After months of planning, recruiting, and conducting assessments it finally came time to teach session one! We ended up filling about five of our six classes with at least four parent/child groups (also referred to as dyads). Currently, there are three interns who will be teaching the first four sessions and then the other two interns will teach the last two. Remi, Erin, and I alternated teaching the lessons by serving as either Chef, Sous Chef, or an extra helper. We were also lucky enough to have the assistance of three undergraduate students who assisted with note taking, technology, set-up, and cleaning all the dishes.
This first session was entitled “Tools of the Trade.” We covered knife safety skills, physical activity, camera/website use, and an introduction to iCook. The classes had anywhere from four to eight dyads present. This was a great learning experience for the children, parents, and even us! The kids knife skills improved greatly just from the beginning of the class to the end and the parents’ confidence in their kids abilities also greatly improved. While allowing kids (age 8-11) to use a sharp chef knife may seem like an unsafe thing to do, with the right support and monitoring from the parents the kids can accomplish cutting bananas, strawberries, apples, and even kiwi safely! We made it through the entire weekend without any cuts! You can tell which kids had prior experience and which had never even held a knife before. It was fun to work with these kids and I can’t wait to watch their skills improve over the next few months as we move through the sessions!
If there is one thing I have learned these past few weeks it is that recruiting human subjects for any research projects is HARD! No matter how excited the kids are about joining that doesn’t mean that their parents are going to pick up the phone and enroll. We have had to extend the recruitment process for this study and continue to recruit an extra week or two to hopefully meet our target! We are currently about 1/3 of the way there… with only 1 week left IT IS CRUNCH TIME!
We hit the schools yet again and decided to sing a song that Erin Smith and her dad wrote! Here is the video of us with an entire lunch room of 5th graders singing the tune after we have described the iCook study!
It has been fun speaking with thousands of 4th and 5th graders but at this point… I am just ready for us to reach our goal and start the actual instruction component of this research study! Below are some silly pictures of Erin and I as we toured the schools!
This past week of my rotation I primarily spent time focusing on preparing with the team for the iCook lessons. We focused on learning the material, preparing the recipes, and practicing delivering the lesson to children! When teaching children is important to remember who your audience is and know how to keep them engaged. By practicing these lesson we solidified the materials we will need and test all of our equipment. These lesson will start the first weekend of August and continue through November for a total of 6 lessons. This is awesome program that targets children between the ages of 9-10 that emphasizes family meal time, physical activity and nutrition/cooking. Below are just a few snap shots of the team and pictures of the mock lessons!
To learn more about iCook please refer to my previous post found here.
Next week will be our final week of recruitment so stay tuned for more pictures and information about iCook!
For my current rotation I will be dedicating my time to working on the iCook 4H Nutrition Research Study. This study is being conducted in 5 different states: West Virginia, Maine, Tennessee, Nebraska, and South Dakota. This is an awesome opportunity for children between the ages of 8-10 and a caregiver/parent to be able to attend nutrition and cooking related classes while focusing on physical activity to improve their overall well-being.
For more information about iCook click here – and make sure to “like us” on Facebook!
This past weekend we packed up our research lab and traveled to Martinsburg, WV to conduct assessments for the families we have enrolled there. This process involved collecting data such as blood pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, tanner stages (to assess biological maturity), and surveys to assess dietary and physical activity habits. At this time the children/parent pair were also randomly assigned into a control or an intervention group. Each child was given an accelerometer to wear for 7 days; this will assess their physical activity and monitor it continuously for an entire week. This next week we will be recruiting more in Morgantown and conducting assessments starting on Thursday! Stay tune for more posts about iCook – Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!