Launched in response to the increase of childhood obesity, the ACES or Active Children Eating Smart programme helps children and young people, with the support of their families, to lose or maintain weight and make long-lasting changes to their lifestyle.
Families who sign up for the programme attend 12 sessions each lasting an hour and a half. The sessions are held in the evenings or after school in local schools, leisure centres and community venues.
Each session is led by an ACES coach who provides support and motivation as well as healthy eating advice such as how to make sense of food labelling or how healthy is a milk shake.
They will also provide tips on changing behaviours which involve little or no activity - such as computer use - and introduce 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!
Anne Gebbie-Diben, NHSGGC’s health improvement lead for nutrition 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.
“Each session has been designed with practical solutions in mind to help families 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 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.