Abstract P179: KickinKitchen.TV: A Multimedia Nutrition Education Curriculum Builds Knowledge, Skills and Self-Efficacy for Healthy Eating among School-aged Children
The rapid increase in technology and media use among youths offers the potential for new ways of learning. There is a nationwide demand for evidence-based, high-quality, teacher-friendly, and engaging educational media products for children to effectively address the need for nutrition education in schools, yet there is a void in the marketplace. KickinKitchen.TV is an innovative multimedia cooking and nutrition education program for pre-teens that integrates a comedy TV series with interactive classroom lesson plans. The KickinKitchen.TV digital curriculum was tested using a quasi-experimental design in five public elementary schools serving a multi-ethnic urban cohort of students in grades 4 and 5. In intervention classrooms, students received four lessons from the KickinKitchen.TV digital curriculum where comparison classrooms were taught the same nutrition principles using traditional lesson plans. We hypothesized that the digital curriculum would enhance the learning experience and knowledge gained compared to conventional lessons. Pre- and post-tests were collected (n=161 students across 10 classrooms) along with qualitative feedback from students and teachers. This pilot study demonstrated the measurable impact of KickinKitchen.TV and its feasibility in school-based health education. Students gained knowledge (p<.01) in both types of classrooms. Measurable positive shifts along the readiness to change continuum were seen for several diet-related behaviors in KickinKitchen.TV classrooms (p<.001) where students were empowered to engage in snack and meal preparation and to eat low-fat dairy and whole grains daily. Increases were seen in self-efficacy scores in the KickinKitchen.TV classrooms (p<.001) for several behaviors including understanding nutrition facts panels and choosing proper portions. Teachers described KickinKitchen.TV as engaging and informative. Most never used technology to teach nutrition and most reported that KickinKitchen.TV taught topics not normally covered in their classrooms due to lack of expertise and lack of quality teaching materials. Students rated the entertainment value of KickinKitchen.TV quite high. Important lessons learned from KickinKitchen.TV included character development virtues of self-confidence and respect for others; healthy eating habits empowered by positive role modeling; and personal skills related to cooking and making healthy food choices. In conclusion, the use of technology to provide an interactive digital curriculum in school-based nutrition education is novel, feasible, and effective. This work demonstrates the application of digital technology to nutrition education and research strategies to improve nutritional health and reduce risk factors for childhood obesity.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.