Virtual Healthy Habits

Achieving good health begins with adopting healthy habits. Virtually Healthy Habits (VHH) is a virtual, interactive group-based program designed for older adults to learn about healthy nutrition and provide an opportunity for social engagement. Virtual Healthy Habits is a 10-session program. Classes are held twice a week for 5 weeks and each session is 60-90 minutes long. Virtual Healthy Habits is a combination program including interactive and educational classes and nutritious meal-preparation with a socialization component.

Mature man cooking healthy food

Oasis has been awarded a three-year grant through the Administration for Community Living under the “Innovations in Nutrition Research” to implement and study Oasis’ program called Virtual Healthy Habits.  This project will study the effectiveness of Virtual Healthy Habits to as a nutrition education, positive behavior change and socialization program. In partnership with St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, Aging Ahead and AgeSmart, Oasis will be recruiting hundreds of older adults in the St. Louis Metropolitan area to participate in 2021-2023.

The program is five weeks long, two times each week and includes a meal kit delivery for participants to prepare a meal to eat with their cohort. Small groups are led by a trained Oasis facilitator and are in cohorts with fewer than 10 people.

Oasis hopes this research study shows positive results and this program can be offered across the country with a variety of community partners in the future. Oasis is partnering with Texas A & M University’s Center for Population Health and Aging for the research component of this project.

Program overview:

Program goal:

To educate older adults about current dietary guidelines and assist with behavior change to match the MyPlate method designed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and offer an opportunity to prepare and enjoy a nutritious meal in the company of other older adults.

Program objectives:

  • Increase knowledge about dietary guidelines and healthy eating
  • Improve attitudes and self-efficacy towards healthy eating
  • Improve eating behaviors to match current dietary guidelines
  • Decreased nutritional risk

Weekly Educational Sessions:

Week 1:

  • Introduction to Healthy Eating
  • Eating the Rainbow: Love Your Colorful Fruits and Veggies

Week 2:

  • Whole Truth About Whole Grains
  • Stay Regular: Enjoy the Power of Fiber in Your Diet

Week 3:

  • Protein: The Body’s Own Superman
  • Dairy Foods: Calcium and Vitamin D Superstars
  • Eating Healthy on a Budget

Week 4:

  • How Sweet It Is: Limiting Sugar in Your Diet
  • Fluids: Stay Hydrated and Make Healthy Beverage Choices

Week 5:

  • The Skinny on Fat: Reducing Fat in Your Diet
  • Shake the Salt Habit: Limiting Salt in Your Diet

Weekly Meal Preparation and Social Sessions:

The second session of each week is a socialization session designed to give participants an opportunity to join their cohort with their prepared nutritious meal as part of this program to socialize.  Each week, participants will receive fresh ingredients delivered to their home to prepare a nutritious meal along with access to a cooking demonstration video or printed recipe to prepare the meal.

Program material:

  • Participant workbook which includes weekly session information, activities, handouts, and cooking recipes
  • Access to cooking demonstration videos
  • Weekly grocery or meal kit delivery for meal preparation

Check out some of our recommended resources below!

Check out the St. Louis Oasis website for a full list of Oasis health, exercise, and educational classes.

MyPlate

Harvard University Nutrition Resources

American Heart Association

American Diabetes Association

Go4Life

Local Area Agency on Aging:

Aging AheadSt. Louis County (MO), St. Charles County (MO) , Franklin County (MO), Jefferson County (MO)

St. Louis Area Agency on AgingSt. Louis City (MO) 

AgeSmart Community ResourcesBond County (IL), Clinton County (IL), Madison County (IL), Monroe County (IL), Randolph County (IL), St. Clair County (IL), or Washington County (IL)