The effect of a cooking class program on the knowledge and skills of 4th-6th grade children in a low-income neighborhood

by Parris, Cheyenne (Cheyenne

Abstract (Summary)
Rebecca Pobocik, Advisor Limited research has been conducted on the effectiveness of cooking programs for children. The objectives of this study were to develop a curriculum, “Kids in the Kitchen”, and determine its effectiveness on participants’ nutrition knowledge and cooking skills. Participants were 4th through 6th grade children from a low-income, urban area. This study was a quasiexperimental design with an intervention (n = 13) and control group (n = 11). The intervention, consisting of seven lessons about the Food Guide Pyramid and preparation of recipes, was based on the social learning theory and taught by the researcher. The study was conducted at a YMCA during an after-school program. Written pre and post-tests were administered to all children at the beginning and end of the intervention. A skills checklist was completed for the intervention students based on observation by the researcher. A written survey was administered to parents during the final session. Repeated measures analysis of variance testing found the mean number of correct answers by the intervention group (6.5 + 3.1) was significantly higher (p = .04) than the control group (4.5 + 2.6) at post-test. The results of the Skills Checklist indicated 92.3% of children could independently choose the correct measuring device for different ingredients. More than half of the children could use a vegetable peeler (69.2%), cheese grater (53.9%), and meat thermometer (53.9%) independently. The parent evaluation revealed that the majority of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child knew how to: properly wash their hands before cooking (92.3%); measure ingredients (93.4%); use a vegetable peeler (92.4%); brown ground beef (84.6%); and, use a cheese grater (84.7%). The parents’ assessment matched the skill level of the child for independently measuring ingredients and using a knife. This study demonstrated a successful intervention for increasing nutrition knowledge and developing cooking skills of iii inner city children. In addition, both the children and their parents were positive about the program and enjoyed the social outlet it provided. A recommendation for practitioners is to collaborate with community agencies, such as the YMCA, to provide “Kids in the Kitchen” in a constructive and safe environment. iv This thesis is dedicated to my grandfather. Thank you for your constant encouragement and devotion during my college years. v
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cookery after school programs poor children


Date of Publication:

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