Help children to acquire and improve their gross motor skills;
  • Inculcate movement ideas, such as understanding spatial differences and recognizing one's own body's abilities;
  • Foster creativity;
  • Support a positive approach to physical activity; and
  • Strengthen school-preparedness skills.

*A separate Factsheet is available for The Food Friends: Fun With New Foods program.

Previous Use 

The extent to which the program has been used is unknown.


Training is required and is regularly offered in Colorado.   Off-site training is also available, and trainers will travel to other locations for $1000 plus travel expenses.


Considerations for implementing this program include understanding that this program is intended to be used in conjunction with The Food Friends: Fun With New Foods program, coordinating staff training, recognizing program kits will need to be purchased, and making time to implement the structured activities with children during the day.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


If you are interested in implementing The Food Friends: Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!  Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves is an 18-week program with 4 weekly lessons that last 15 to 20 minutes each.  The structured activities are designed to be used within the normal daily routine of Head Start programs.


The Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves kit is necessary for implementation, contains the program guide and materials, and costs $675.  Additional items can be purchased from

Evaluation Plan 

To move Food Friends: Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves to the Promising category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence, at least one evaluation should be performed demonstrating positive effects lasting at least six months from program completion.

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


Contact the Clearinghouse with questions regarding this program.
Phone: 1-877-382-9185  Email:

You may also contact Food Friends by mail The Food Friends Foundation, Colorado State University-Food Science and Human Nutrition, 1571 Campus Delivery, 240 Gifford, Fort Collins, CO 80523, phone 1-970-491-3562, email, or visit

References - Used For Placement 

Bellows, L. L. (2007).  Development and evaluation of Food Friends Get Movin’ with Mighty
Moves ™, a physical activity program to prevent obesity in low-income preschoolers. Dissertation Abstracts International, 69, suppl. B, 273.

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.