Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition

Committee Member

Dr. Margaret Condrasky, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Julia Sharp

Committee Member

Dr. Sarah Griffin

Committee Member

Dr. Edmond Bowers

Abstract

Healthy Lifestyles Cooking Like a Chef (HLCLC) is a culinary nutrition curriculum based on social cognitive theory. The aim for the HLCLC program is to inspire kitchen confidence and to improve cooking skills and nutrition knowledge, thereby encouraging positive cooking and food choice behaviors. HLCLC aims to expose adolescents to a wide variety of healthy ingredients, teach cooking skills, apply nutrition information, and practice safe food handling. The program objectives are (1) Increase knowledge of healthy food choices through discussion and exposure, (2) Present healthy versions of familiar foods that are inexpensive, tasty, and easy and quick to prepare, (3) Demonstrate cooking techniques that use healthier ingredients, and (4) Practice reading food labels. HLCLC was offered as a team approach with roles for: A HLCLC trained 4-H Agent/volunteer acting as the leader, HLCLC trained 4-H Teen Ambassadors, a professional chef, nutrition and dietetics undergraduate student, and on-site volunteers. The 4-H HLCLC program was introduced in January of 2016 as a “train the trainer” education session for 4-H county teams. The county teams utilized their training as a five-session series HLCLC summer camp throughout South Carolina. It reached 207 adolescents (ages 9-14) in more than 11 separate week-long camps. The HLCLC curriculum included reduced-fat, and low-sodium versions of familiar foods. Two questionnaires, completed by the Ambassadors, were used to assess the learning environment, quality of the program and quantify the curriculum completeness. Three questionnaires, completed by camp participants, were used to quantify aspects of learning and skill building throughout the HLCLC program. It is evident that participants' confidence increased most in preparing healthy meals/snacks and using healthy cooking techniques. There was also an overall increase in positive attitudes towards food. Diverse methods of interactivity, as well as the expertise of program leaders, have been identified as the keys to positive outcomes for the HLCLC experience.

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