Effectiveness of Food Provision Empowerment Training in Child Care Centers on Knowledge, Self-efficacy, Practice, and Quality of Food Provision
Keywords:Food Provision, Empowerment, Child care center
Human resources are important factors contributing to the quality of food provided in child care centers (CCCs). However, half of CCC cooks in Thailand have not received any nutrition training. This study examined the effectiveness of empowerment training on food provision in CCCs. A two-arm quasi-experimental study was carried out for 12 weeks. Cooks and CCC staff in 10 CCCs in Saraburi province received empowerment training (ET), while those in 11 CCCs in Ayutthaya province received traditional training (TT). Knowledge, self-efficacy, and practice related to CCC food provision were evaluated covering menu planning, food serving, and sanitation, while the quality of food provision was assessed, in terms of menu planning, nutrient content, and food sanitation. Changes in outcomes between ET and TT groups were compared using the Chi-square test and Mann Whitney U test. Findings indicated that changes in knowledge and self-efficacy scores were not significantly different between groups, though a greater increase in food provision practice scores was observed among ET cooks (p-value < 0.05). Overall quality of food provision was not significantly different between groups. However, a greater increase in the quality of food provision for menu planning and food sanitation was observed in the ET group (p-value < 0.05), but the nutrient content of the foods provided did not differ. This study revealed the effectiveness of integrated knowledge and empowerment training in improving the quality of CCC food provision for some aspects, as well as its potential to enhance the quality of food provision in other CCCs in Thailand.
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