Urban After-School Partnership Teaches Cooking and My Plate Nutrition

Michelle F. Brill, Fred Shaykis

Abstract


Seventeen percent of children in the U.S. are clinically obese and many more are overweight and at risk for obesity. The consequences of childhood overweight and obesity warrant greater efforts in early prevention. A key factor associated with energy intake and weight gain is consumption of foods away from home. Programs to promote eating more home-prepared foods present an encouraging area of intervention for improving children’s diet quality and diminishing childhood obesity. This study reports on an urban after-school cooking program implemented through a partnership between Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Boys and Girls Club. Post-test measures and qualitative observations found that the program increased cooking skills and enjoyment, interest in healthy eating and exposure to healthy foods, and provided knowledge and tools to help modify students’ eating habits away from school. Partnerships between after-school providers and Cooperative Extension can provide effective programming in areas with widespread poverty and limited resources.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2015.419

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