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

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2018 Sep;50(8):795-802. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.10.016. Epub 2017 Dec 12.


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.

Keywords: cooking intervention; low-income; parent–child pairs; self-efficacy; vegetables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cooking*
  • Diet / methods
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meals
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents
  • Poverty
  • Self Efficacy
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult