More than two-thirds of American adults and almost one-third of American children are overweight or obese. Not only are the statistics alarming, the cost of obesity is staggering. Obesity robs an individual of their quality of life and costs the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $147 billion a year in obesity-related illness (Finkelstein, Trogdon, Cohen, & Dietz, 2009). The need to find solutions to improve the health of Americans is clear and communities are called to respond. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2018) recommends partnership with local agencies to promote obesity prevention initiatives and create a healthier food environment for all. Evidence suggests that interventions, such as cooking classes, can be made to improve the overall health of a community and reduce the obesity epidemic (Ickes, Mcmullen, Haider, & Sharma, 2014). The PICOT question asks, in low-income families (P), how does participating in a community cooking course (I) compared to not participating in a cooking course (C) affect nutritional knowledge (O) after completion of the cooking course (T)? In partnership with Hill Country Family Services (HCFS) of Kendall County, Texas, this capstone project set out to provide family centered cooking classes featuring accessible, low cost, and nutritious foods with the aim to improve nutritional knowledge and boost self-efficacy to a vulnerable population. Cooking classes were designed around the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Choose My Plate guidelines and the national Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters for Families campaign (USDA, n.d.; Share Our Strength, 2019). Classes geared toward children accompanied by an adult were planned to feature fun activities and hands on cooking experiences. Unfortunately, the project was frozen mid-implementation due to a global pandemic. This paper will discuss the project thus far and outline plans for future completion and evaluation.

Date of publication

Spring 4-18-2020

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Masters of Science in Nursing