Background (Background, Rationale, Prior Research, and/or Theory): Since 1995 FamilyCook Productions (FCP) has developed and evaluated hands-on cooking nutrition education across the life-cycle. FCP continually evaluates and refines it with the most responsive tactics and disseminates to audiences across 30 + states.
Objective: This study seeks to fill a gap in the process of nutrition education with the development of evidenced-based Communication & Delivery Methods (CDMs) developed over 20 years of programming by FCP to drive positive and sustained healthy food behaviors.
Study Design, Setting, Participants, Intervention: FCP nutrition education sessions with preschool children and parents; elementary children; middle/high school; and adults childen across the U.S. from 1995 to 2017.
Outcome Measures and Analysis: Observations and analysis sessions that recorded specific CDMs that appeared to be connected to behavior change. Qualitative interviews with preschool parents and high school students that had attended FCP programming that asked about post intervention behavior change and what program elements CDMs participants felt facilitated their behavior change process.
Results: Ten CDMs emerged from FCP's program development, refinement, evaluation, dissemination and interviews with program participants: challenge (push participants out of their comfort zone); peer support (create level playing field); experiencing success (weekly sense of achievement); celebratory (create enjoyable atmosphere); skill building (move from “student” to “teacher”); palate development (discover new flavors); skill reinforcement (repetition to build confidence); recipe concepts (move beyond recipe driven cooking); collaboration (value group over individual accomplishment); and home environment (address home dynamics/facilities, access to healthy food).
Conclusions and Implications: These insights on effective CDM can help to shape and improve the foundation of existing and future interventions for all ages that can help nutrition education, especially theory-based and behaviorally focused nutrition education, to have high quality delivery that can lead to engaged participants during the interventions and more sustained behavior change.