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Issues in Educational Research, 2023, Vol 33(3), 1047-1065.
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Determining best practice for school-based nutrition and cooking education programs: A scoping review

Amy Large
East Metropolitan Health Service WA, Australia

Reearna Morgan
Curtin University, Australia

Stella Kalas
Fuel Your Life, Australia

Kate Appleton
Adapt Nutrition, Australia

Roslyn Giglia
Foodbank WA, Australia

Established healthy eating behaviours in childhood underpin the development of similar patterns into adulthood. School-based nutrition and cooking programs have been found to enhance nutrition and cooking knowledge and cooking self-efficacy. This scoping review examined the literature about the effectiveness of nutrition education programs conducted within the school setting. Databases were searched to identify relevant studies focused on primary school nutrition education and cooking programs. The evidence was assessed specifically in relation to how an effective program is reflected in the Health Promoting Schools Framework. Six articles met the inclusion criteria. Three programs cross-integrated with other school subjects. All programs used hands-on activities, and half incorporated gardening and included excursions to farms or markets. All programs highlighted the need for community and parental engagement. A cross-curricular approach can have a profound effect on improving dietary intakes, food and nutrition knowledge, and behaviours. Collaboration between teachers and nutrition educators is instrumental in delivering a successful program. Addressing the components of the Health Promoting Schools Framework in the development of a nutrition education and cooking program is integral to promote its successful implementation.
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Authors: Amy Large is a public health dietitian in the East Metropolitan Health Service, Western Australia. She worked previously on the Food Sensations for Schools program at Foodbank WA, planning, implementing and evaluating the nutrition education and cooking program.
Email: amy.large@health.wa.gov.au

Reearna Morgan is the Program Coordinator for Mentally Healthy WA, Curtin University, Western Australia [https://www.actbelongcommit.org.au/programs-initiatives/mentally-healthy-schools/], working to promote mental wellbeing in Western Australian schools. Reearna is a nutritionist and formerly worked at Foodbank WA [https://www.foodbank.org.au/?state=wa] planning, implementing and facilitating the Food Sensations for Schools program. Her interests include school health promotion programs, nutrition and mental health.
Email: reearna.morgan@curtin.edu.au

Stella Kalas BSc MSc is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, having graduated in 2022. Currently working as a mobile dietitian in the private sector for Fuel Your Life [https://fuelyourlife.com.au/], a national company. Her work focuses on working with veterans, clinics, and the NDIS sector. Her areas of interests include oncology, neurology, and geriatrics.
Email: stella.kalas.3@gmail.com

Kate Appleton is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian with Adapt Nutrition [https://www.instagram.com/adaptnutritionaustralia/]. Her personal journey of ballet and dance, and her experiences of pregnancy, post-partum health and having small children has led to a career in health and nutrition. Her dietetic interests include weight management, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, IBS, women's health and paediatric nutrition.
Email: adaptnutrition@outlook.com

Roslyn Giglia PhD is a dietitian and nutritionist with Foodbank Western Australia [https://www.foodbank.org.au/?state=wa] who has a strong foundation working in community and public health nutrition and policy development. Her strong interest in maternal health and child health recommendations from her PhD thesis formed the basis for the first alcohol guidelines for lactating women nationally and internationally.
Email: roslyn.giglia@foodbankwa.org.au

Please cite as: Large, A., Morgan, R., Kalas, S., Appleton, K. & Giglia, R. (2023). Determining best practice for school-based nutrition and cooking education programs: A scoping review. Issues in Educational Research, 33(3), 1047-1065. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/large.pdf

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Created 8 October 2023. Last update: 9 October 2023. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]