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

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Abstract

Objective

Use the Community Readiness Model (CRM) to develop and evaluate a contextually appropriate pilot culinary training program for school nutrition staff members.

Design

Mixed methods to guide intervention development.

Settings

Six school districts in rural and urban areas of a southwestern state.

Participants

School nutrition staff (n = 36; female; <1 to >20 years’ experience).

Intervention

Pre- and post-training assessments used the CRM. Findings from the pre-assessment were used to develop the pilot culinary training intervention.

Main Outcome Measure

Readiness to integrate new food preparation methods into existing practices.

Analysis

The 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.

Results

Overall 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 Implications

The 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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