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Missoula City-County Health Department
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Health Services: Eat Smart - CATCH

Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH)

CATCH is a school-based program to increase healthy eating and physical activity in elementary students.  All District One elementary and middle schools have adopted the program.

Through CATCH children and their families learn how to be healthy for a lifetime.  This program builds an alliance among parents, teachers, child nutrition personnel, school staff, and other community partners.

Missoula is CATCHING UP logo for CATCH Program

Here's what students from Franklin Elementary had had to say about the program:

  • “Without you, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between sometimes foods and everyday foods” (Galen B)
  • “It was fun when we read the [food] labels” (Yvonne C)
  • “You taught us to go for goals” (Greg)
  • “I’ll eat a lot of fruits and vegetables” (Jojo)


The components of CATCH

  1. CATCH PE - Physical Activity
  2. Go for Health - Classroom Curriculum
  3. Eat Smart - School Nutrition
  4. Home Team - Family Activities
  5. Middle school program
  6. CATCH Kids Club - after-school and summer programs


Missoula students in the CATCH program showed a 240% improvement in knowledge based upon the pre-and post-tests.


What kids think

“I had a fortune cookie once and it said ‘Try it you might like it’ and that’s the way it was with this.” – Brandon, 3rd grade, Lewis and Clark, after trying the berry medley salad.

Lisa Tims has visited our elementary schools and talked to the children about some of the new foods on school menus. Here's how students felt:

Food Survey: Elementary Students
Food Tested # of Students Surveyed "I liked it" "It was okay" "I didn't like it"
Fresh Garden Salad 173 68% 19% 13%
Tangy Cherry Salad 45 66% 18% 18%
Berry Medley Salad 87 80% 12% 8%
Egg and Cheese Omelet 220 89% 8% 3%


Information for parents

What we know about kids and food:


Missoula CATCH Contact

CATCH Program Coordinator:


Missoula County School Wellness


Related websites

Physical activity
Healthy eating


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