Main Article Content
Malnutrition in children is a public health problem that several countries are concerned about. In Thailand, school lunch program is one of several interventions that involve food, nutrition, and health aspects. School lay-chefs are important stakeholder of school lunch management, but they do not have appropriate training programs on nutritional knowledge and foodservice management. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate the training program for lay-chefs cooking for school lunch program in Bangkok. The study consisted of 2 phases. The first phase was a formative research to understand the situation of school lunch management, barriers and supportive factors. We did in-depth interview with principals, nutrition teachers, and lay-chefs from primary schools. A blended coding scheme was used to identify the key themes and sub-themes. Information about relationships between factors in school environment and children health was linked by using hurricane diagram. The second phase was to develop the training program. The formative results were used for designing the program. The training program was advised by 3 experts and evaluated appropriateness of course by 3 school lay-chefs. The results of formative phase found that school lay-chefs managed school foods, but they had no nutrition knowledge. Although there were nutrition handbook and training, they were not appropriate with school lay-chefs who had low level of literacy skills. The formative results, literature reviews, and other related sources were used to develop course curriculum. The 5 modules of the program consisted of: 1) school meal planning, 2) food exchange and food portion size, 3) good quality of raw materials and products, 4) cooking methods that reduce sweet, fat, and salt, and 5) snacks and beverages for school-age children. The training program was incorporated in classroom and workshop sessions.
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