Can help to encourage a sense of trust, community, meaning, purpose, belonging, closeness, and intimacy. ― all of which have been linked to things like increased happiness, decreased depression, and greater/more positive overall wellbeing. – Matthew Riccio
Systematic research by Farmer and Co examined about 377 peer-reviewed articles and found that Cooking Interventions are used in therapeutic and rehabilitative settings but their level of influence on psychosocial performance it is not well known. Therefore, the aim of the research was to find out how much influence Cooking Interventions may have on psychosocial outcomes(Psychosocial Benefits of Cooking Interventions, 2017).
Farmer and Co. also found that community-based and inpatient Cooking Intervention programs had a positive influence on self-esteem, socialization, quality of life, and affect.
Usage Of Evidence-based Cooking Interventions – Farmer, et al. 2017
- Nutritional improvement
- Weight gain or underweight monitoring
- Cooking skills – teaching people how to prepare their own meals especially in low-income areas, and for individuals living with type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease (Farmer et al. 2017)
- Guided cooking groups to help patients with an eating disorder
- Occupational and rehabilitation therapy – used for the evaluation or measurement of cognitive and physical development. Cooking interventions are used for daily activities that involve executive function as well as physical movement.
Benefits Derived From Cooking Interventions – Farmer, et al. 2017
- Improve anxiety and depression – Cooking incorporates different skills (parallel multitasking) related to executive functioning and provides cognitive remediation therapy effective for improving anxiety and depression. Since cooking requires full attention and focus, it can switch one’s mood or change one’s surroundings by virtue of no longer focusing on feelings and pains but rather on the food you are cooking. The need to pay attention and focus on what is happening makes cooking a form of mindfulness therapy.
- Recalling pleasurable memories – through ‘Reminiscence Therapy Experience”. For example, often when people are cooking in the kitchen, good memories are recalled — sharing stories regarding cooking from childhood and the people involved, whether dead or alive. Such incidents open the floor for people to interact and feel connected.
- It increases self-esteem and self-efficacy – the opportunity for someone to gain ‘Mastery’ in cooking may boost and instill self-confidence. Cooking invokes self-care because of the confidence one gets if one becomes a skillful cook. The sense of mastery tends to overshadow any other shortcomings one might have. Cooking instills a sense of achievement, and brings an immediate reward that can boost a person’s self-esteem instantly.
- It improves mood and affect – Gaining a nutritional boost can positively influence psychosocial outcomes. There is research to the support correlation between diet and disorders (depression). The food one eats matters. When a person starts a new diet and feels good about it, their countenance changes. This person often becomes the spokesperson for their new diet, and is always willing to convert anyone who is ready to buy into it with them.
- Socialization improves – Cooking groups provide a great opportunity for socialization and can influence significant psychosocial outcomes. (Farmer et al. 2017). When cooking together, cooperation and interaction is a must, and as a result, people can form relationships and connections when they prepare meals to together. These elements of taking care of yourself while taking care of others come with the benefit of socialization.