Impacts of a Vegetable Cooking Skills Program Among Low-Income Parents and Children

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the impact of a vegetable-focused cooking skills and nutrition program on parent and child psychosocial measures, vegetable liking, variety, and home availability.

Design

Baseline and postcourse surveys collected 1-week after the course.

Setting

Low-income communities in Minneapolis–St Paul.

Participants

Parent–child dyads (n = 89; one third each Hispanic, African American, and white) with complete pre-post course data; flyer and e-mail recruitment.

Intervention(s)

Six 2-hour-weekly sessions including demonstration, food preparation, nutrition education lessons, and a meal.

Main Outcome Measures

Parental cooking confidence and barriers, food preparation/resource management, child self-efficacy and cooking attitudes, vegetable liking, vegetable variety, and vegetable home availability.

Analysis

Pre-post changes analyzed with paired t test or Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Results were significant at P < .05.

Results

Increased parental cooking confidence (4.0 to 4.4/5.0), healthy food preparation (3.6 to 3.9/5.0), child self-efficacy (14.8 to 12.4; lower score = greater self-efficacy), vegetable variety (30 to 32/37 for parent, 22 to 24/37 for child), and home vegetable availability (16 to 18/35) (all P < .05).

Conclusions and Implications

A short-term evaluation of a vegetable-focused cooking and nutrition program for parents and children showed improvements in psychosocial factors, variety, and home availability.

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