WHO has raised the alarm on obesity related complications and mortality rates of NCDs. Pediatric care practitioners are at the front line of health provision to families and can address high risk populations. A relevant WHO report emphasizes that pediatric care practitioners have an important
role to play in tackling the childhood obesity epidemic, noting that “health professionals and all those providing services to children and adolescents need appropriate training on nutrition and diet, physical activity and the risk factors for developing obesity”. Nevertheless, significant gaps exist in
nutritional knowledge and counseling skills, which could be related to the limited nutrition training in undergraduate and postgraduate studies. A survey among EU pediatricians revealed that although most were convinced of their role in obesity prevention, they did not feel sufficiently competent to deliver relevant services.
The aim of Dr. PED-Chef project is to develop training for pediatric primary health care practitioners on nutrition-related issues through the combination of hands-on nutrition science education with culinary medicine education.
The main objectives of the project are to:
IO1 Conceptual Framework for training pediatric primary health care practitioners on childhood nutrition
This activity includes multi-country qualitative research to identify knowledge gaps and training needs of relevant health professionals as well as a scoping review for the collection of training opportunities on nutrition education with an emphasis on innovative educational techniques such as culinary medicine. The report will highlight shortages, gaps and good practices and will discuss training requirements to be considered when designing the methodology and developing the training packages.
IO2 Methodology for the design of the training curriculum
A comprehensive guide for the design of the new training curriculum. It will serve as a basis, describing the fundamentals and strategy for creating evidence-based tools and materials and for delivering training. The design and application of innovative, comprehensive training courses on basic and applied nutrition principles and “hands-on” nutrition counseling will enhance professional development of pediatric health practitioners. The acquisition and practical application of knowledge and skills will facilitate efforts for the promotion of healthy eating habits to children and families. The training will provide a valuable tool potentially able to support addressing the childhood obesity epidemic.
IO3 Development of the training curriculum package
The training package will include the training manual, power point presentations, and other tools such as videos, case studies, suggested study visits, exercises, reading material per thematic, etc. It will also include proposed tools for the assessment of skills acquisition, recognition and validation. The courses will comprise a combination of traditional nutrition related courses with practical culinary training sessions in order to provide both knowledge and soft skills.
IO4 Project e-learning platform
The e-learning platform will include all the developed training modules and assessment tools to evaluate user performance. The platform will also include communication and networking tools that will allow members to register their profiles and to identify other participants to create thematic community groups. IO5 IGuidance for VET providers and academic institutions This output will provide guidelines for VET professionals and other interested parties (e.g. public sector and academic institutions) on how to implement the newly produced knowledge, in their own organizations.
IO5 Guidance for VET providers and academic institutions
The aim of O5 is to develop and deliver to VET providers and other interested parties, such as academic institutions delivering medical and nutritional studies or different settings, e.g. medical centers, hospitals etc, a guidance document titled “Training curriculum guide for VET providers”. The document will explain how to implement the knowledge gained through this project in courses related to nutritional and culinary training of pediatric primary health care practitioners, in the context of either accredited training seminars or in the academic curriculum of medical, nursing and other health professional schools.