Our children have more than ever before. But sometimes, that’s not such a good thing. In a world where there is access to almost anything, technology, screens and foods lacking nutrients, how do we get back to moderation where balanced lifestyles are key? How do we encourage our children to eat and enjoy physical activity for health and wellness?
Growing up I didn’t have the healthiest food foundation. My parents worked long hours to pay the bills and bought/ate a lot of processed food (because hey, it’s cheaper and it lasts longer), and my father seemed to hate all veggies save for corn and tomatoes. Now that I’m the mom, I make sure there is a wide variety of whole food to choose from. And while I often make meals from scratch, I do sometimes feed the family out of a box. It would be great to learn from other families in MEND about how they make healthier food choices for their families.
Growing up in a small town, I rode my bike around a lot, and usually by myself. There was very little traffic, and parents weren’t paranoid like we are today of all the ‘what ifs’. I played freely at the playground, outside in my yard, sometimes only coming in when it was time to eat, or it grew dark. Times sure have changed, and now that I’m the mom, it’s hard to make sure my kids get enough exercise. We live in a city now with more traffic, less green spaces and more paranoia, myself included. I don’t like the idea of my kids walking or biking alone. And, somewhere along the way, I started to lose my own enjoyment of exercise.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s there was no internet yet, and a lot less screen time in general. Our place was with our toys, our friends, our imaginations. Now that I’m the mom, we are in an age of technology where we have the world at our fingertips, but often forget to go out into the world. And I confess, my kids probably get more screen time than they should. Ok, I know they do. Whether Netflix or cable, there are channels devoted just to child viewership, 24/7. DVDs in endless supply. Ipods and tablets and DS’s. It is easy to let a lot of time slip by before powering down.
MEND helps to encourage healthy behaviours. Designed in the UK by leading experts in child nutrition, exercise and behaviour, it was adapted to meet Canadian dietary guidelines and has been operating in BC since 2013, helping families get fit and make healthier choices – together. And that’s what I love about this program. It doesn’t focus on the individual, it centres around the family, and working with them and their unique struggles to develop healthy habits, try new things, and find a healthier lifestyle together.
MEND is a Healthy Lifestyle Program aimed at empowering both children and parents to make healthy choices. But MEND is also a lot of fun along the 10 week journey to a healthier lifestyle. And since their start here in BC, they have had a lot of success with families and reducing screen time, making healthier eating choices and getting more daily physical activity. A combination that also sees an increase in confidence, mood and self esteem.
Let’s face it. When you know better, you do better. When you have the whole family on board, on the same page, you have a higher chance of success. So if this sounds like a program that your family could benefit from, visit www.bchealthykids.ca for more information
I wish there was a program like this available when I was younger.
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MEND wants to kick start a healthy lifestyle in your home with a fabulous giveaway! One lucky British Columbia Mom reader is going to take home a MEND Family Fitness Pack! Enter below!
Prize: One (1) MEND Family Fitness Pack worth $200 including everything pictured above: t-shirts, water bottles and a MEND bag as well as municipal recreation pass of winner’s choice- which includes a 10 visit pass for a family of 4.
Fine Print: Prizing is open to residents of British Columbia
End Date: October 8th, 2015