FAMILIES throughout Renfrewshire are being encouraged to get smarter together about their health.
The Active Children Eating Smart (ACES) programme has been launched by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – which covers Paisley and its surrounding towns and villages – in conjunction with Renfrewshire Council as a response to the increase of childhood obesity.
ACES takes place in the evenings or after school and in local schools, leisure centres and community venues and it aims to assist children and young people, in cooperation with their families, to either lose weight or not gain further weight.
Anne Gebbie-Diben, of the health board’s health improvement, lead nutrition, physical activity and weight management team, said: “ACES is designed so adults, children and young people can learn some ‘tricks of the trade’ about healthy eating and have fun doing physical activity together.
“Sessions take place with groups of children or young people of similar ages and parents or friends are invited to join in.
“Each session has been designed with practical solutions in mind to help people make realistic changes that suits their family, help them identify the ‘trigger points’ and what to do and how to best support their children become more active and eat more healthily.
“Some weeks involve practical food sessions but there will be games and activities every week – so remember your trainers!”
ACES coaches are experienced at working with children and young people and have undertaken over 70 hours of training.
The coaches provide support and motivation for each family as well as healthy eating advice such as how to make sense of food labelling or how healthy is a milk shake.
They’ll also provide tips to reduce sedentary behaviours such as computer use and introducing new ideas for physical activity so each group can try something they haven’t tried before.
ACES incorporates changes into daily family life and participants set goals on a weekly basis, use lifestyle diaries to record progress and reap the awards but most importantly, it’s about having fun together – whether that’s playing dodge ball or learning to cook pizza!
ACES is being widely promoted through GP practices, schools and children’s services but anyone who wants to take part can contact the service directly on freephone 0800 027 0291.