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Strong Fast Fit adds Family Health Coaching

By Therese Genis, YWCA Strong Fast Fit Program Coordinator
December 28, 2017
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This summer YWCA added a new element and pilot project in the Strong Fast Fit Latino program with YWCA Minneapolis – Health Coaching! Strong Fast Fit staff continue to work diligently with youth afterschool to teach them about different aspects of healthy living.

This includes learning about healthy living topics like:

  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Community involvement
  • And much more

Individualized Nutrition Support for Families

Health Coaching is an opportunity for more growth and a way to encourage healthy changes by providing guidance and individualized attention to families. We’re proud to introduce our new Health Coach, Alea Lester. Alea is a Registered Dietitian with a strong background in health coaching and working with youth and their families. Alea is fluent in Spanish and began working with seven families in the Latino community during the summer session.

Including All Family Members in Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

The purpose of individual family sessions is to encourage active involvement from parents and other family members by addressing health concerns and questions that apply more directly to their family life. The information and counseling provided are directed toward the concerns expressed by each individual family and include topics such as:

  • Family fruit and vegetable intake
  • Physical activity as a family
  • Diabetes education
  • Specialized diet concerns

These sessions help ensure the information youth learn during the program is reinforced at home.

Understanding the Consequences of an Unhealthy Diet

One family Alea worked with this summer had concerns about cholesterol and triglycerides because the father and one of the children had test results from their doctor with high levels. The mother was concerned the family did not understand the consequences of the test results and the importance of changing their diet. Alea explained in detail the potential consequences of chronically high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and provided information on diet suggestions to help reduce these levels. Now all members of the family are making more conscious food choices, focusing on creating healthier meals and limiting their consumption of processed foods.

Plans to Expand Strong Fast Fit Health Coaching

We are excited about the positive feedback we have received so far with this new addition to our Strong Fast Fit Latino program and are looking forward to continuing to expand to the Strong Fast Fit Native and Hmong programs, reaching more families and encouraging them to continue making healthy lifestyle choices at home.