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Peer-Review Journal Article About Teen Battle Chef Research

JNEB  

FCP’s first article in a peer-reviewed, professional journal (PDF) debuted in the September/October Edition of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.  Thanks to our research partners, Dr. Judith Wylie-Rosett of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, the article is a case study of our 2007-2008 research on our Teen Battle Chef program, then called Diet for a Healthy Planet.  The study was conducted as a case control with ninth graders at Urban Assembly of Music and Art in Brooklyn with funding from CUNY Gateway Institute

The study demonstrated the effectiveness of culinary and gardening education to promote healthy behavior change. Specifically, the analysis of pre-post surveys showed that teens increased their intake of fruits and vegetables, prepared more healthy snacks for themselves, and ate more sit down meals with their families after their participation.  The youth reported that they understood nutrition better and grew to love trying new foods. 

Notably, the program also increased the school's ability and willingness to offer fresh fruits and vegetables in the cafeteria, as participating classes grew fresh produce in the school’s garden. The class successfully engaged the youth as peer educators to pass on their new skills and knowledge.

This study is highly relevant to schools interested in promoting healthy behavior changes and improving cafeteria offerings.  It demonstrates that a hands-on food education strategy can not only be successful, but can develop the leadership capacity of students as well.  Youth leaders can catalyze changes among their peer groups and provide sustainable program support for culinary and gardening education. 

Results of our latest Teen Battle Chef research involve multiple schools, all part of HealthCorps, and will debut at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in November in Washington DC. The mixed-methods 2010-2011 HealthCorps evaluation of the Teen Battle Chef program involved 40 sites in 12 states. It focuses on the impacts of the leadership extensions of the TBC program on participants and their families.  Preliminary analysis shows exciting trends: increased youth leadership capacity, improved ability to read and prepare dishes from recipes, better pubic speaking skills, and more ability to resolve conflict with peers.  Stay tuned for more!


Available in versions for WIC Centers or Preschools.
 

The program is structured to support all five pre-school learning domains: cognitive, language, motor skills, social/emotional, and adaptive.  

Key Components:

1) Willow introduction of the season and the fruits and vegetables to be explored

2) Story and/or rhyme about the food in context of the season

3) Stunning posters depicting the foods of the day's focus

4) EASY/QUICK snack recipe strategies utilizing 2 or more colored fresh fruits and vegetables assembled and tracked at home using wipe-off refrigerator magnet.

5) Recipes on laminated cards in English & Spanish to send home to parents, complete with steps appropriate for children to help!

FamilyCook Productions is dedicated to advancing the evidence base for child obesity research and interventions. We work closely with our program partners, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Institute of Human Nutrition to conduct research on  the efficacy of our programs in settings across the U.S. We have some promising results to share that are currently in manuscript development for publication. We look forward to sharing the published  articles soon.