From Spotlight on Health Oct./Nov. 2007
Daycare provider Lorel Meinz jumped at the chance to participate in a
program to educate parents and children about the importance of nutrition
“I heard about this pilot program at a meeting for child care center
directors and was very excited to become a part of it,” Meinz said.
The program is made possible through an initiative called BLEND (Better
Living: Exercise & Nutrition Daily) which is funded by the CentraCare
BLEND is designed to improve the health of area
children by addressing the problem of childhood obesity.
More than 300 children from five St. Cloud area daycare centers are
involved in the 13-week pilot program. Children and parents in this
program will receive weekly BLEND activities that educate and
demonstrate healthy activities and good nutrition choices. Participants will
complete surveys at the beginning and end of the 13-week period to gather
information on current family habits and how the BLEND pilot program
can positively impact family behaviors.
With the children in her daycare center, Meinz knows that too often many
families don’t have the information or take the time in the bustle of daily
life to consider the impact of their choices.
“It is great to be able to share more information with my daycare families
to help them instill the importance of good nutrition and exercise into
their children’s lives,” she added.
Nearly one in five children ages 6 to 11 in the United States are considered
overweight according to 2004 data from the Centers for Disease Control
Statistics show that children who
are overweight are at
greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and
psychological problems such as stigmatization
and poor self-esteem.
It’s facts like this that have area pediatricians collaborating with BLEND
to develop a standard tool to identify at-risk behaviors in children likely
to become overweight.
“We often remind parents to limit the time that children watch television,
play video games or surf the Web to no more than two hours per day,”
said Pediatrician William Hicks, M.D., CentraCare Clinic. “But most
importantly, parents must be good role models for their children.”
If you would like to learn more about this program, contact Jodi Rohe, BLEND project
coordinator, at (320) 251-2700, ext. 59206 or email@example.com.
Learn more about BLEND.