LincolnHealth medical professionals are offering new classes and programs to teach and encourage community members to eat more nutritious, balanced meals to help improve their overall health and well-being.
Over the course of the summer, four local families will learn to grow tomatoes, spinach, peppers, basil, red cabbage, cucumbers, and more at their homes. All of the materials and plants were provided by LincolnHealth, and medical profession
als will help them along the way.
“By teaching families how to plant and grow their own gardens, we are hoping they begin to eat more vegetables and fruits and continue to grow their own crops in the future. This can help them save money and improve their overall health,” said LincolnHealth occupational therapist and master gardener volunteer Alan Littlefield. Littlefield received training from University of Maine Cooperative Extension educators and industry experts to become a master gardener volunteer.
This spring, a series of healthy cooking classes called “What’s Cooking, Doc,” taught by LincolnHealth doctors, were available. Each class was instructed by a different doctor, and a registered dietician shared valuable healthy cooking tips throughout each class.
“I’m very appreciative of LincolnHealth for taking a more holistic view of community health and sponsoring the ‘What’s Cooking, Doc’ cooking class series as well as the family gardening program. I enjoyed the cooking series both as a participant and as a teacher of one of the classes,” said Dr. Timothy Goltz. “In addition to learning how to prepare delicious food, the classes helped reinforce the connections between food and health.”
“One of our goals is to teach patients and community members about the importance of eating balanced meals from all five food groups, as well as consuming a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables throughout the day,” said Kristina Verney, the 5-2-1-0 program coordinator for Lincoln County. “The cooking classes and family gardening program helps us reach more people in an interactive and exciting way.”
As health care continues to focus more and more on prevention and wellness, LincolnHealth is creating new programs and ways to help improve the health of the community. Other programs include a diabetes prevention program in partnership with Boothbay Region YMCA and Central Lincoln County YMCA, free diabetes education classes (the next series will begin in September in Wiscasset), diabetes cooking classes, a winter activity challenge, and a community garden on LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus.
The family gardening program is currently a pilot program that may be expanded or modified in the future in order to best serve the community.
For more information about community health classes and programs, call the LincolnHealth Education Department at 563-4540.