Exposing young people to cooking and new foods: Findings from a feasibility study in an alternative education setting

Jennifer Utter*, Anna Fay, Simon Denny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: The current study describes a feasibility study of an experiential cooking program for alternative education students. The aims were to identify potential areas for measuring impact (beyond nutrition) and to identify issues threatening the feasibility and evaluation of the program. 

Materials and methods: Weekly cooking sessions were conducted in one alternative education center over a school term. Data were collected through weekly observations, a youth focus group, and staff interview. 

Results: Observational data confirmed high levels of participation by students, willingness to try new foods, and enjoyment of foods prepared. Comments from the teacher and students emphasized the wider impact of the cooking sessions on positive youth development and cultural engagement, including opportunities for socio-emotional learning, team work, socializing with peers, and cultural blessings of food. 

Conclusion: Future studies should consider measures of positive youth development along with cooking skills and eating behaviors as potential outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-381
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Volume27
Issue number4
Early online date2 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

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