ToyBox Intervention – Greece


The ToyBox-intervention ( is a multicomponent, kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention, focusing on the promotion of water consumption, healthy snacking, physical activity and the reduction/ breaking up of sedentary time in preschool children and their families (four EBRBs). Main aim is to prevent overweight/obesity in early childhood.

The intervention was implemented during the academic year 2012–2013 in six European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain. Standardized protocols, methods, tools and material were used in all countries for the implementation of the intervention, as well as for the process, impact, outcome evaluation and the assessment of its cost-effectiveness. A total sample of 7,056 preschool children and their parents/caregivers participated. The implementation of the ToyBox-intervention was conducted at four levels. Level 1. Teachers conducted permanent environmental changes in the classroom/kindergarten, in order to create a supportive environment (i.e. rearrangements of the classroom/kindergarten to create free space). Level 2. Teachers promoted the four targeted EBRBs within each day (e.g. reminding every day children to drink water regularly and do short movement breaks, arranging a daily break for the whole class to eat healthy snacks and performing two physical education sessions per week). Level 3. Teachers implemented interactive classroom activities. Level 4. Parents/caregivers were encouraged and advised via simple and friendly to read material and to apply relevant environmental changes at home, act as role models and implement these lifestyle behaviours together with their children. All material used during the intervention was the same across participating countries, allowing for some small cultural adaptations at a local level. The ToyBox-intervention resulted to favourable changes of energy balance related behaviours for the children in the intervention group compared to the control group. The results of the process evaluation showed that the intervention was well-received from the targeted audience. The cost-effectiveness study will be published shortly.
Additional information:  

(last accessed in March 2017)

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Life Cycle Stages: Early Childhood | 
Main Settings: daycare / crèche / kindergarten | family | 
Specific Topics: nutrition | physical activity | 

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