Local families are invited to come along to Kids Kingdom, Southend on Thursday 15th April 10am-6pm to find out more about MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it!), an initiative helping families lead healthy lifestyles in a fun and creative way.

NHS South East Essex is running a series of MEND courses at a number of local children’s centres throughout 2010. A MEND representative will be on hand at Kids Kingdom to give parents more information about future MEND courses and answer any questions that might have.

The free courses have been developed by MEND an organisation that specialises in child health. The MEND programmes originated at the
world renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the University College London Institute of Child Health.

The skills that are shared in the MEND programme sessions include helping reduce the amount of time young children spend watching
television, increase the time spent playing as a family, tame temper tantrums, help children increase their confidence and encourage happier
meal times, all of which builds a foundation for lifelong healthy living habits.

The course involves children and a parent or carer taking part in 90-minute sessions, once a week for 10 weeks. These valuable courses are being organised by the NHS South East Essex Health Improvement Service, they are completely free and available on a first come first served basis.

MEND Programme Manager for NHS South East Essex, Deborah Hart said, “We’ve had great feedback from parents who have attended previous MEND courses, we hope that people come to see us at Kids Kingdom to find out more information. These fantastic free courses are really fun and help families to learn more about healthy habits that could last a lifetime.”

Local families who want to take part should contact Deborah Hart on 01268 464550 or Louise Langridge-Brown 01268 464543. A parent or carer must accompany each child to every session.

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