Improving Diet Quality of Low-Income, Ethnically-Diverse Families in the Twin Cities

Graduate students Francine Overcash, Allison Ritter and Lauren Millen along with faculty members Marla Reicks and Zata Vickers are focused on improving diet quality of low-income, ethnically-diverse families in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.

The 5-year project is funded by USDA, AFRI. We conducted a series of modified Cooking Matters for Families classes for groups of parents and children (9-12 years) to improve vegetable intake, liking and variety. We are currently collecting follow up data and hope to complete data analysis in the summer and fall of 2017. In the next phase of this study, we will involve parents in another intervention to promote the development of habits to help children increase vegetable intake.

We have been working with community agencies that serve low-income audiences to recruit participants, hold our classes, and collect outcome data. We hope our findings can be helpful to promote cooking with vegetables, improving diet quality and prevention of childhood obesity.