The overall aim of this two-part study was to develop and implement nutrition education classes and cooking sessions that would improve nutrition knowledge, cooking knowledge, self-efficacy towards cooking and healthy eating, and food choices of adolescent and young adult mothers. The project used a convenience sample of mothers enrolled in the Teen Parent Mentor Program (TPMP) and the Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program (HMHB) at the YWCA of Greensboro, NC. Due to the small sample size, quantitative results are not presented in this document. This dissertation focuses on the development and implementation of the nutrition education classes and cooking sessions into an existing life-skills program at the YWCA.
A community-based participatory research approach was used to partner with the YWCA to identify personal, environmental, and behavioral factors that influence the food choices of adolescent and young adult mothers enrolled in their life-skill programs. Ten adolescent (TPMP) mothers and 10 young adult (HMHB) mothers were interviewed individually to compare and contrast their knowledge and attitudes toward healthy eating, cooking/shopping practices, and food choices in order to develop relevant nutrition education interventions for this target audience. Both groups gave simple definitions for "healthy" versus "unhealthy eating," and mothers reported that limited resources affected their practices of "cooking at home". Only 50% of participants reported eating breakfast, but the majority reported eating lunch and dinner.
Based on those interviews, seven nutrition education and cooking classes were developed and incorporated into the YWCA life-skills program Being Your Best Self designed for adolescent (TPMP) young adult (HMHB) mothers. The program was better received by the young adult mothers than adolescent mothers, as they appeared more attentive during the classes and interacted more with the student researcher who delivered the classes. The YWCA staff reported that the classes were successfully incorporated into their existing program and that this "program within a program" supported their goals of having mothers learn healthy eating information and food preparation skills. Nutrition interventions with young mothers that creatively improve knowledge and skills to help them make healthier food choices for themselves and their children can be incorporated into existing programs offered to this high-risk population.
|Commitee:||Dharod, Jigna, Nichols, Tracy, Savoca, Margaret|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Greensboro|
|Department:||School of Human Environmental Sciences: Nutrition|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Nutrition, Health education|
|Keywords:||Cooking, Life skills, Nutrition education, Young mothers|
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