266459 Now we're cooking with childcare providers! Evaluation of a survey tool for cooking-based, nutrition training in childcare settings

Monday, October 29, 2012

Laura Seman, MPH , Cooking Matters, Share Our Strength, Washington, DC
Julia Brodbeck , Cooking Matters, Share Our Strength, Washington, DC
Courtney Pinard, PhD , Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, Omaha, NE
Tracey Rosen , School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Amy Yaroch, PhD , Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, Omaha, NE
Introduction: Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals teaches participants how to prepare healthy meals and create a positive food environment for children. It aims to improve important outcomes that may ultimately relate to obesity prevention in child care settings, including modeling healthy behaviors, preparing kid-friendly healthy meals, and budgeting for healthy foods. Currently, few tools exist for evaluating cooking-based nutrition education programs. Cooking Matters sought to develop and test a tool to measure the effectiveness of these 10-hour professional trainings delivered across the US.

Methods: Using a survey instrument designed specifically for this program, Cooking Matters and its research partner, the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, conducted fourteen cognitive interviews to evaluate the content, design, and understandability of the survey to ensure the instrument was appropriate for a wide range of childcare professionals. Additionally, survey data from 1,077 participants was analyzed through psychometric testing (e.g., factor analysis and internal consistency).

Results: Cognitive interviewing revealed that survey items were generally well-understood by interviewees; however, specific changes to wording of items and layout of the survey were identified and incorporated. Factor analysis identified three independent factors: self-efficacy, healthy practices, and modeling healthy behaviors. Strong internal consistency was displayed among survey constructs, (Cronbach's alphas: 0.74-0.92).

Discussion: The evaluation instrument was shown to have very good reliability and improvements were incorporated to enhance understandability of the survey. Given the lack of tools assessing cooking-based nutrition education outcomes in the childcare setting, this tool has practical implications for similar efforts.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
The audience will: 1. Discuss methods such as cognitive interviewing and psychometric testing for developing strong evaluation tools for cooking-based nutrition education in child care settings. 2. Identify the key areas of the Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals curriculum assessed by its evaluation tool. 3. Formulate plans for using elements of the Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals evaluation tool with other nutrition education programs involving child care professionals.

Keywords: Child Care, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Principal Investigator and/or project lead on multiple national studies focused on survey development and evaluation, specifically in the area of diet/nutrition. As Executive Director at the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, I oversaw the design, analyses, and report development for the evaluation of the Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals survey instrument.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.