This Together We Thrive article is sourced from the Countryside YMCA. Original publishing can be found here.
The Y works hard every day to help people in our community live healthier and during National Nutrition Month this March we’re highlighting their efforts to make healthy eating part of your everyday life. From cooking classes for youth, to gardening opportunities, to nutrition counseling, Countryside YMCA offers programs to put healthy eating into practice in your family’s everyday life.
For over twenty years the Y has offered a variety of hands-on cooking classes for younger and older children, even tweens. Their instructional kitchen has stoves, ovens, microwaves, cooking utensils and even a dishwasher. The young chefs learn kitchen safety, measuring and math skills, how to prepare food using simple kitchen tools and how to make nutritious food fun and tasty. Using age appropriate terms and techniques, their instructors guide their students through different recipes each week. When children help prepare meals, and are invested, they are more likely to eat new foods and try food that they may otherwise not.
Learn more and register for YMCA youth cooking classes here.
In April, the Y is rolling out their first “From Seed to Table” gardening program for children called The Pizza Garden. The course is 15 weeks long with weekly meetings to learn about and to do gardening. The course will teach children how to grow some ingredients to make pizza and how to prepare a pizza from scratch.
Learn more and register for The Pizza Garden here.
For those interested in growing their own fruit, vegetables, and even flowers the Y offers Victory Gardens. Families, seniors, and others plant and tend these small gardens during the spring and summer. Gardening is a wonderful hobby that provides some physical, mental, and social benefits for all ages. The Y’s gardens are located across the street from our Lebanon location, off Deerfield Rd. One garden row is approximately 3 feet in width and 63 feet in length. In 2021 we are redesigning the Victory Garden to accommodate even more people in the community. The new design is an all-inclusive gardening experience and includes:
- Wheelchair accessible gardening
- Elevated raised beds for seniors and persons with handicaps
- Individual and family gardening
- Children gardening plots
Learn more and register for a YMCA Victory Garden spot here.
Nutrition counseling is also an important option to consider for anyone serious about changing eating habits. The Y offers several nutrition coaching packages which provide individualized guidance on nutrition, food choices, and overall healthy eating. The Y's Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist has a wide range of healthcare experience including working with clients who have end stage kidney disease, eating disorders, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer and more.
Learn more and register for YMCA nutrition counseling here.
If you are curious about steps you can take on your own to improve your eating habits, download and print this worksheet with seven eating habits you can implement on your own to improve your nutrition one bite at a time.
Learn more about all that Countryside YMCA does to providing healthy living tips and classes throughout the year on their website, www.countrysideymca.org.