Eat Well, Stay Active, Have Fun: A Guide for Mentors

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
August 10th, 2017
Posted In: In Real Life

Each day, mentors build natural relationships with youth through simple interactions. This August, we’ll share stories and resources for mentors and mentees illustrating some fun ways to engage this summer. Below, we are featuring a guide created by our partners at the Harvard School of Public Health to help mentors coach healthy habits and have fun!

The “Eat Well Stay Active Have Fun” was developed by the Harvard School of Public Health with a grant from the MetLife Foundation to equip mentors with information about how to promote healthy habits as part of their mentoring relationships with youth. The guide includes information on nutrition and physical activity, tips on how to promote healthier habits throughout the course of a mentoring relationship, examples of activities that mentors and mentees can do together, and a list of resources for further information.

The guide also includes answers to some daunting questions that may make mentors wary of having these conversations, such as:

  • Click the picture to read the guide.

    I don’t know anything about nutrition and fitness. How can I help my mentee?
  • What if my mentee clams up when I raise the subject or resists talking about it?
  • What if my mentee rejects my suggestion of, for example, drinking water or selecting a healthier option to eat when we are together?
  • What if I don’t have healthy eating habits and I’m not physically active myself?
  • What if I don’t want to adopt any of the suggestions (e.g., I don’t like eating healthy foods and I don’t like to be physically active).
  • Do we always have to choose the healthiest options?
  • My mentee doesn’t have a weight problem, she eats healthy foods, and keeps pretty active. Do I still need to discuss these issues with her?

The guide was designed to be used by mentors serving youth of almost every age, from grade school all the way through high school and even beyond. While some activities may be more or less appropriate depending on the specific age and personality of the mentee, the mentor has the freedom to exercise her or his creativity and expertise to adjust the recommendations of the guide in order to meet the mentee’s needs. Other activities may need to be adjusted in order to accommodate the needs of specific mentoring programs (e.g. community- versus site-based programs) – the guide includes a special icon noting site-friendly activities.

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Plan some outdoor activities with your mentee while summer is still here! Check out this guide to staying active.

 

 

 

One Comment

  • Dan LaPierre says:

    I enjoy following your page great information and ideas. Hope to attend one of your conferences in near future. We are the largest elementary school district in Arizona.

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