Two Dundee families are encouraging others to take part in a free Fun Fit programme run by the Paediatric Overweight Service Tayside (POST) which has helped them make healthy lifestyle changes.
Fun Fit Dundee is a programme aimed at families with children aged between 8 and 13 years who need support managing their weight. The group offers free sessions in a friendly and interactive environment, to help and motivate families to make healthy lifestyle changes.
The 10-week programme includes a family session covering varying topics including food labelling, portion sizes, energy balance, positive parenting and general nutrition.
The session also includes a fun physical activity and games session for the children while parents have the opportunity to build a support network and work on the challenges they face as a family.
Anna Lewandowska and her nine-year-old daughter Martyna took part in the Fun Fit programme along with Lewis Phillips (10) and his gran, Pamela Thompson. The sessions were run by NHS Tayside POST Team Lead Sheila Wilson and her colleagues along with coaches from Leisure and Culture Dundee.
Both Anna and Pamela are recommending the Fun Fit Programme to other families who might have concerns about their child’s weight.
Anna said, “I’m so glad we came along to Fun Fit. It’s a great idea to meet other families who are experiencing similar issues. Sheila gave us lots of really helpful advice and the parent sessions allowed us all to share ideas about what worked and what didn’t. Martyna also enjoyed it and has made new friends.”
Talking about the programme, Pamela said, “Lewis’ mum and I were a bit concerned about his weight so when I saw the Fun Fit sessions advertised we decided to get involved. Lewis and I both really enjoyed the classes and having the time to chat about shared challenges was a big help.”
Both families found that learning about healthy eating, meal planning, food labelling and portion size has made a big impact on how they do their food shopping and the meals they prepare.
Anna said, “When we go shopping, Martyna and I look at food labels now and make more healthy choices. Martyna is now choosing fruit and vegetables that she wouldn’t try before, which is great.”
Ten-year-old Lewis said, “I have learnt not to eat as much unhealthy food. I am eating more fruit and have made my portion size smaller. I am also doing more exercise like ice skating and going out on my bike and spending less time on my computer.”
As well as learning about healthy eating, the sessions also encourage families to include more fun physical activity in their lifestyles along with limiting screen time for children. Both Lewis and Martyna are now getting more exercise with their families by going out for walks, going to zumba classes and swimming.
Pamela said, “We have noticed that since attending Fun Fit Lewis is more confident. He has really enjoyed the fun activities at the sessions and has made new friends. I would definitely encourage other families to come along.”
The next Fun Fit programme starts this month at Dundee International Sports Centre. A parent or carer must accompany children at every session and children can bring a friend or sibling.
To book a place on the Fun Fit Dundee groups, or if you have any concerns about your child’s weight you can contact POST in confidence on 01738 473784 or email email@example.com.