Impact of preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum culinary nutrition education interventions: a systematic review

Rachael M Taylor, Julia A Wolfson, Fiona Lavelle, Moira Dean, Julia Frawley, Melinda J Hutchesson, Clare E. Collins, Vanessa A. Shrewsbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frequent consumption of home-prepared meals is associated with higher diet quality in children and adults. Therefore, increasing the culinary skills of women and couples during their childbearing years may be an effective strategy for the prevention of overweight and obesity.

To determine the impact of culinary nutrition-education interventions for women with or without their partners during preconception, pregnancy, or postpartum (PPP) on parental cooking skills, nutrition knowledge, parent/child diet quality, or health outcomes.

Data sources
Eligibility criteria were defined using a PICOS framework. A systematic search strategy was developed to identify eligible studies and was implemented in 11 electronic databases. Reference lists of selected systematic reviews were manually searched for additional studies.

Data extraction
Study characteristics and outcomes were extracted from eligible studies by 1 reviewer and checked by a second reviewer.

Data analysis
A narrative synthesis of the findings of eligible studies was prepared including descriptive statistics. Reporting was guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement and Synthesis Without Meta-Analysis in systematic reviews reporting guideline.

A total of 6951 articles were identified from the search strategy and 31 studies during pregnancy or postpartum were included. By category, the number of studies with a favorable outcome per total number of studies measuring outcome were as follows: parental food/cooking skills (n = 5 of 5), nutrition knowledge (n = 6 of 11), parent/child diet quality (n = 10 of 19), infant feeding (n = 6 of 11), eating behavior (n = 2 of 5), maternal (n = 2 of 5) and child anthropometry (n = 6 of 10), mental health and development n = (2 of 3), and clinical indictors (n = 1 of 1).

Culinary nutrition-education interventions during pregnancy and the postpartum period show promise in improving cooking skills, diet quality, and a variety of health-related outcomes. The precise effect of these interventions during PPP is limited by the quality and heterogeneity of study designs to date.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2020


  • cooking
  • pregnancy
  • postpartum period
  • diet
  • anthropometry
  • child
  • parent
  • food
  • science of nutrition


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