Best practices to conduct assessments using the mNEAT app

As your team prepares for your assessments, consider how you’ll approach things with your stakeholders. It’s important to spend time to build relationships with local food service venue managers and collaborate on the best ways to improve the food environment for your military community.

Plan ahead

Before you start the process, be sure to review the MNE checklist so your team is ready.

There are two ways to assess venues at your local installation or ship. You can bring a computer or tablet with you to use the mNEAT app to complete the questions online as you tour each venue. Or you can print out the in-person worksheets from the mNEAT app and enter your responses into the mNEAT later. Print a worksheet for each venue you plan to assess.

Conduct an assessment

Once you arrive at the venue, introduce yourself to the manager and explain what you’ll be doing. The manager might prefer to walk around the venue with you and help complete the assessment.

  • Salad bar at DFACIf you choose to use the mNEAT app, ensure you have cell service or Wi-Fi to complete the assessment. The app saves the information automatically, but you can also use the “save” button while you complete your assessment. Note: If there’s no action in the mNEAT app for 14 minutes, you’ll see a pop-up window reminding you to continue your work. Otherwise, you will be logged off and will need to sign in again.
  • Jot down any notable observations. For example, you arrive at a venue at the end of the meal period and notice many options weren’t restocked. Be sure to enter your comments for each venue in the “Additional Observations” text box at the end of each assessment.
  • Take pictures to help visualize data collection results. Venue pictures also can serve as a frame of reference for interventions (before and after) and assist in development of your action plan. Always ask venue operators before you take pictures. Consider taking pictures of displays, menu boards, posters, serving lines, etc. Avoid taking photos of staff or diners.

Review and submit assessments

Once your team has assessed all venues, review the assessments for any missing data. If needed, coordinate with your team to collect the rest of the data. Go to the “Existing Assessments” section of the mNEAT app when you’re ready to submit the information. Once submitted, you cannot edit the data.

If you use the mNEAT app to complete assessments, it automatically summarizes the overall installation and individual food service venue scores. If your team used in-person worksheets to complete assessments, collect all worksheets and enter them into the mNEAT app to generate summary scores. After submitting your assessments, look over the scores on the app and start brainstorming ideas for your action plan.

FeedbackHave any tips or best practices from your assessment process? Reach out to CHAMP’s MNE team at and let us know!

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