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Health Cadet Academy | A MEND Program
Join the ranks! Health Cadet Academy is a fun and interactive program designed to help kids become more active, foster healthy eating habits and help build community and friendships to support their journey. Health Cadet recruits and their families go on 10 weeks of adventures and meet as a team twice a week for two hours to discuss strategy and to learn Health Cadet skills and super powers. Health Cadet Academy classes offered in English and Spanish. Health Cadet Academy focuses on simple and realistic changes to help your family launch into a healthier orbit, together.
The YMCA of Austin is the first YMCA in the country to partner with MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It! in offering a childhood obesity intervention program for children and their parents.
Through generous grants from St. David's Foundation, the YMCA will be offering programs over the next year at six different locations, including YMCA of Austin and community locations. Each program lasts 10 weeks and meets twice per week, typically a weekday evening and Saturday morning. Parents must attend with their child.
MEND combines 3 key elements of safe, effective weight management and sustained lifestyle change:
- Healthy eating
- Regular physical activity
- Behavior change.
Children and families who attend the MEND Program learn important skills and knowledge to help them manage their weight and feel fitter, healthier, and happier for the rest of their lives.
Children must be ages 7-13, overweight or obese, and may not be suffering from diabetes or debilitating asthma. Physician consent must be granted before program participation. One parent must be able to participate with their child in each session. Call Program Services, 512-236-9622, to enroll. Take the first step as a family and begin learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle!
- A healthy family is a happier family.
- Healthy kids perform better in school.
- Healthy meals fuel a healthy and productive life.
- More energy, more confidence -- these are the freedoms good health brings.
Spring 2016 Locations:
Baty Elementary - E. Riverside (Bilingual, Tu/Sa)
Langford Elementary (Bilingual, W/Sa)
East Communities YMCA (Español, Tu/Sa)
Andrews Elementary (English, M/Th)
Galindo Elementary - S. 1st & Ben White (Bilingual, M/Th)
North Austin YMCA (Español, Tu/Sa)
Summer 2016 Locations:
East Communities YMCA
Hays Communitiies YMCA
- News 8 Austin December 12, 2009
- Austin American Statesman September 24, 2010
- Univision Radio (espanol) December 18, 2011
- KEYE TV October 2, 2012
- Univision October 18, 2012
- KAZI April 9, 2013
- Austin Family Magazine (page 22) August 2013
- FOX TV September 3, 2013
- Univision TV August 28, 2014
- Austin American Statesman / Ahora Si September 27, 2014
- KXAN January 29, 2015
- Time Warner Cable News May 19, 2015
- Austin American Statesman (Español) August 21, 2015
- Time Warner Cable News January 26, 2016
What is the MEND Program?
MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it!) aims to modify eating and physical activity patterns that underpin obesity among young people through an intensive, after-school, 10-week curriculum that includes two, 2-hour sessions per week including an innovative, 21-month maintenance strategy.
MEND data reveals that children who attended the program saw improvements in the following areas:
Increased cardiovascular fitness
6 hours more physical activity per week
A reduction in “screen” time and sedentary behaviors by approximately 4 hours per week
Marked improvements in body image and self-esteem
Improved eating behaviors and greater understanding of nutrition
Who qualifies for the program?
- Children between the ages of 7-13, BMI for age > 85thpercentile
- Parents must be available to attend sessions with children twice a week for 10 weeks
- Must submit a physician clearance
- Be able to participate safely in moderately vigorous physical activity
- Not suffering from diabetes or debilitating asthma or respiratory, cardiac, or orthopedic conditions that prevents safe participation
How does the YMCA access when, where and what language a program is offered?
YMCA processes all referrals that come into our office year round, based on this sites and languages are choses.
As referrals are received families are contacted and interviewed to assess basic program criteria. This includes: preferred program location, spoken language of family, ability to attend a program on various days. Once the minimum requirement of 15 interested families with the same criteria is met the YMCA launches a program. Decisions on location and languages offered are made 1 month prior to start of programs, from pool of currently interested applicants.
How can I ensure my patient get into the program?
Families are registered for the program once we meet our requirements to launch a class. All patients that have been previous referred or are referred up to 2 week into any current cycle will be immediately contact to funnel them into a program.
When are programs offered?
- June 2015
- October 2015
- January 2016
- March 2016
- June 2016