MEND starting up two new programs in April

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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Those looking for a way to get kids active and eating healthy should look no further than the Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it program.

This April, the MEND program will be starting two new programs for families in need of their services.

“MEND is a healthy lifestyle program for families,” Janet Daigneault said. “It is a community-based, family-based program that is a fun program and it is free. It helps seven to 13 year olds and their families lead healthier lives.”

Many times parents are concerned about fussy eating, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition habits or may be concerned that their children are above a healthy weight. MEND helps teach them healthier habits and behaviour change, she said.

The MEND program for seven to 13 year olds, starting on April 14 at St. Michael’s School, will be partnered with Community Kitchens.

“I think that Community Kitchens and MEND kind of have the same philosophy as to nutrition and healthy eating -- I think community kitchens wanted to maybe help promote MEND as well,” Daigneault said.

It is an opportunity for families to get a meal and education from Community Kitchens and then stay afterwards for MEND theory and physical activity, she explained.

At each session, Community Kitchens will plan and implement a healthy meal.

“They will be able to educate families on the meal they are providing,” Daigneault said. “After that, the MEND program will start.”

This is the first time either organization has teamed up in Prince Albert and Daigneault is looking forward to the partnership.

“I believe it is a great idea for families if they want to come out and learn a little bit more about nutrition and get some physical activity for their kids -- I think it is a great opportunity,” she said.

The program is not only for the children, but their parents or caregivers and siblings as well.

“We offer transportation as well for this program, so any families that do not have transportation we can offer that to them,” Daigneault said.

The program is normally 10 weeks long, but this session will only run nine weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays due to Easter break.

The other new program MEND is offering is for two to four year olds, which starts this Saturday, Daigneault said.

“This program only happens once a week and it is a 90-minute session,” Daigneault said. “We are doing it on Saturdays at Arthur Pechey School.”

Although it is similar to the seven to 13-year-old program, it is geared for preschoolers.

“This one as well is about 10 sessions long and this one is a little bit different because we do cater to the younger kids,” Daigneault said. “In the 90-minute session we have a half an hour of physical activity and we call it active play.”

There is also a small amount of time for snack time, where they introduce fruits and vegetables. They play fun games around the topic and try to come up with ways to get kids to try new fruits and vegetables.

“We have a creative play session, where we can do crafts and dancing and things like that,” Daigneault said. “It is a really fun program for two to four year olds.”

For more information or to register, contact Daigneault at 306-922-2244 or email at jdaigneault@sasksport.sk.ca.

Organizations: Community Kitchens, Arthur Pechey School

Geographic location: Michael, Prince Albert

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