Perspectives of Black and Hispanic Children Living in Under-Resourced Communities on Meal Preparation and Grocery Shopping Behaviors: Implications for Nutrition Education

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Nov 20;18(22):12199. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182212199.


Minority children living in under-resourced communities are at the greatest risk for obesity and poor diet quality. Child involvement in meal preparation may be a helpful strategy to improve diet quality. This paper explores minority children's perspectives regarding this. Eighteen children participated in a mixed methods study (online surveys, telephone interviews). Descriptive statistics were calculated for child demographic and psychosocial factors. Thematic analysis was used to code and analyze the interviews. Most children reported having cooking experience (83%) and cooking with family (94%) and exhibited high cooking self-efficacy (21.8 ± 2.9) and positive cooking attitudes (25.7 ± 4.4). Children reported helping with meal preparation (50%) and grocery shopping (41%) sometimes. The qualitative data further supported the results obtained from the children's psychosocial factors. Most children noted the importance of learning to cook with an emphasis on life skills. Children also shared their level of involvement in cooking and grocery shopping. Most children reported using technology when cooking to find demonstration videos and recipes. These findings highlight that minority children participate in meal preparation and grocery shopping. Their perspectives are important for the development of nutrition education programs to achieve equitable dietary outcomes in minority families living in under-resourced communities.

Keywords: Black/African American; Hispanic; children; grocery shopping; meal preparation; minority; nutrition; qualitative; under-resourced.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blacks
  • Child
  • Cooking
  • Diet
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Meals*