What's Cooking?

A study about what young adults cook and eat

Final Report

Summary Infographic for the health sector

Summary Infographic for the education sector

Project Summary

We have arrived in the future! The children in our original evaluation of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program are now adults.

When we conducted the original evaluation in schools (2006-2009) we were delighted to see that it resulted in improved child cooking and gardening knowledge, skills, and confidence, and increased willingness to try new foods.

The program was developed by Stephanie Alexander AO, iconic chef, restaurateur and food writer based in Melbourne, Australia. It provides children with a pleasurable introduction to food education through growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh food in weekly or fortnightly garden and kitchen classes at school throughout Grades 3-6 (aged 8-12 years). Versions of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden (SAKG) Program are now being used by approximately 1600 schools and centres across Australia.

The unanswered question at the time of the evaluation was whether the changes in children’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours would be evident in their eating attitudes and behaviours when they became independent young adults. The students involved in those first program schools are now aged from 18-23 years.

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, with financial support from Medibank, have commissioned us to conduct a long term evaluation. All adults aged between 18 and 23 years who attended primary school in Victoria, Australia will be eligible to participate in the study and will be recruited using a targeted awareness campaign via traditional and social media. Determination of previous exposure to the SAKG Program will be based on self-report of which primary school/s they attended from Grades 3-6 and aligned with SAKG Foundation records of which primary schools received the SAKG Program in the years 2006-2008.

This evaluation offers a unique opportunity to examine the long term impacts of the kitchen garden program and in doing so, to make an important contribution understanding about how to promote healthy living habits.

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Project Team

Funding Source



Contact Name
Karen Block