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Fort St. John

City hosts MEND open house, promoting healthy lifestyles for families

Hoping to engage more families, the City will be hosting an open house next Tuesday to educate families about the MEND Program.

MEND (Short for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it!) is a program that promotes healthy eating and exercise for children and families. This open house will do that by means of teaching families to make healthier food choices, read food labels, understand fats and sugars, tell the difference between unrefined and refined foods, and how to prepare a healthy balanced meal.

The program, which was first launched in the U.K., has been running in many other communities — and was set to launch here in October, but was cancelled due to low numbers.

The first session was postponed to January, and the City is hoping to see a rise in attendance there.

“We’re looking to get the word out there a little bit more, allow people to come in a learn more about the program,” said City of Fort St. John Recreation Programmer Ryan Harvey, noting that the first session seems to always have a lower turnout than expected.

Program organizers have also been meeting with school principals, doctors, and other specialists to spread the word and get the community involved.

MEND promotes a 5-2-1-0 lifestyle — five fruits or vegetables, two hours maximum of screen time, one hour of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks per day.

The open house will be at the Pomeroy Sports Centre on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 at 6 p.m.