My MEND blog

Name: Josh
Age: 12
Ideal job: chef

Week one
First impressions
Before I went to MEND for the first time I was a bit nervous. I said to mum I didn't want to go - especially because I knew we had to have a healthy growth check. But once I got there it was fine, they check your height and weight but it’s not in front of everyone else. I got a goody bag which made it even better!

Do it!
The second session this week was when we met everyone else on MEND. I was scared as I didn't know anyone but there were a few people my age and mum said she thought everyone felt the same. We played the 'Do it' game where you had to make up actions for different things. It broke the ice and everyone was laughing.

Week two
Tasty stuff
This week we learnt all about food, food and more food. It was great. I learnt that there are five food groups and all about which ones you should eat the most and the least. We had to set ourselves a target of drinking water and eating breakfast every single day. It's tough but bring it on!

Fun and games
We also did our first physical activity session while the adults learnt more. I hate PE at school, but this was different. It was more like just playing fun games and stuff - no-one cared whether you were good or not.

Week three
I heart wholemeal (kind of)
We all have to try to have wholemeal bread from now on. At first I thought it was gross, but I gave it a go and I'm getting used to it - now me and my stepdad like it almost as much as mum does.

Goal keeper
In our other session it was cool because we all had to come up with goals and rewards. One of my goals was to eat a piece of fruit or veg with every meal - if I keep it up I get to go go karting with my brother. Definitely going to try my best.

Week four
Shocking stuff
We had a really cool demo where we saw how much fat and sugar was in our favourite foods! Like Doritos, Haribo, Dairy milk... We learnt how much we were supposed to have every day - something tells me we probably have a bit more than that at the moment.

Our activity session this week was swimming! Now I've made a few mates at MEND it was good just to splash around with them - but we also played games in the water too.

Week five
Being a detective
This week we all learnt how to be detectives. I worked with my mate Tom to work out how much fat and sugar was in something by looking at the label on the packet. We even got special Detective cards to help us do it.

Family fun
I decided to go home afterwards and be a detective on some food in the cupboard at home. I've made a MEND-Friendly shelf to help mum out. We also decided to get more active as a family and went for a bike ride on Sunday - it was wicked.

Week six
How much?
This week we learnt all about how big our portions should be. We got a little pot called a MealMate which helps us measure how much should go on our plate. Can’t wait to try it out next time I help mum with dinner.

Keep it in the family
While we went and played games, the parents learnt how it's important for the whole family to be MEND-Friendly together. I hope that means more bike rides.

Week seven
Supermarket sweep
This was brilliant - everyone from MEND went to the local Sainsbury's and we had to find lots of MEND-Friendly foods as fast as we could. (Without getting in the way of other shoppers, that is.) We also had a taste test where we tried new healthy food - I loved the dragon fruit!

I want to be a healthionaire
We had a quiz called 'Who wants to be a healthionaire' this week. Our leader dressed up in a funny wig and we all realised how much we had learnt. Oh, and we beat the parents. Result!

Week eight
Fabulous food fest
I want to be a chef when I'm older so this was my favourite week ever. We got given loads of recipes and all made MEND-Friendly dishes at home. I'm going to try the pizzas that Tom made next - they looked tasty.

He shoots, he scores
This week we played basketball while mum and all the other adults discussed tips for after MEND. I noticed how much fitter I was and think I'm quite good at basketball now. I'm going to ask mum if I can join a club after MEND.

Week nine
Party time
This week we found out how to stay MEND-Friendly at parties and other special occasions. We learnt some good tips and I'm going to try stick to it at my friend Jess' party on Saturday. Mum liked it as we got loads of lunchbox ideas.

Good things about me
In the next session we all had to think of compliments about each other and stick them on a big poster. I wrote that Tom was a really good friend who was fun to be around. Someone wrote that I was the best chef of the group!

Week 10

Healthy growth check
We were all a bit nervous about the healthy growth check - what if my BMI stayed the same? But our leader said not to think about it too much - it’s more important to remember what we've learnt and keep being healthy after MEND. In the end, my BMI had gone down - it shows how just a few small changes can make a big difference.

In our final MEND session we got dressed up and went to this huge posh room in the council. The mayor came and gave us certificates and we all celebrated how well we'd done. Then we all went swimming as a reward for the whole group. I'm going to keep in touch with Tom and some of the others - we might even join a basketball club together.

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