My husband and I have a young son and we were worried about how unhealthy our family lifestyle was for him. Last year my husband was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and I was overweight at a size 16-18. We were both struggling with our weight but didn’t know how to begin to do anything about it. We found it hard to follow through on decisions when it came to disciplining our son and struggled knowing what to do for the best.
Before the HENRY programme our son didn’t listen to us and we would often say ‘no’ to him but then a couple of minutes later say ‘yes’ just to avoid a battle. By the end of the day we would all be very tired so we would eat in front of the TV, using mealtimes as an opportunity to relax and tune out.
We usually had a takeaway 3 to 4 times a week, as it meant we didn’t have to spend time cooking in the evening. And we never found that there was any time to exercise so we weren’t very active as a family. Our local Children’s Centre offered us the opportunity to join a HENRY programme for parents so I went along to see if it could help us.
The HENRY programme helped our family a lot – we learnt so much. I could see positive changes week to week. HENRY taught us how to provide guided choices so that our son can feel he has a choice, but we still have the confidence that no matter which choice he makes, it is one that we are both happy with. I feel I now know how to provide my son with appropriate boundaries and he listens to us a lot more. We now sit down together at dinner time and the TV goes off, so we can eat together, enjoy our meals and talk about what we’ve all done that day.
Through the programme I learnt about reading food labels and rather than getting takeaways we enjoy preparing our meals all together. We still do have the occasional takeaway but it is all about balance across the week! The programme also helped me understand portion sizes and although we still have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, the quantities on our plates are much less, as our portions used to be enormous. We have also realised that exercise doesn’t need to be difficult either, and that being active for 30 minutes each day, even at home, will help us to keep fit and that we don’t need to go to the gym every day!
Since the HENRY programme I have seen many changes. I have lost almost 15kgs and gone down three dress sizes to a much healthier 12/14. I am now much more confident and I even started work as a Children’s Centre Assistant at the end of last September. Following the HENRY programme I realised I wanted to support other families in the same way that I had been supported myself. As a result I have completed a HENRY Core Training and I am looking forward to completing the Group Facilitation Training shortly so that I can do just that.
My family has also seen huge benefits too. As a result of the HENRY programme my husband is no longer showing any signs of being diabetic and he too has lost almost 15kg in weight. The HENRY programme was life-changing for me and my family. I would recommend it to all parents!
Find out where HENRY programmes, workshops and activities are running near you
Children are more likely to enjoy a wide variety of foods when mealtimes are relaxed
Fun everyday activity and play ideas