Abstracts Spring 2009

Spring 2009, Vol. 14, No. 1
ISSN 1540 5273

Meal Time in Less Time Improves Consumer’s Attitudes, Beliefs and Behaviors in Planning and Preparing Nutritious Meals

Rhea Lanting, University of Idaho, Laura Sant, University of Idaho, Marnie Spencer, University of Idaho, Barbara Abo, University of Idaho


A needs assessment conducted in the four Extension districts determined the number one health and nutrition priority to be learning how to plan and prepare quick and healthy meals. Meal Time in Less Time is a three-lesson curriculum developed to teach individuals and families how to plan quick and healthy meals, shop for nutritious foods while saving time and money, and prepare healthy meals in less time. A retrospective pre/post survey, given at the end of each lesson and one to three months later, indicated participants improved meal planning, shopping, and preparation attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Full Text

Beyond The Healthy Marriage Initiative: How Extension Agents Can Promote Healthy Relationships among Low-Income, Cohabitating African American Couples

Cassandra Chaney, Louisiana State University


With the establishment of the Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI), various national, state, and local programs have been created to encourage marriage, particularly among low-income African-American cohabitating couples with children. However, extension agents have little guidance regarding how they can promote healthy relationships among these couples, many of whom may not be ready to marry. To address this paucity, I will provide recommendations regarding how extension agents can effectively promote healthy relationships among these families. Implications for extension include the importance of acknowledging personal attitudes toward marriage and cohabitation, recognizing the individual and collective factors that motivate couples to transition from cohabitation to marriage, as well as the ways that these relationships may be more vulnerable to dissolution. Full Text

Improving the Nutritional Quality of the Home Food Environment using Self-Directed Home Kitchen Makeovers

Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Rutgers University


Eating meals at home may make it easier for families to eat together and reap the nutritional benefits of family meals. However, there are many obstacles to eating meals at home. The purpose of this paper is to describe a pilot test of a 5-step self-directed, action-oriented intervention program designed to help mothers of young children (n=20) plan, prepare, and serve healthy family meals within their lifestyle constraints. Paired t-tests results indicated that between the pretest and posttest, mothers significantly (p<0.0001) improved their kitchen organization, food storage area, and mealtime planning, preparation, and shopping. Mothers in the Happy, Healthy, Food Involved and Healthy, Free of Food Price, Taste, Convenience, and Advertising Effects cluster segments made more changes in response to the activities in each folio, while those in the Stressed, Emotional Eating, Time Consciousgroup made the least. Differences in psychographic segments of a population may help explain why differences occur in response to interventions among individuals who belong to a seemingly homogenous demographically-defined group and lead to interventions with characteristics more likely to improve dietary intake and overall health; thereby, contributing to the cost-effectiveness of programs. Full Text

Development of a Self-Directed Home Kitchen Makeover for Mothers of Young Children

Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Rutgers University


Women, especially those with children at home, have the potential to positively affect the nutritional status of the entire household. The purpose of this paper is to describe the formative research that led to and guided the development of an intervention program designed to improve the ability of mothers of young children to plan, prepare, and serve healthy family meals within their lifestyle constraints and preferences. Mothers of young children (n=201) who had participated in previous phases of this project clustered into 4 segments named: Happy, Healthy, Food Involved; Working, Convenience Driven; Healthy, Free of Food Price, Taste, Convenience, and Advertising Effects; and Stressed, Emotional Eating, Time Conscious. Intervention development was guided by previous findings coupled with qualitative interviews (n=20) that identified and further clarified needs and interests of mothers in each segment. After developing the intervention, qualitative formative evaluation data were collected via interview from mothers from all groups (n=19). Mothers needed and desired information on: healthy meals and use of pre-prepared ingredients to speed preparation time; kitchen organization and food storage methods; and healthy meal preparation and grocery shopping guidance. Formative evaluation results indicated that mothers rated the intervention highly for readability, completeness, relevance, and usefulness. Full Text

Cultural Implications and Guidelines for Extension and Family Life Programming with Latino/Hispanic Audiences

Charlotte Shoup Olsen, Kansas State University, Linda Skogrand, Utah State University


Addressing the needs of Latino/Hispanic couples and families in the United States requires Extension and family life educators to be knowledgeable about the cultural context in which the families live and the research that has been done on successful programming for Latino/Hispanic audiences. It cannot be assumed that research-based information on program delivery for European American audiences will be appropriate for Latino/Hispanic families. Common Latino/Hispanic cultural characteristics are discussed although the reader is reminded that the educator must also understand the unique characteristics of the specific targeted audience within one’s community. Cultural differences may relate to the time the family has been in the United States, country of origin, migration experience, socioeconomic status, and other related factors. General implications for delivering Latino/Hispanic Extension and family life education within a cultural context based on current research are shared regarding recruitment, location of the programming, staffing and space needs, delivery, and retention. Full Text



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