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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Mar-Apr;46(2):110-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Impact of a school-based cooking curriculum for fourth-grade students on attitudes and behaviors is influenced by gender and prior cooking experience.

Author information

1
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Electronic address: Leslie.Cunningham-Sabo@Colostate.Edu.
2
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare effects of the Cooking With Kids (CWK) cooking and tasting curriculum (CWK-CT) with a less-intense, tasting-only curriculum (CWK-T) and to conduct a non-treatment comparison on fourth graders' cooking self-efficacy (SE), cooking attitudes (AT), and fruit and vegetable preferences (FVP).

DESIGN:

Pre-post, quasi-experimental, 2 cohorts.

SETTING:

Eleven low-income public schools in a Southwestern city.

PARTICIPANTS:

Fourth-grade students, 50% female and 84% Hispanic.

INTERVENTIONS:

School-based experiential nutrition education program of 5 2-hour cooking and/or 5 1-hour fruit and vegetable tasting lessons throughout the school year.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Cooking self-efficacy, AT, and FVP were assessed with 3 tested, validated scales administered in a 37-item survey pre- and post-classroom intervention.

ANALYSIS:

General linear modeling with gender and prior cooking experience were fixed factors.

RESULTS:

Among 961 students, CWK positively affected FVP, especially in CWK-CT students and males (P = .045 and .033, respectively); vegetable preference drove this outcome. Independent of treatment, students without cooking experience (61% male) had more than twice the gains in cooking self-efficacy (P = .004) and an improved AT response (P = .003).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Cooking With Kids increased FVP, especially with vegetables. Greatest gains in preferences and self-efficacy were seen in boys without prior cooking experience. For fourth graders, experiential nutrition education improved cognitive behaviors that may mediate healthful food choices.

KEYWORDS:

attitude; child; cooking; food preferences; fruits, vegetables; nutrition education; nutrition survey; self-efficacy

PMID:
24268970
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2013.09.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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