Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of





Document Type


Date of this Version



Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1401


© 2018 by the authors.

Open access



This manuscript describes the development of a “learn by actively participating” curriculum for youth and their adult caregivers (dyad pair) to increase gardening skills, culinary competence, and family meal time. The curriculum was developed by integrating “iCook 4-H” and Junior Masters Gardener “Health and Nutrition from the Garden”, and “Essential Elements of 4-H Youth Development” curriculums with additional resources for gardening activities from the USDA’s My Plate and garden-based recipes. Expert reviewers (n = 11) provided feedback on the curriculum content, session structure, dosage, age appropriateness, and balance of the three focused areas. Seven family dyads (n = 14) participated in focus groups about understanding of need, interest, barriers, and potential engagement. A 10-week curriculum was developed and named: iGrow. The curriculum is a hands on, active learning program delivered through five, two-hour sessions using a family dyad model. Three main focus areas included gardening, culinary skills, and family conversation/interaction that all focused on togetherness. For the final iGrow curriculum, expert-level content review and feedback from focus group dyad pairs was used to revise the curriculum which further enhanced the approach and balance of the curriculum content. Focus group feedback supported appropriateness, dosage and learning objectives, and content depth. This curriculum has been developed to provide knowledge of gardening and culinary skills with the goal of increased consumption of fruit and vegetables.