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Plan a summer full of healthy family fun!

The Francois family of Sartell were looking for healthy activities to do together. They discovered the Fit Kids Series, events endorsed by BLEND (Better Living: Exercise and Nutrition Daily), an initiative of the CentraCare Health Foundation to reduce childhood obesity in the St. Cloud area.

The Francois family likes that the BLEND Fit Kids Club “We liked that we could plan ahead and pick events that fit our schedule,” said mom, Kristin. “The series provided motivation. For the girls, it was a personalized airbrushed hat. For us, it was doing the races with our children.”

BLEND activities like the Fit Kids Series have contributed to a healthier St. Cloud. In fact, CentraCare Health recently released data that showed the rate of 12-year-old boys who were overweight or obese dropped by 28 percent over six years in the greater St. Cloud region.

Health leaders credit the drop to BLEND. “Today’s 12-year-olds entered school just as BLEND was beginning its work in elementary schools. These students experienced healthy options, activities and environments for their entire school careers,” said David Tilstra, MD, president of CentraCare Clinic. “To see that their obesity rates are not increasing, but rather decreasing as the children age, is encouraging.”

The focus for BLEND is to make the healthy choice, the easy choice. The Francois family knows this strategy makes a difference. “The races made me feel good,” said 7-year-old Paige. “It was fun to have mom and dad cheer for me and to do the races with friends.”