Jennifer Sanchez is a mother of three boys and always on the go.
“Noah is 12, Ethan is 5 and Axel is 3,” she says, while pointing them out across the room.
Sanchez admits it can be hard to keep the family on a healthy diet, which is one of the reasons she enrolled them in YMCA’s Families In Training (FIT) for Health class.
“I am hoping that over time it becomes normal,” she explains. That our bodies will become used to drinking the water, eating the vegetables and the fruit.
The Sanchez family is one of four families enrolled in this particular class, held at the Gospel Lighthouse Church in Dallas. It is one of more than a dozen North Texas locations where the free program is offered.
“The goal is to get families together in a classroom and teach them how they can eat better together, exercise and have fun at the same time,” says Sandra Hernandez, a YMCA Lifestyle Coach. During the 11-week class, she leads conversations about the importance of nutrition and physical activity.
“We do games,” she explains. “Instead of calling it exercise, we say, ‘Let’s do the game.’ So, they enjoy game versus exercise.”
Sanchez says she’s seen improvement in her boys eating habits since the program began. “They’re eating way more fruits as a whole. Vegetables we need to work on.”
United Way funding allows 250 families to enroll in the program each year. It is part of our commitment to reducing childhood obesity and treating 360 degrees in North Texas.