Children's Afterschool Culinary Education Improves Eating Behaviors

Susanne Schmidt, Martin W. Goros, Jonathan A.L. Gelfond, Katherine Bowen, Connie Guttersen, Anne Messbarger-Eguia, Suzanne Mead Feldmann, Amelie G. Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective(s): Culinary education may be one way to improve children's eating behaviors. We formatively evaluated the effect of a hands-on afterschool 12-module, registered dietitian-led culinary education program on healthy eating behaviors in a predominately Hispanic/Latino, low-socioeconomic community. Methods: Of 234 children participating in the program, 77% completed both pre- and post-assessment surveys (n = 180; mean age 9.8 years; 63.3% female; 74.3% Hispanic/Latino, 88.4% receiving free/reduced lunch). In addition to program satisfaction, we assessed changes in children's self-reported fruit, vegetable, and whole-grain consumption, knowledge, and culinary skills using binary and continuous mixed effects models. We report false discovery rate adjusted p-values and effect sizes. Results: 95.5% of participants reported liking the program. Improved whole grain consumption had a medium effect size, while effect sizes for whole grain servings and vegetable consumption were small, but significant (all p < 0.05). Culinary skills increased between 15.1 to 43.4 percent points (all p < 0.01), with medium to large effect sizes. Conclusion(s): The program was well-received by participants. Participants reported improved eating behaviors and culinary skills after program completion. Therefore, this hands-on afterschool culinary education program can help improve healthy eating in a predominantly Hispanic/Latino, low-socioeconomic community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number719015
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - Apr 27 2022


  • Latinos
  • afterschool culinary education
  • children
  • effect sizes
  • evaluation
  • nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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