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P16 Out of the Box Uses for Vegetables: Reframing the Old to Draw Interest and Improve Health

      Objective

      To increase participant knowledge about new ways to use and prepare vegetables, increase the amount and variety of vegetables participants consume, and reduce the amount of vegetables participants throw away.

      Use of Theory or Research

      Social cognitive theory constructs of self-efficacy, behavioral capability, and outcome expectations were used to design the program and increase likelihood of behavior change.

      Target Audience

      Adults at worksites or community centers in Polk County, Florida, during convenient times for the audience.

      Program Description

      A class titled “Out of the Box Uses for Vegetables” was created to put a different spin on eating vegetables. Class participants learn the recommended servings per day, health benefits of vegetables, basic cooking methods that work for most vegetables, and how to save money and reduce food waste by making simple and fun additions or substitutions to foods using vegetables. This class uses integrative methods, including brainstorming and discussion among participants, and taught at an intermediate level. Food demonstrations, such as carrot dogs, were done to showcase a unique use of vegetables.

      Evaluation Methods

      A retrospective pre-post survey was used to evaluate knowledge gain and intent to change behavior.

      Results

      As a result of the class, 94% of participants (n = 34) said they have new ideas for using vegetables, 97% were extremely or somewhat likely to increase the amount of vegetables they eat, 97% were extremely or somewhat likely to increase the variety, and 83% were less likely to throw away vegetables.

      Conclusion

      This class has drawn interest from class site locations and shows promise in helping people eat more vegetables and over time lead to improved health and lower health care costs. Secondarily, this class can help reduce food waste thereby creating a more sustainable food system with less impact on our environment.
      Funding: None.

      Appendix. Supplementary data