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P43 Partnering with 4-H and High School Culinary Club to Provide School-Based Nutrition Education to Engage Latino Youth in Teaching Cooking Classes to Younger Youth and Adapting Healthy Eating Behaviors

      Objective

      To implement Teens as Teachers Cooking Academy Program (TAT CAP) to underrepresented adolescents and explore their experiences in teaching younger youth and how the experience influences their attitudes and behaviors around healthy eating.

      Use of Theory or Research

      Having adolescents serve as teachers of younger children is a promising approach to support positive youth behaviors. Research showed that teenagers improved their teaching skills, social and emotional learning during cross-age teaching by role modeling and hands-on cooking experience. It empowers youth to make healthy food choices by increasing their self-efficacy. A limited program has been implemented and evaluated among Latino adolescents in a high school setting.

      Target Audience

      Low-income Latino high school (HS) students who participated in Culinary Art Club.

      Program Description

      The TAT CAP was developed through the partnership between University of California (UC) 4-H, CalFresh, and a local HS. UC Extension staff and HS chef gave trainings to 25 Latino HS students for them to use evidence-based cooking curriculum to teach the elementary students how to cook. During the sessions, teen teachers went over nutrition-related topics, cooking demonstrations, and gave younger youth hands-on culinary experience.

      Evaluation Methods

      A post-program teen teacher survey assessed their attitudes and behaviors towards healthy eating, self-efficacy in cooking and teaching, and their experience of being teen teachers.

      Results

      Twenty-five HS students attended TAT CAP program and 19 completed the post-program survey. Over 50% of participants reported they paid attention to how many fruits and vegetables they were eating, ate breakfast most of the days, and ate meals with families after the program; 78% had given their family ideas of healthy meals and snack; and 100% participants said they learned healthy food choices. On average, over 90% of youth were confident in safe cooking behaviors, making change to a recipe, and being a teen leader.

      Conclusions

      TAT program suggested an engaging way for Latino teenagers to learn nutrition and empower them to role model healthy eating behaviors to younger youth.
      Funding: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education.

      Appendix. Supplementary data