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‘We’ll help improve Bradford children’s health!’
Families across the Bradford district have been invited to sign up for a new course, run by the NHS obesity team, specifically developed for overweight children aged five to 13.
The MEND programme – which stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it! – has been designed for families of children, aged between seven and 13, who are overweight. It includes an initial assessment of children’s weight, their level of physical activity and diet and eating habits.
A further similar programme aimed at children aged five to seven is also available.
Each course combines advice and practical activities on healthy eating, opportunities to take part in physical activity, build child self-esteem and support for both parents and children from trained health staff.
Activities include: l discussions about easy, effective ways to improve a child’s behaviour l demonstrations and tips about healthy foods, food label reading and advice on correct food portion sizes for children l weekly exercises and activities for children.
Martin Earnshaw, of the obesity team at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said: “Making sure your child is a healthy weight can be a struggle for many parents, but it is essential to get it right to help children eat well, move more and live longer.
“These programmes highlight that making small changes can make all the difference to families who want to become fitter and healthier, for example switching white bread and pasta to wholegrain, reducing the time your child spends watching TV or playing computer games, spending more time being active as a family and eating a healthy, balanced diet “So many families struggle with similar issues when asking their children to eat a healthy diet and be more active. The MEND programme should help them to understand their child’s behaviour and what they as a parent can do to support them.”
Families are encouraged to attend each of the sessions because parental and peer support can help make long-lasting changes to a child’s eating habits and level of physical activity.
Places on the programmes are limited. Anyone who wants to register can contact:(01274) 202801 or for more information visit: bradford.nhs.uk/your-health/obesity.