Residents at Parkway Place, a Buckner community in Houston, are going back to school early at “Wellness University.”

The recently created program is designed to help residents understand the nutritional values of specific foods to promote healthful eating, something that becomes increasingly more important during the aging process.

The class is held once a month and progresses alphabetically through specific foods. For example, the first lecture covered avocados, and residents made and sampled guacamole. The second lecture was about blueberries, and they tried a blueberry parfait. This month, residents will learn all about vitamin C. 

“We’ve had a blast during the first two classes, and I can tell residents want to learn the benefits of different foods,” Chef Derone Martin said in a statement. “We can’t stop aging, but we can stay healthy and the first step toward good health in older adults is eating right.”

Each class is about 30 minutes long because Martin wants to show simple and effective recipes that residents can make on their own. They treat it like a real college class, according to Linda Fitzhugh, director of resident engagement.

“I take roll at the beginning of each class, and we wear graduation caps as we present to the residents,” she said in a statement.

Not only does this program promote a health diet, it also helps residents socialize with each other. 

“Even though it is a class, we still get to have a lot of fun,” Martin said. “We like to see the residents interact with each other, ask questions and let us know what they’re interested in learning more about.”

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