UC CalFresh & 4-H Cooking Academy in Yolo County
What Has ANR Done?The UC-CalFresh Nutrition Education Program in Yolo County has coordinated with 4-H to lead a new project, Cooking Academy, using the 4-H Cooking 101 series curriculum with elementary students from six different, ethnically diverse, low-income sites in Yolo County, California. The hands-on, experiential, skill-based program includes seven weeks of cooking and food safety instruction. Students learn basic nutrition information to plan meals, safely prepare and enjoy food, and try new foods like tofu, whole-wheat tortillas, and zucchini. Cooking Academy promotes the three pillars of dietary behavior change; skills, attitudes and knowledge. Students try new foods in delicious ways (attitudes), learn the skills needed to prepare fruits, vegetables, and other healthy items (skills) and increase food literacy around recipe reading and food preparation concepts (knowledge). This further shapes their eating behaviors by creating a healthy food environment at home for each student and their family. Overall, the program is on track to successfully graduate over 120 students by the end of spring 2016.
Young Chefs learn how to cook new and healthy foodsWhile learning to follow a recipe, there are opportunities to try foods from each MyPlate food group, such as zucchini (with 97% of students stating that they would eat it again). Among the various new foods prepared, students stated a willingness to ask for the food at home, (73% of students enjoyed whole wheat pasta and 94% enjoying blackberries). By introducing students to new foods like tofu, students increased the likability by 35% with willingness to eat the food at school. Formative testing showed increases in cooking at home, self-efficacy in trying new foods, washing hands before food preparation, and eating more than one fruit or vegetable at dinner. Further research is being planned.
Clientele Testimonial“Because of this experience I love trying new things now”, “[I] use MyPlate to pick healthy meals”, “I learned how to cook new foods,” and “we become chefs!”
Supporting Unit: Capitol Corridor MCP
Yolo CountyBailey Rose, CE Nutrition Educator, email@example.com
Angela Asch, CE Nutrition Educator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcel Horowitz, CE Youth Development & Nutrition, Family Consumer Science Advisor, email@example.com