My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Mini MEND - What's it all about?

For a fitter, healthier and happier life!

Towards the end of 2011, me and mummy started a course of sessions at our local Children's Centre called Mini MEND. I loved every session that we went to, and was sad when the course finished after 10 weeks. When mummy has mentioned to people in the past that we attended the course, many have said to us with a confused tone:

"Isn't Mini MEND for kids that are overweight ...?"

The simple answer to this question is, "Absolutely not!"

There is so much more to this programme, and mummy felt that not enough parents were aware of its benefits or even of its existence, which is why we have decided to write a series of posts together to try and express how useful Mini MEND could be to so many families!

When we enrolled on the programme before, I had just turned 2 years old. Mini MEND is designed for children between 2-4 years old, and although mummy and daddy saw a positive change in me after the sessions were complete, they feel that I was possibly a little young for these changes to be permanent and that maybe the messages that are conveyed by the programme leaders didn't really stick. My eating habits and attitude towards foods have slipped drastically over the last 9 months or so. Therefore, as a last resort, mummy picked up the phone and called the lovely ladies over at Mini MEND HQ and explained our situation. That was it, we were registered to do the course all over again, this time in the hope that the positive influence provided by the classes will stick this time!

Our Mini MEND course will run for the duration of 10 weeks, and we have decided that we will keep a diary on the blog explaining what we did and what we learnt in the sessions, and hope that we can change some views about what the programme is all about!

All about Mini MEND

Who are we?

We’re MEND – Mind, Exercise, Nutrition… Do it!

Our vision is a world where we all live fitter, healthier and happier lives.

MEND empowers children and adults to become fitter, healthier and happier and to reach or maintain a healthier weight.
How do we make a difference?
  • We design programmes and services, offering long-term solutions that help people improve their health, fitness, and self-esteem.
  • We provide the information and support people need to choose healthier foods and spend more time being active.
We believe in innovation, partnership and social action.
What do we do?

Working closely with public, private, not-for-profit and academic organisations, we:
  • are a leading provider of healthy lifestyle programmes for children and families in local communities  
  • offer weight management programmes for adults in leisure settings
  • provide the knowledge, skills, resources and training that professionals, community champions and organisations need to:
  • prevent people from becoming unhealthy as a result of inactivity or poor food choices
  • treat people who are above a healthy weight (and therefore more at risk of developing chronic diseases including cardio-vascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers)
  • develop innovative ways to improve public health and encourage healthier lifestyles, using our extensive research.
    How do we work?
    Since being founded in 2004, MEND has helped more than 55,000 children and adults across the world to live fitter, healthier and happier lives.
    Tailored yet scalable
    Our programmes, training and resources are designed to be tailored to the communities where they are delivered.

    Developed by experts
    They are developed by our teams of dieticians, nutritionists, physical activity experts and behaviour change specialists using detailed research and evidence.
    Delivered by local people and organisations
    We train, equip and support teams employed by local organisations to deliver our world-class programmes.
    Research and evidence-based
    We have a 20-year research partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust and University College London Institute of Child Health.

    We also have research partnerships with the University of Texas School of Public Health (USA), Baylor College of Medicine (USA), University of Nebraska Medical Center (USA), Simon Fraser University (Canada) and Deakin University (Australia). We’re proud to also work alongside the MEND International Research Group.
    We currently have the largest database of child weight management data in the world.
    Where do we work?
    Our early work was focussed in the UK, but we’re now working in local communities in different countries.
    UK and Europe
    MEND is currently running in more than 200 locations across England, and Wales. MEND has been adapted for use in Denmark in partnership with the Oxford Health Alliance.

    Australia and New Zealand 
    MEND is currently being delivered by: 

    • State Government Departments of Health and others in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania in Australia
    • District Health Boards and Primary Health organisations in New Zealand.
    United States and Canada
    Low-income families living in the USA can now access MEND thanks to the recently founded MEND Foundation. In Canada, MEND programmes have been commissioned in Alberta.

    The Middle East 
    We are currently looking for partners to make MEND available in the Middle East, focusing initially on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. 

    We hope that we have shed a little light on what Mini MEND is all about, and hope that you will join us on our 10 week journey as I hope to become a 'better eater'!


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