Date of Award

8-2019

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee

Mateja Savoie Roskos

Committee

Heidi Wengreen

Committee

Tamara Steinitz

Abstract

Cooking demonstrations are a unique and effective way to teach nutritional concepts and basic cooking skills in a community setting. They have been found to be beneficial for participants in attendance as they improve confidence in the kitchen, cooking skills development, and the promotion of healthier foods into the diet. Classroom learning facilitates critical thinking but does not necessarily provide a platform for hands-on learning. In planning and executing community-involved cooking demonstrations, students are able to connect content learned in the classroom to professional practice. Over the last decade the field of dietetics has involved more community-based programs designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and the prevention of chronic disease using farmers markets, sustainable farming practice, gardens, and cooking classes. With the increasing focus on these programs and the decrease in preceptors willing to teach other concepts, dietetic students are not receiving as much education in cooking and gardening. Because these skills are not part of the current dietetic curricula in most universities, students are finding themselves lacking in these skills once they are in the workforce. This project added a platform for dietetics students to create and execute cooking demonstrations in a community setting through a practicum class in the dietetics program at Utah State University. These cooking demonstrations allowed students to develop skills needed to engage and teach community members about ways to achieve better health through cooking healthful foods.

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