The white-tiled teaching kitchen at the Armed Services YMCA Wellness Center in Harker Heights was accented with a range of colors of granola, fresh fruit and yogurt set out on the counter.
They were the healthful ingredients in the fruit and yogurt parfaits attendees learned to make at the “Lunch and Learn” program held Jan. 4.
The ASYMCA and Seton Healthcare host the Lunch and Learn lecture and cooking demonstration on the first Thursday of every month at noon with a different topic presented each time.
“It’s always geared around health and wellness,” said Carolina Numan, marketing and communications specialist with Seton Healthcare. Thursday’s session was about arthritis and preventing bone and joint problems, while next month’s recipe and lecture will concern hearth health.
All the recipes demonstrated by Carey Stites, a registered dietician with Wellstone Health Partners and Seton Healthcare, are original and have been approved by her family.
“I always try them at home first, and I need time to practice,” Stites said. “My recipes are always family-tested, so I’ve had a few misses.”
The parfait was definitely one of the hits.
“It’s packed with protein from the cereal and the fruit and yogurt can improve bone health,” she said. “We pair the recipe with the topic of the month.”
Stites said many people attend the Lunch and Learn programs because they enjoy the cooking demonstrations, but it’s also a two-way street. “I’m giving information to the audience and they’re giving me information, so I learn a lot too.”
Lunch and Learn is a form of community outreach.
“It’s a great way to get a lot of information out there to a lot of different people,” Stites said. “It brings people together in the community, and I enjoy that interaction.”
About 10 people attended the hourlong session on Jan. 4 that included a lecture by Dr. Erik Lovria, an orthopedic surgeon with Seton Healthcare. Lovria talked to the primarily over-40 group about arthritis and joint replacement.
“Every session has important takeaway lessons about healthy living,” Numan said. “It’s a good partnership with the YMCA to get this information out to the community.”
The Lunch and Learn sessions are sponsored by Seton Medical Center Harker Heights and Wellstone Health Partners.
The ASYMCA Killeen Wellness Center is located at 110 Mountain Lion Road in Harker Heights. For more information, call 254-690-9622.