Just as we love introducing our fantastic team members, we want to highlight one of our amazing families from Generation Health. And what better time for that than Family Day! This program is all about family—building connectedness, sharing time together in healthful pursuits and taking care of each other so we are all thriving. Here is one family’s inspiring story:
Amber (age 8) and her parents Amanda and Jeff from Burnaby.
1. How did you hear about Generation Health?
I believe it was from one of the posters at a local rec centre. Pre-pandemic, Amber was quite active so it was common for us be at a rec centre. I usually snoop around at the bulletin boards for new updates and programs.
2. Was the time commitment manageable and worthwhile for your family?
This program filled the Sunday afternoon spot just beautifully. If it was any other time it would have been in conflict. Back then Amber was busy every night except Monday nights. Her friend joined dance so that took up the weeknights. Chinese school and SFU science are half days on Saturday and piano and swim on Sunday mornings. She said she was bored on Sunday afternoons so Generation Health was a nice find.
3. Was the content new for you and your family? Did you learn some things?
The concept of eating healthy and exercising, etc was not new to us but it was the first time we enrolled in this type of program.
4. What was your one biggest takeaway from the program?
This takeaway is more about self discovery. This was the first course we took together. As much as we are mindful about eating healthy, family time, exercising, etc, as a parent I need to be more focused but more importantly tune out the distractions and get Amber to be more focused as well. We needed to live, breathe, eat and sleep the program for the duration of the program. In order to truly change our habits we first need to change ourselves. In marathon training we were told the body normally doesn’t want to run (human nature) but after 3 times a week for three weeks the body will not want to stay home. I would encourage others to live, eat, breathe and sleep the program when taking the program.
5. Would you recommend Generation Health to other BC families?
Oh definitely! Being an active person and hearing less active people saying things like, “Are you nuts?”, and “Why do you want to work so hard?”, it just feels good to live life– that includes eating healthy. As a young dad, my purpose of trying to stay active is to introduce Amber to all these beautiful activities. It could be something both of us can be passionate about knowing the activity is a vehicle that provides us bonding time.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your family?
We are parents in training and forever will be. After Amber was born, as parents, we have been guided by that principle since day one. ‘Life is hard, everything else is easy’, is my personal slogan.
At the age of two she wanted to butter her own bread. Giving her a butter knife and butter was easy enough. We just had to keep cool when it was time to clean up. By three she wanted to cut fruits and veggies. It was concerning as the stakes got greater but we just learned to be more cautious. We gave her the sharpest dull knife in the drawer. She complained about how it doesn’t cut like our knives. We simply told her she needed to learn how to better utilize the knife.
By four she wanted to use the stove. Now we really started sweating. We started with eggs, oatmeal, noodles to fried rice. We bought a long spatula, got her an apron and a chair with a high back. She was reached the frying pan with her spatula just fine. I would have one arm around her and one hand on the frying pan. The stove wasn’t pretty but experience was priceless. Every one of these activities she wanted to learn was a teachable moment (according to Oprah Winfrey) not just for Amber but also for us. The more she can demonstrate her confidence with each too the more we gave her freedom to explore. The beautiful surprise came last year on a weekend morning. She came into my room and woke me up just to tell me breakfast is ready. I had egg and toast with avocado and a glass of milk. She is now comfortable with cooking her own simple meals and even added baking to her repertoire.
Two years ago, I wanted to get back into long distance running. Amber asked if she could come along. I knew I shouldn’t say no but I also knew I wouldn’t get far if I said yes either. Because we lived by the principle, I reluctantly invited her along. We jogged no more than two blocks before the walking started. Crappy thoughts ran through my mind until she started telling me her stuff. You know, things that parents are always curious about but didn’t really know, like her friends, how their friendships are and the things they enjoy doing together at school. We grabbed a snack along the way just to make sure she had more energy to keep on sharing and those lips moving. After that experience and what I learned from reluctantly inviting her on my run I will never say no to her joining me on a run.