Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Lisa Medrow, RDN, LD, Kids Eat Right project specialist with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation

Many nutrition professionals develop new nutrition education programs that we “think” will be effective based on our background, education, and experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy-to-use, online checklist tool where you could be certain that you have included everything in your program that the literature says is important to include for maximum effectiveness? And imagine how helpful this tool could be when writing grants for funding programs! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is proud to announce the release of the Guide for Effective Nutrition Interventions and Education (GENIE).  This simple online checklist helps you design, modify, and improve the quality of existing or new nutrition education programs.  It can also be helpful to program funders to select proposals with the greatest likelihood of success. As the first tool of its kind, GENIE has been rigorously validated, and is based on reliable, scientific evidence.

About GENIE

The online GENIE checklist has nine categories with quality criteria within each category.  Simply mark “yes” if the criterion is present in your program or “no” if it is not.  After completing the GENIE checklist, your program will be given a score based on how many quality criteria you marked as present.  A high score is indicative of a high quality program. Once you complete the GENIE checklist, you will receive a report with feedback about your program strengths and areas for improvement, based on your GENIE criteria scores. GENIE also provides definitions, sample proposals, mini-tutorials, and videos to assist you.

How was GENIE developed?

An Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Education Research Fellow, Jenica Abram, MPH, RDN, LDN and a team from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Academy Foundation, developed and executed a three step process to establish the reliability and validity of GENIE. Step one involved establishing face and content validity, using the expertise of a panel of thought leaders in nutrition education, and development of criteria for the tool. Inter-rater reliability and criterion validity was established in step two. In step three, a systematic review and secondary measure of criterion validity was conducted. GENIE was made possible from an educational grant to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation from the ConAgra Foods Foundation.

What are you waiting for?

It’s easy! Go to http://sm.eatright.org/GENIE and start re-thinking your nutrition education program through the eyes of GENIE!