Programs help to empower well-being

An older woman pushes a shopping cart in a grocery store

By Kari Baesel

One size does not fit all when it comes to nutrition, diets and healthy habits. In the pursuit of a healthier and more vibrant life, it’s important to understand the foundation of nutrition, diets and ways to make it viable to you.

As individuals age, their nutritional needs and dietary requirements may change. It becomes increasingly important for aging adults to focus on nutrient-dense foods that support overall health, maintain muscle mass and address specific age-related concerns.

There are a variety of different programs available, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide what is best for you. It’s important to approach new healthy lifestyles with a critical mindset and consider individual health goals, preferences and any existing medical conditions. Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s 50 Plus Department is partnering with the K-State Research and Extension on classes this spring to give you insights into a healthy lifestyle.

“Eating Across the Life Span.” Each phase of life from infancy to adulthood requires different nutrition and behaviors for good health. Learn about what foods are important to health and how to make better food choices based on what is needed for your age. This class will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood.

“Nutrition Made Simple.” Does healthy eating confuse you? This presentation breaks down myths and provides strategies to help you understand real nutrition so you can start eating healthy today. Learn how to read food labels, identify diet traps and make small lifelong changes. This class will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at the New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway, New Century (near Gardner).

“Navigating the Grocery Store.” Don’t let grocery shopping overwhelm you. Learn how to successfully navigate the grocery store, read and decode labels, shop healthy and on a budget and stock your pantry to be prepared to cook any meal even when you are short on time. This class will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park.

“Powerful Foods for Fighting Chronic Disease.” Our daily food choices can have a profound effect on either preventing or improving chronic disease, like obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and their associated symptoms. This class is scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the Meadowbrook Park Club - house, 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village.

“Developing Healthy Habits.” Learn how to create new and sustainable goals, habits and routines around nutrition, physical activity, stress management and sleep so you can reach your health goals. This class will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, April 22, at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Ave., Shawnee.

Each class is 90 minutes for a cost of $5/$6 nonresidents. Registration is required by calling 913-831-3359 or online by visiting the Enrichment Classes page at

Kari Baesel is 50 Plus manager at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.