7 Reasons To Join Go4Fun!
As we all know, the cost of raising kids can be phenomenal. It’s not very often that parents are given the opportunity to enrol their child in an extracurricular activity without it coming at a cost, right? But last week I went to a local community centre to check out a program initiated by NSW Health to support children and their families to become more active and eat healthier.
Go4Fun is a FREE program for 7 – 13 year old children who are above a healthy weight, that runs once a week after school during the school term. The best part is that a parent or carer goes along with the child and they learn about living a healthier lifestyle together.
It was fantastic to chat with the kids, parents and group leaders to find out more about the Go4Fun program. I had so much fun, and came away feeling really excited about being able to spread the word about this awesome program. Check out these 7 reasons why I think you’ll love Go4Fun just as much as I did.
Learn about nutrition
Besides being friendly and welcoming, the Go4Fun leaders are trained, qualified health professionals such as dietitians, personal trainers and exercise physiologists. Not only are they equipped with all the relevant knowledge about leading a healthy lifestyle, they are passionate about it too!
It was great to have a chat with Zac, one of the exercise leaders at the Go4Fun program. Check it out!
Go4Fun leaders like Zac teach families about making healthier food choices, portion sizes, and how to read food labels. They arm families with practical information that they can put into action straight away! I for one didn’t know how to read packages for sugar and fat content, so it’s fantastic that families get to pick up helpful information too.
Personally, I love how the program teaches kids and their parents the important skill of working towards a goal. Parents and children set a weekly nutrition and activity goal – for example, trying a new vegetable or riding their bike on the weekend. The following week, they are rewarded if they have been diligent. The rewards, like the goals, are agreed upon the week before, e.g. have a friend sleepover, go to the movies together.
Build their confidence
The program takes a really holistic approach to living a healthy lifestyle, and doesn’t just look at food and exercise. Time is also spent as a group discussing topics that may be impacting the children’s wellbeing, such as improving sleeping habits and supporting behaviour change.
A child who has unfortunately experienced bullying at school told me that she loves Go4Fun because it’s given her a lot more confidence at school and she has made great new friends at the program. It blew me away that the program has had such a positive impact on her self-esteem.
Watch this video below of some of the kids I met sharing what they love about Go4Fun.
Make new friends
Most of the children thought that being able to have fun with new, like-minded friends was one of the best things about the program. It’s also a great way for their parents to meet new people and widen their own support network.
It’s amazing to see kids having so much fun being active. After learning about healthy eating with their families for an hour, the kids went into a huge hall area to play some fun, game-based activities. One of the boys said to me that when his mum first told him about Go4Fun he didn’t want to go, but now he would ‘totally recommend it’ as it’s so much fun!
The program really gives parents the opportunity to listen and understand some of the challenges their child may face. Parents also receive support and guidance on how to help their child deal with difficult issues. This better communication between the child and their parent is important for a feeling of closeness. Parents feel empowered by knowing the issues and being able to offer guidance and support, and the child feels understood and valued. Many of the parents I spoke to told me how much they were enjoying spending more quality time with their child, and that their child was more willing to come to them when they had a worry or concern about something. Being out of the home in a social setting also gave them more opportunity to have fun together.
You can see what this parent, Lea, has to say about how her experience attending the Go4Fun program with her daughter Alexa. She is so grateful for the time spent with her daughter and how it has strengthened their bond.
For the whole family
The great thing about Go4Fun is that the WHOLE family (not just the child and parent that attend) get to benefit from the introduction of a healthier lifestyle. As changes are made at home with regards to healthy food choices and increased activity levels, Go4Fun attendees get to share their new knowledge with everyone at home, making for a happier, healthier family overall!
I know I’ve mentioned that it’s free several times already, but it’s worth repeating that your family could benefit from all of the above and it won’t cost you a cent! Isn’t that fantastic?
What better day than today to take the first step towards a healthier future for your family? Why not enrol your child now in time for the last 2016 school term? There are Go4Fun groups all over NSW for children above a healthy weight.
Register now through the Go4Fun website or by calling 1800 780 900.
To be eligible for this free program, children must be between the ages of 7-13 and be above a healthy weight. To find out if your child is eligible, visit the Go4Fun website.