The possession and application of cooking and food skills have numerous health benefits including a greater diet quality, weight control and even longevity of life. Learning cooking skills at younger ages is associated with positive dietary outcomes through the lifespan. Despite this, parents involve their children less in meal preparation which may lead to the next generation being solely reliant on ultra-processed food products which have been linked to obesity and cancer. A mixed methods exploration of the impact of enhancing cooking and food skills, using different strategies, on children, adolescent and young adults’ food engagement, food knowledge, skill confidence and diet quality are proposed.
The aims of the project are:
1. To investigate the impact of a cooking camp on children’s food engagement, food knowledge and skill confidence.
2. To elicit stakeholder perceptions of the influence of Home Economics school curriculum on adolescents’ food knowledge, skill confidence and diet quality.
3.To conduct and evaluate an intervention to improve university students’ cooking and food skills, food engagement and knowledge and diet quality.
4.To identify and recommend key strategies for improving young people’s food engagement, knowledge, skill and diet quality.
This project will be supervised by Professor Moira Dean, Professor Chris Elliott, and Dr Fiona Lavelle of Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences/Institute for Global Food Security.
All applications MUST be submitted through https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php
Specific skills/experience required by applicants:
An understanding of SPSS;
Experience working with children and/or young people;
Ability to work independently;
Experience of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
Some understanding of motor skills would be desirable.
All applicants must meet the academic entry requirements: https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/biological-sciences-phd.html#entry