Chair, Department of Nutrition Case Western Reserve University Brecksville
Upon completion, participant will be able to describe strategies and methodologies to plan, implement and assess culinary medicine initiatives.
Interest and engagement in culinary medicine has steadily grown across multiple sectors, disciplines and settings over the past several years. Despite Registered Dietitians (RDs) being extremely well-positioned for leading culinary medicine initiatives, curriculum development, programming and intervention implementation, these initiatives frequently lack the leadership and expertise of RDs. Furthermore, there is a consistent absence of research and data collection to assess the feasibility and efficacy of these culinary medicine initiatives. The Diabetes Inspired Culinary Education (DICE) program was an RD-developed community-based culinary medicine research intervention to improve the dietary intake and disease management of children with type 1 diabetes. The program included ten, 90-minute lessons delivered weekly by two RDs, dietetic interns and undergraduate dietetics students at a community teaching kitchen. The program included hands-on, age-appropriate culinary education, nutrition and diabetes education delivered through experiential learning, a group family meal prepared by participating youth and culinary/mealtime goal-setting. Baseline and post-test outcomes were assessed on participating families at the child-level (food preparation self-efficacy (SE), involvement, attitude; dietary intake; diabetes management; diabetes quality of life; hgbA1c; BMI), primary caregiver-level (dietary intake; diabetes management SE; mealtime SE; BMI) and family-level (family food preparation; mealtime environment). Feasibility was evaluated using participant attendance, retention and a program-specific fidelity tool. The program represents a reproducible, evidence-based approach for integrating dietitian-led research in a culinary-centric methodology.