Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

First Advisor

Long, Sara


Previous studies have shown that hands-on cooking classes focusing on fruit and vegetables, nutritional value, and food safety have increased fruit and vegetable consumption in children. Some of the most nutrient rich fruits and vegetables are classified as United States Department of Agriculture specialty crops. USDA specialty crops are used only for consumption and offer a variety of important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Thus, children who are not receiving the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day are not getting the proper nutrition. The design of this study is a prospective cohort of 69 day care participants. The intervention targeted many topics: meal preparation, nutrition education, food safety, food cost, and benefits of buying local foods. After one month in the program, participants showed no change in fruit and vegetable acceptance or fruit consumption. Participants showed a decrease in amount of vegetables eaten "yesterday" after participation in the study. Further research should be done in the area of cooking classes for children living in rural communities.




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