Online Program

Assessing and promoting cooking self-efficacy among low-income and minority mothers

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Rachelle Falk, Dept. of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Katarina Velickovic, Dept. of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem
Robin Lieberman, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI
Sara A. Quandt, PhD, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Home preparation of healthy foods can improve diet quality.  However, low income families may lack the skills and self-efficacy necessary to produce appealing and healthy home-cooked meals.  This paper will (1) describe the development of a cooking self-efficacy (CSE) instrument, (2) describe a cooking curriculum designed to increase CSE, and (3) present pre-post CSE scores for participants in this cooking curriculum for the overall summer, as well as specific to each class.  In consultation with food and nutrition experts, we identified 19 skills necessary for preparation of healthy meals from whole foods; these skills were incorporated into a CSE instrument.  In the context of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)-type program that provided low income families with boxes of produce from a local farm for 16 weeks, we developed an interventional cooking curriculum consisting of 3 different classes that incorporated these 19 skills.  Mothers in 87 families with incomes <185% of the federal poverty level and a co-resident minor child were recruited by staff at three non-profit organizations.  The sample was 45% Hispanic and 54% African American.  Overall, CSE increased across the summer.  Scores for class-specific skills showed increases in mean self-efficacy from before to after each class.  In general, self-efficacy increased more for conceptual skills (e.g., ability to prepare a main dish incorporating fruit) and less for skill-based tasks (e.g., knife skills) that require greater practice. While the CSE instrument requires further development and testing, it shows promise as a focus for organizing and evaluating cooking classes in this population.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define cooking self-efficacy List skills necessary to prepare home-cooked meals Describe change in different types of cooking skills associated with cooking class completion.

Keyword(s): Minority Health, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of multiple federal and local grants focused on food and nutrition among vulnerable populations. I am a nutritional anthropologist, with a PhD in anthropology and a doctoral level minor in human nutrition from Michigan State University.
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.