SAN BENITO — Healthy lifestyles start at home.
That’s why the San Benito CISD Afterschool Program will be hosting the MEND Program for parents and students interested in leading a healthier life.
MEND stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do it.
It is a 10-week program that helps parents and students understand what goes into healthy living by providing workshops and information on nutritional facts.
Sandra Leal, the San Benito ISD Afterschool Program family engagement specialist, said the program will be hosted at two different schools every week.
Leal said she contacted MEND at UT Health after reading about what the program does.
“It’s a wonderful program that involves both the parents and children,” Leal said.
The program is a two-hour class that occurs twice a week for 10 weeks.
• The first hour of the class involves a lesson for both the parent and child in nutrition and information on reading food labels.
• In the second hour, children are taken out to exercise while parents learn about cooking nutritious meals.
“It all starts at home,” Leal said. “Once you change what the parent does, you change what the kid does.”
Leal said the favorite part of the program for her is when the children are taken on a scavenger hunt-like trip to H-E-B to determine what food is healthy and what food isn’t.
Leal said after the 10 weeks, the program will start up at another campus until all the schools have hosted the program.
The program was created 17 years ago in the United Kingdom and its goal was to help overweight and obese children improve their lifestyles.
According to the MEND website, one-third of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese.
WHAT: MEND Program
WHERE: Frank Roberts Elementary, 451 Biddle Street, San Benito
WHEN: Every Monday and Wednesday
TIME: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: La Paloma Elementary, 35076 Main Street, San Benito
WHEN: Every Tuesday and Thursday starting Sept. 26
TIME: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
What is MEND?
MEND stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do it. Created 17 years ago in the United Kingdom, MEND has been adapted for the United State and was created to help overweight and obese children improve their health and lifestyle.
Child obesity statistics
• Obesity is more prevalent among Hispanic children at 21.9 percent
• 14.5 percent of WIC participants between the ages of 2 and 4 were obese
• Obesity among children between the ages of 2 and 5 decreased from 13.9 percent in 2004 to 9.4 percent in 2014
• Almost 25 million children in the U.S. are overweight or obese
*Facts provided by the Centers for Disease Control