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MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!)
What is it all about?
MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do It!) is a FREE, fun healthy living program for children aged 5-13. There are two MEND programs, MEND 5-7 for children aged 5 to 7 years and MEND 7-13 for children aged 7-13 years. Both programs are 10 week family-based education programs designed to help children and their families get fitter, healthier and happier. The programs facilitate safe, effective and lasting lifestyle changes by improving children’s physical activity levels, nutrition and self-esteem.
By attending MEND:
- Families learn about all aspects of nutrition, including how to make healthy food choices.
- They learn how to read food labels and make small changes that last a lifetime.
- They learn how to change their eating and exercise habits through exercises such as setting goals and rewards and how being active can be fun.
MEND is about empowering children and their families, and uses a practical interactive learning approach to teach children and parents skills for healthy living.
MEND was developed and tested by some of the UK’s leading experts in child nutrition, child behaviour and exercise. In 2011, MEND was adapted to align with Canadian dietary and policy guidelines.
In MEND 5-7 families take part in fun 1 hour and 45 minute sessions once a week that combine active living, healthy eating and behaviour change. Each session begins with a healthy snack, followed by a short interactive discussion and activities about nutrition and behaviour change for the family. The final hour involves continued discussion for the parents while the children engage in fun, physical activities.
In MEND 7-13 families take part in fun 2-hour sessions twice a week for 10 weeks that combine active living (physical activity), healthy eating and behaviour change. The first hour is interactive discussions and activities about nutrition and behaviour change for the family. The second hour involves continued discussion for the parents while the children engage in fun, physical activities.
► MEND Your Family's Relationship to Fitness | Healthy Family Expo 2017
► MEND: Free lifestyle program connecting families + #Giveaway | British Columbia Mom
► MEND, helping families get fit together | British Columbia Mom
Newspaper & Magazine Articles
► Stay healthy with your kids this fall | Vancity Buzz
Shannon's family journey with MEND
Chronicled in this blog post on yoyomama, posted September 25, 2014:
This busy mom of 3 kids aged 9 to 14, recalls how MEND has helped bring her family closer together, and has empowered her kids to make healthier choices.
“Thank you so much for all your hard work. We are very proud of our family and the improvements we've already made.
Lexis has lost weight as well as inches and her fitness all around has improved. We all have enjoyed mend and are very very sad it's over.
This program has really changed our lives.
My husband is doing all the things I've been telling him for years and wouldn't listen to me. We also love all of our teachers. They were all knowledgeable, fun, made learning fun and there wasn't one class that was boring or we didn't learn anything. I'm so thankful that we were accepted into MEND because it was weighing heavy on my mind that I didn't know what to do to help my daughter more. I hope we can be good ambassadors for MEND and encourage our MEND families to keep going as well as telling other families about MEND.”
"It has been a great pleasure to be in this program. It has changed our life fully from morning till night.
My son loves the classes, doesn't like to miss a single day and learns new games, which are affordable and easy to play at home to keep them busy. I spend more time looking at labels and think at least 3 times before I pick anything up at the grocery store. Harry and Menisha are the most serious and knowledgeable teachers I have ever seen at their young age. They are very nice and very flexible with the kids. We will miss all of our instructors when the classes end. Please carry on with this MEND program, it's good and would definitely bring a big change in lives.
I appreciate your help and efforts to make our kids future and health bright!!"
“The program has been incredible. The fact that our whole family is committed to the meetings and made an effort at home is amazing (I mean wow).
The thought process around what to eat, how much and when has changed. As well as scheduling activity. I still have to work on the meal planning, but we are getting there.”
~ Rakesh, Prem, Angel, Udesh
More information on MEND can be found at www.bchealthykids.ca or contact the MEND Regional Coordinator at 604-629-0965 ext. 241.
MEND is delivered by the BCRPA and YMCA in partnership with the Provincial Health Services Authority and the Childhood Obesity Foundation.