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P72 Impact of a Community Cooking Program on Self-Efficacy and Usage of Healthy Foods

Rebitski, Joanna, Stoneham, Jamie, Gomes, Stacey M., Crosby, Lori E., Mitchell, Monica J.
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2019 v.51 no.7 pp. S64
adults, chronic diseases, condiments, cooking, fruits, healthy diet, healthy eating habits, herbs, learning, meat, metropolitan areas, nutrition education, nutrition knowledge, self-efficacy, vegetable consumption, vegetables, Ohio
Evaluate the effectiveness of a five-week community cooking program on adult cooking self-efficacy and usage of healthy foods through pre- and post-surveys.Sufficient fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC) has been found to decrease risk for chronic disease. In 2015, only 6.9% of Ohio adults consumed the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. Research has shown that self-efficacy is a significant predictor in FVC. Cooking for the Family was developed to address self-efficacy by providing hands-on cooking experiences using fresh produce.Adult residents from a large metropolitan area in Ohio.Cooking for the Family is a five-week program that educates individuals about cooking healthy and affordable meals. Its goals are to increase cooking knowledge and skills and self-efficacy in the kitchen. One meal is cooked each week and participants are given produce to take home to cook the same meal with their families. At the fifth class, participants bring their family to cook with them. Participants who successfully complete the program receive a cooking kit which includes cooking supplies and coupons.Participants completed pre- and post-surveys measuring consumption of 20 healthy food items introduced in classes, self-efficacy and program satisfaction.Participants (N = 58) reported significantly higher levels of self-efficacy after completing the program (PreM = 12.6724, PostM = 17.8103, P < .000). Additionally, participants’ (N = 33) consumption of meats, vegetables, herbs/condiments, and pantry items all increased significantly after completion of the program (PreM = 2.121, PostM = 2.444, P < .000), with pantry items showing the most change. Participants were highly satisfied with the program.These findings indicate that in-person nutrition education and hands-on learning are effective strategies for improving cooking self-efficacy and healthy food consumption. Findings should be considered in efforts to increase nutrition knowledge and healthy behaviors.NIH.