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Family on the MEND with help from YMCA of Okanagan

Image Credit: Contributed
August 09, 2015 - 12:00 PM

Keeping our children active, engaged and eating well is a common struggle for families of today, one which the MEND program at the YMCA of Okanagan is working to overcome.

MEND stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it! It is a FREE ten week program for families with children ages 7–13 years old who are working towards a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight.

“MEND unites families over a common issue; each family wants to set a positive example for their children,” says YMCA MEND program leader, Samantha Blair. “The idea is to educate families and inspire them to make lifelong improvements in their physical activity levels and nutrition.”

For the Forster family, MEND made a big impact. “The information was so amazing,” says Susan Forster. “Our family really struggled with maintaining healthy habits prior to this program. With technology what it is today, and competing priorities, it can be difficult to stay above it all.”

Susan and her husband Chad—along with their daughters, Hannah, 11,  and Joelle, 7—loved coming to MEND each week where they would learn, mingle with other families, and play active games.

“It was really useful to brainstorm with the other families about what works for them and find alternate ways to approach issues every family faces, like picky eating and reducing screen time,” says Susan

Joelle and Hannah met new friends in the program and learned a lot about healthy eating and why exercise is important. Joelle enjoyed examining labels and has now been deemed the family’s ‘label detective’ when shopping for meals.

MEND is administered locally through the YMCA of Okanagan, and developed in partnership with the Child Obesity Foundation and Healthy Families BC. The program consists of two sessions per week, and includes a three month YMCA membership in addition to another three month membership for those who complete the program. MEND offers a mix of active games for the kids, parent discussions and group educational sessions.

The next intake for MEND is underway. Contact Samantha Blair at 250-491-9622 ext. 211 or email her directly at as soon as possible to find out if your family qualifies for the program. Start date for MEND’s fall program is September 16.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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