A Free Healthy Lifestyle Program for Families
How can I change my child’s eating habits and improve their self-esteem? Does my child get too much screen time and not enough play time? How can I make my family more active and healthy?
Discover answers to all these questions through MEND (which stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do it!), a free program that teaches families with children 7-13 years old who are above a healthy weight how to live a healthier lifestyle.
Here are some top reasons to sign up for this series of group sessions:
- Learn about healthy meal planning and nutrition
Determining what foods on the grocery shelves are healthiest can be tricky. Many companies use the terms “natural” or “smart” on their packaging even though the contents might still be high in fat, salt or sugar. With MEND, trained leaders will take you through the process of determining healthy food choices, how to read nutrition labels on packaging, and how to plan healthy meals with the help of the Canada Food Guide. As part of the program, families will use this knowledge to tour a grocery store and sleuth out nutritious food options.
- Discover how to make physical activity fun
From disease prevention to mood improvement, there are many benefits to being physically active. However, there can also be barriers to exercise: lack of motivation, physical ability, self-esteem, time and money. Many people are simply not aware of the huge health benefits. This program will demonstrate ways of incorporating active play into your family routine and making it enjoyable and fun. As well, families who complete the program are offered a post-program package that includes annual swim and skate passes, fitness drop-in passes and complimentary recreation programs.
- Understand how to effectively change behaviors and improve health
Almost 1/3 of Canadian youth are above a healthy weight. And unfortunately, statistics show that poor food and exercise habits developed in childhood increase the risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes in adulthood. Through goal setting and rewards, MEND participants learn how to change current eating and exercise habits. And with recommendations and encouragement from other group members, families can also discover solutions or ‘life hacks” that might work for them. Empowered with new knowledge, graduates find that even small changes in routines can make a big difference in the whole family’s wellbeing.
MEND is not a diet program, but a supportive, evidence-based lifestyle change program that has huge benefits for children and their families. “It’s like opening a new door,” said a recent participant.
North Vancouver Recreation and Culture is proud to offer MEND. The program runs twice a week for 10 weeks and begins January 30th, 2017. For more information, visit nvrc.ca/mend, call 604.983.6401 or email.
The MEND program is funded by the Province of British Columbia through the Provincial Health Services Authority and supported by BC Parks & Recreation Association, YMCA, BC Childhood Obesity Foundation and Children’s Hospital. Find out more at BC Healthy Kids.