Most parents will be familiar with the fight against the temptation of the treats cupboard; with chocolate, crisps and biscuits becoming an all-too-easy way to keep children full between meals.
Unfortunately, unhealthy snacking is just one of the factors contributing to Luton’s ever-expanding shocking childhood obesity statistics.
Obesity in Year R children (3-4yrs) in Luton is 11.2 per cent, significantly higher than the England average of 9.4 per cent, and for Year six children (10-11yrs) it’s 21.9 per cent, compared to the England average of 19 per cent.
Alive N Kicking is a free healthy weight programme for parents and children to help educate them about better eating, and while the grown-ups take part in a relaxed and interactive lesson, the youngsters get to run around and play nearby.
Programme manager Matthew Hudson said: “We work with children aged 5-15 and their families, who are concerned about their weight. We support and empower our families to make manageable lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on the health of the family as a whole. Alive ‘N’ Kicking is here to help families set and achieve nutritional and physical activity goals in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.”
No one is made to feel stupid, and there is a was real sense of everyone learning together.
Matthew explains things in ways which make you think differently about food, and I was quite shocked when we looked at some of the ingredients in foods you assume are healthy.
Mum-of-three Julie Coffey said: “I was referred here by the hospital as Lucas (9) had a BMI that was too high. I’ve been coming 10 weeks and found it really useful. I’ve made changes like not buying treats, and now if Lucas asks for a snack I give him something healthy like a yoghurt or a bit of fruit. It’s easy to give in when your children are asking for chocolate, but it’s better to stay strong and eventually they ask for the unhealthy things less.”
Nicky Jerbi, who brings her seven-year-old daughter to the sessions, said: “It’s about changing the family’s mindset. We’ve all tried new foods in the sessions, and if the children see others trying new foods that encourages them to try them as well. It’s fun.”
To find out more call 01582 486826 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org