CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES FOR RECRUITING CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS FOR EVALUATION OF KIDS’ COOKING PROGRAMS
Sheikhalzoor, Noura 1988-
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Children in Canada are generally healthy but are affected by obesity and nutrient insufficiencies. Nutrition education and cooking programs have a positive impact on food and nutrition knowledge, skills, and attitude of children. This study was an evaluation focused on Kids Kitchen, a five-week afterschool program that taught grades four and five students (9 to 11 years) basic food and cooking skills. Phase 1 explored the nutrition knowledge, skills, and behaviours of children after participating in the program. Phase 2 interviewed key informants about the challenges of recruiting children and parents for evaluation and research studies. Qualitative interviews were used in both phases. In phase 1, four children (N=4) participated from one school. Preliminary findings were: 1) participants had food related interests and experiences prior to participating in the program, 2) participants had different learning experiences in the program, 3) parents and other adults influence and provide support to the children, 4) participants depended on their parents in food-related activities, 5) participants had a positive Kids Kitchen experience, 6) participants applied at least one skill at home after the program, and 7) participants had no nutrition behviour change as a result the program. In phase 2, key informants (N=8) participated. Themes were categorized into two categories: recruitment challenges and recruitment strategies. Recruitment challenges included: 1) recruitment of children and their parents in schools is a formal process, 2) reaching out and recruiting parents, 3) communication message and approach, 5) negative views on institutions and research, 6) accessibility issues, and 7) transportation limitation. Recruitment strategies were: 1) building relationships, 2) effective communication, 3) promoting the benefits of participation, 4) prizes and incentives, and 5) monitoring and barriers reduction. Future research of the Kids Kitchen program should focus on creating a comprehensive evaluation using a variety of methods. Understanding the challenges of recruitment and using effective strategies will help in recruiting children and parents when evaluating programs.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeHenry, Carol; Whiting, Susan; Ferguson, Linda
Copyright DateAugust 2018