Feasibility and Acceptability of Implementing a Culturally Adapted Cooking Curriculum for Burundian and Congolese Refugee Families

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Pika Pamoja (Cook Together) is an eight-session cooking curriculum for Burundian and Congolese refugee families, culturally adapted from the evidence-based iCook 4-H curriculum to address dietary acculturation barriers to and facilitators of food security. The goal of this study was to determine the feasibility and acceptability of implementing Pika Pamoja. Researchers and a multilingual community aid implemented Pika Pamoja in a pre-post pilot intervention with randomized control (n = 5)/treatment (n = 5) dyads (youth/mother). Feasibility (recruitment/retention, implementation, fidelity testing, and assessment procedures) and acceptability (process and program evaluations) measures were collected. All 10 dyads (control and treatment) were retained throughout the study. All fidelity measures were 91% or above. The final youth assessment instrument included scales for cooking skills (α = 0.93), cooking self-efficacy (α = 0.90), openness to new foods (α = 0.81), and eating (α = 0.68), playing (α = 0.90), and setting healthful goals (α = 0.88) together as a family. The final adult instrument included scales for cooking, eating, and playing together (α = 0.68), kitchen proficiency (α = 0.89), and food security (α = 0.79). Participant feedback was uniformly positive. Based on these results, Pika Pamoja was feasible to implement and was accepted by the priority population. Larger scale studies to measure the effectiveness of Pika Pamoja to increase food security among refugee families are needed.

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Ecology of Food and Nutrition

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