Cooking Matters Mobile Application: a meal planning and preparation tool for low-income parents.Public Health Nutr 2019; 22(12):2220-2227PH
To describe low-income parents' and caregivers' perceptions of the Cooking Matters Mobile Application (CM App) meal planning and preparation features.
Explanatory mixed-methods design where data were gathered via online surveys based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Theory of Reasoned Action, followed by telephone interviews.
CM App, a mobile phone-based resource geared towards low-income parents and caregivers of young children (pregnancy/infant to age 5 years) for meal planning and preparation, with features based on skills taught in the Cooking Matters course: recipes, shopping list and meal planning.
Low-income parents and caregivers (survey participants, n 461; interview participants, n 20) who had downloaded the CM App to their smartphone and agreed to participate in the current evaluation.
Attitudes and self-efficacy related to CM App's subject matter and functions (meal planning; recipe use; creating and using a shopping list) were measured via surveys and interviews. Mean (sd) responses were positive towards 'meal planning' and 'shopping and cooking' (4·17 (0·63) and 3·49 (0·86) on a 5-point Likert scale, respectively). Interviewees described meal planning and preparation behaviours as intrinsic, based on habit, and influenced by family preference and food costs. Early adopters of the CM App may already be engaged in and/or are motivated to engage in the targeted health behaviours.
Users may benefit most from incorporating into their routines new ways to prepare easy, cost-efficient, healthy meals at home that their families will enjoy.