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A Cooking Intervention to Increase Vegetable Consumption by Parents With Children Enrolled in an Early Head Start Home Visiting Program: A Pilot Study in Portland, Oregon, 2013–2014
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    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Introduction Cooking interventions may improve diet quality. Most cooking interventions are delivered in group settings. Home visiting programs may be an appropriate mechanism for delivering such interventions to low-income families with young children. We conducted a pilot study to test the feasibility of using a cooking intervention delivered by home visitors to improve attitudes and behaviors related to vegetable consumption by low-income parents with children enrolled in a home visiting program. Methods We invited 121 parents with children enrolled in an Early Head Start Home Visiting program in Portland, Oregon, to participate. During 2013–2014, each month for 8 months, home visitors (n = 14) implemented 1 cooking activity plus 1 complementary activity focused on 12 vegetables. We collected pre- and post-intervention data on participants’ cooking confidence and whether they tried and liked the selected vegetables. We also measured fidelity to protocol and home visitors’ perception of intervention usability. Results Of 104 participants, 58 provided pre- and post-intervention data. We observed a significant increase in confidence in baking, roasting or grilling vegetables; cooking 6 of 10 vegetables; and trying 7 of 12 vegetables. Nearly all respondents participated in the monthly cooking activity (96%) and complementary activity (94%). Twelve of 14 home visitors reported that the intervention was acceptable, feasible, and easy to understand, and needed systems supports to implement. Conclusion Cooking interventions may be a feasible approach to improving attitudes and behaviors related to vegetable consumption by low-income families with young children. Additional research is needed to assess the impact of such interventions on vegetable consumption.
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