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When chefs adopt a school? An evaluation of a cooking intervention in English primary schools

Caraher, M., Wu, M., Seeley, A. and Lloyd, S. (2013). When chefs adopt a school? An evaluation of a cooking intervention in English primary schools. Appetite, 62, pp. 50-59. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.11.007

Abstract

This article sets out the findings from research on the impact of a, UK based, chefs in schools teaching programme on food, health, nutrition and cookery. Professional chefs link with local schools, where they deliver up to three sessions to one class over a year. The research measured the impact of a standardised intervention package and changes in food preparation and consumption as well as measuring cooking confidence. The target group was 9–11 year olds in four schools. The main data collection method was a questionnaire delivered 2 weeks before the intervention and 2 weeks afterwards. There was a group of four matched control schools. Those taking part in the intervention were enthused and engaged by the sessions and the impact measures indicated an intention to change. There were gains in skills and confidence to prepare and ask for the ingredients to be purchased for use in the home. Following the session with the chef, the average reported cooking confidence score increased from 3.09 to 3.35 (by 0.26 points) in the intervention group – a statistically significant improvement. In the control group this change was not statistically significant. Children’s average reported vegetable consumption increased after the session with the chef, with the consumption score increasing from 2.24 to 2.46 points (0.22 points) again, a statistically significant increase with no significant changes in the control group. The research highlights the need to incorporate evaluation into school cooking initiatives as the findings can provide valuable information necessary to fine-tune interventions and to ensure consistency of the healthy eating messages.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Cooking; Vegetable consumption; Cooking confidence; Culinary nutrition
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
T Technology > TX Home economics
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology > Food Policy
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/2041
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