New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education

Calcium Select to Protect Campaign

Did you know that calcium is the most common mineral in our body? Our bones and teeth have about 99% of the calcium in our body!

Through social marketing efforts, the SNAP-Ed Support Network is committed to increasing calcium consumption in New Jersey's limited resource African American and Hispanic children during their formative years. NJ SNAP-Ed utilizes social marketing principles to apply nutrition related health education message as a call to action to encourage behavior change. The aim of the NJ SNAP-Ed social marketing campaign is to reach limited resource parents and caregivers that are typically not reached through the SNAP-Ed Program's direct education efforts. To accomplish this, culturally appropriate, low-literacy nutrition education materials are available in both English and Spanish and are free of charge. The distribution channels for these materials will be through the statewide SNAP-Ed Support Network including retail food chains who will host retail promotions that will include coupons for discounts on calcium-rich foods and point of purchase displays flagging calcium-rich food items throughout the stores.


Phase I of Calcium: Select to Protect will focus on African American and Hispanic parents/caregivers of children 1-8 years of age with Phase II focusing on adolescents.


The educational objectives for this project are:

  • Direct education to limited resource parents/caregivers of children 1-8 and adolescents: to promote the importance of calcium consumption for calcium-rich foods, through direct agency dissemination of information and educational materials that are science-based, culturally-sensitive and suitable for low-literacy audiences;
  • Information disseminated to medical care providers and community agencies regarding this issue illustrating the use and implementation of the materials created; and
  • Retail promotion of calcium-rich foods


The program will educate both parents and children on the importance of calcium consumption to aid in disease prevention and better health by providing easy tips on:

  1. Sample menus on how to indoctrinate the daily recommended calcium requirements into a child's daily diet
  2. Examples on how to prepare quick and easy meals that are calcium-rich
  3. An illustration on how to read food labels to check the milligrams of calcium
  4. Charts showing how to select foods that are rich in calcium
  5. Information on what to do if you child is lactose intolerant
  6. Diseases that children are at risk for if they do not get sufficient calcium intake

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