Online Program

Building resilence in low-income elementary children one recipe at a time

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Jody Vogelzang, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND, CHES, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI
Background/Purpose: This after-school program is located in Kent County, Michigan. Kent has a child food insecurity rate of 18.6% which equates to 29,580 children who live with the daily stress of an unreliable food environment. This persistent and uncontrollable experience during critical developmental periods can lead to long-term health and behavioral issues. The Kick and Cook program intervention was based on the social constructs of role modeling, family support, cultural relevance, return demonstration, and self-efficacy. 

Methods/Approach: Multi-center afterschool programs were used for this project. Sixty low-income, racially diverse fourth and fifth graders took part in a six–week after school physical activity and cooking class. The class met for 90 minutes two times per week. All of the participants were sent home with the recipe of the day, and the raw ingredients so they could reproduce the food item at home with their families. Reflective journaling, observation, and pre and post self-efficacy surveys were used as program evaluation methods. 

Findings: Individual observational surveys were completed weekly on each participant. All participants showed gains in following directions, team behavior, and skill development. In the pre-program survey, many students were unsure of their skills in the kitchen. In the post survey 100% of the participants ranked themselves at the highest level in all aspects of food preparation.

Implications: Promoting food preparation mastery in this population can be seen as a protective force that provides skills to fight food insecurity in their immediate family and builds resilience to combat future adversities.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe how success in the kitchen can affect self-efficacy and resilience of elementary age, low-income children

Keyword(s): Self-Efficacy, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been principal investigator of the foundation funded grant focusing on building self-efficacy in children. In addition I have 25 years of experience in working in community health and health education with diverse health populations. My research interest is in the effect of poverty on family function.
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.