Use of Community Readiness Model to Develop and Evaluate a Pilot Culinary Training Program for School Nutrition Staff

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ObjectiveUse the Community Readiness Model (CRM) to develop and evaluate a contextually appropriate pilot culinary training program for school nutrition staff members.DesignMixed methods to guide intervention development.SettingsSix school districts in rural and urban areas of a southwestern state.ParticipantsSchool nutrition staff (n = 36; female; <1 to >20 years’ experience).InterventionPre- and post-training assessments used the CRM. Findings from the pre-assessment were used to develop the pilot culinary training intervention.Main Outcome MeasureReadiness to integrate new food preparation methods into existing practices.AnalysisThe researchers used t and Wilcoxon tests to compare overall readiness and dimension scores (P ≤ .05). Thematic analysis was used to identify themes from the discussion component of the assessments.ResultsOverall readiness increased from vague awareness to preparation (P = .02). Improved dimensions were knowledge of efforts (P = .004), leadership (P = .05), and knowledge of issues (P = .04). Themes included barriers, leadership, and motivation.Conclusions and ImplicationsThe CRM was useful for developing and evaluating a contextually appropriate and effective culinary training program for school nutrition staff. Future efforts should address the provision of additional resources such as on-site chefs, small equipment grants, and engaging school stakeholders.

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