The program uses messaging technology and behavior-change science to help people change their habits.It takes place over a period of weeks and is served directly to the user in digestible and understandable packets. Its power comes from being architected around the challenges, practical and psychological, faced by parents trying to feed and teach their children in a challenging environment.
For the Clinton Global Initiative, we performed primary research in which we concluded that the most cost-effective way to achieve the target goal of reducing obesity in the overall society was not to target children and teens directly, but rather to talk to parents, guiding them to change their behaviors and provide their children with positive habits early on.
You can find the logic model (how we hypothesize it works to achieve change) here.
Eszter Erdélyi volunteered to write the Feeding Your Kids program as a pro bono project. There is no advertising in the program, and it’s entirely free.
Once we had written the program, the next problem was: how do we tell people it’s there? Since we had no money to advertise the program, we tried the simplest possible approach just to learn something: we turned on Google AdWords. We didn’t know how to use it, and when Carey was setting it up, he accidentally clicked the box for “World” content network instead of “U.S.” content network. The next day, he couldn’t figure out why people were signing up from other countries.
And they kept signing up from other countries. For weeks, we kept watching more countries pop up. It was one of the best times either one of us have ever had with a new company or new product. We have now had people sign up and use the program from 120 countries. Our favorite ones include the woman who owns the day care center in Heliopolis, Egypt, which is outside Cairo; and the woman who emailed from Ethiopia to thank us for helping her learn how to feed her baby. We are humbled and grateful.
This program is a first step toward bringing to all parents the support and advice they need, no matter where they are or what their situation is. We hope you will enjoy it, and that it helps you achieve your goals in feeding your kids healthy food!