A Teaching Kitchen Program Improves Employee Micronutrient and Healthy Dietary Consumption

Nutr Metab Insights. 2023 Mar 10;16:11786388231159192. doi: 10.1177/11786388231159192. eCollection 2023.


Objective: To measure changes in micronutrient adequacy and diet quality in healthcare and university employees who underwent a 10-week teaching kitchen program.

Methods: Thirty-eight healthcare and university employees participated in a 10-week teaching kitchen program. Twenty-seven completed self-administered, 24-hour dietary recalls to measure dietary intake at baseline and 3-months. Micronutrient adequacy and diet quality was assessed using Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI).

Results: Seventy percent of participants were classified as low or moderate micronutrient adequacy at baseline. The proportion of participants with high micronutrient adequacy increased from 30% to 48% at 3-month follow-up. Total HEI and most HEI components increased at follow-up; with a statistically significant increase in seafood/plant protein score (P = .007).

Conclusions and implications for practice: Our results suggest an inadequacy in micronutrient intake in university and healthcare employees and that teaching kitchens may help improve micronutrient adequacy and diet quality.

Keywords: ASA-24; Healthy Eating Index; diet quality; dietary recall; micronutrient adequacy; nutrition education; plant-based; teaching kitchen.