Friday, 6 November 2009

Supermarket sweep challenge helps MEND children's eating habits

A Supermarket Sweep style challenge rolled into Port Talbot to help educate children about healthy food choices.

As part of the UK wide MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition&Do it!!) initiative, scores of young people turned into food detectives to learn about labelling and healthy eating choices.

Children, attending the MEND programme, were given 50 minutes to take part in the 'Supermarket Sweep' type experience at Morrison's in Port Talbot, to try and find as many MEND friendly foods as possible.

As a reward for completing the task and proving how great their detective skills were, Morrison's provided the children with a variety of fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks to try.

Neath Port Talbot Council leader Ali Thomas said educating our children now will benefit them in the future.

"Encouraging our young people to look at what is contained in their favourite foods is helping them make conscious decisions about their health," he said.

MEND aims to help people understand and change unhealthy attitudes towards food and fitness. Held in twice-weekly sessions and delivered by specially-trained health and fitness professionals, the unique course helps children become fitter, healthier and happier and delivers long-term results.

Councillor Thomas said: "The course gives families the skills and information to make healthier food choices and children join in fun activities designed to improve their self confidence and self esteem as well as their physical fitness.

"The MEND programme has benefited a number of families in Neath Port Talbot and is set to help more families in the near future."

The young people who took part in the 'Supermarket Sweep' challenge are now being charged with the task of cooking MEND friendly foods.

This will give the MEND-leaders an opportunity to see how much the families have learnt over the past seven weeks as they take to the kitchens and prepare some 'MEND friendly' recipes.

The Authority's Physical Activity and Sport Service is giving away places on the fourth MEND Programme and giving more children and families the chance to become fitter, healthier and happier.

If you would like to enrol on the next programme at Pontardawe Leisure Centre please contact Maria Edwards on 01639 875675 or email

Photograph: Emily Corish, aged seven and Ieuan McCormick-Edwards, aged nine.


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