Integration of Theatre Activities in Cooking Workshops Improves Healthy Eating Attitudes Among Ethnically Diverse Adolescents: A Pilot Study

Donna M. Winham, Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, Tamara Underiner, Stephani Etheridge Woodson, Megan A. Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this pilot study was to integrate theatre elements into interactive cooking workshops and assess if these experiences prompted attitude and awareness changes with adolescents about healthy eating. Over a 3-week period, 6 interactive cooking workshops were conducted by an artist-in-residence with a group of 21 low-income, predominantly Hispanic, high school sophomores. Social cognitive theory was used as a guide for lessons and outcomes assessment. Students prepared, discussed, and shared food, stories, and experiences about culture, health, and meals. Qualitative focus groups were conducted 4 weeks after the workshop series ended. The theatre-based cooking workshops elicited positive comments in attitudes about healthy eating, nutrition education, and enhanced cooking awareness among ethnically diverse youth. Results from preworkshop and postworkshop self-administered questionnaires showed positive shifts in healthy eating behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. Qualitative statements supported lifestyle change, specifically by teens stating that they were eating more vegetables, trying new foods, and cooking together. Cooking education using interactive theatre engagement can positively affect high school students' attitudes toward healthful foods, eating, and culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalInfant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

Keywords

  • Hispanics
  • adolescents
  • cooking
  • high school
  • nutrition education
  • school nutrition
  • theatre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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