Nutritious home-cooked dinners have always been on the menu in Clare’s house, and Jamie has always had a healthy appetite for fruit and veg. But breakfast time was quite a different story…
“As a working parent, life can be pretty hectic and so I admittedly used to give him quick and easy breakfasts, mostly pain au chocolats, whereas I never ate breakfast at all.”
Clare also struggled with satisfying Jamie’s hunger in between meals – particularly that pesky after school snack attack.
“It’s so easy just to grab something quickly and not the healthiest choice, such as sweets or a packet of crisps.”
Though they were both big food lovers, Jamie did not take after his mum when it came to being active. Clare loved her pole fitness classes and flexibility training, but Jamie preferred being indoors on electronics.
Now, we all know how much Nans love to spoil their grandkids with tasty treats. So when the family moved in with Grandma last year, Jamie’s weight began to creep up.
“We slipped into a bad habit of having a can of coke with dinner and Magnums for pudding” Clare told us.“Myself and other family members had started to notice Jamie had put on a bit of weight, and when he had his measurements taken by the school nurse, he had gained a lot of weight in a short space of time. She told us about BeeZee Families, and I very quickly applied online”
A few weeks later Clare, Jamie, and 2-year old brother Dylan went along to their first BeeZee Families in Brighton. Jamie was happy to attend, and quickly made friends with the other kids.
“We really enjoyed the sessions and found them very useful and a good mix of information and activities. Jamie really enjoyed the kickboxing session in particular and wanted to take it up, however due to the lockdown this has not been possible yet. For me, basketball was the favourite!
It was great having a couple of hours a week quality time together, as having a toddler brother he doesn’t get as much attention always. We also both loved meeting the other families and making friends”
But then the country went into lockdown, and BeeZee Families groups had to come to an early end.
However after a short break, while our team frantically learned how to use new software and converted their session plans into a virtual format, Jamie and Clare were able to resume their remaining few sessions online – as the very first participants of BeeZee Live!
“I applaud how quickly the team managed to adapt to their new routines of working at home and getting used to the Webinars. They did fantastically well and made sure we all knew they were still around to support us by WhatsApp or phone if we needed it in the interim.
Of course it was disappointing ending our face to face sessions but we were still able to get a lot out of the online sessions. I liked the idea of having the quizzes and polls as you still felt really involved.”
The online sessions covered the remaining topics they had yet to cover on their course; takeaways, snacks and drinks. And these turned out to be the most useful sessions for Clare.
“The most valuable thing we learnt overall is how much sugar is in certain drinks! Because these were drinks we would drink quite regularly, such as Costa hot chocolates. I was really shocked to find out that a hot chocolate has more than the recommended daily allowance of a child’s sugar intake. It was also shocking to see how many calories are in some of our favourite takeaways. We used to have 4 takeaways on average in a month, but since the New Year I have only bought one takeaway!”
Six weeks into their BeeZee Families journey, both Clare and Jamie had lost weight – but all it took was a few small changes to their habits.
The biggest change was that they started eating breakfast together – previously Clare would skip breakfast entirely and give Jamie something like a brioche or scotch pancake. Now they sit at the table together each morning and enjoy a healthy cereal or toast.
They’ve also cut back on the amount of chocolate, sweets and cakes and cut out fizzy drinks altogether. Clare said “not having these temptations in the cupboard has really helped. Now we only have them on the odd occasion”
Like lots of our families, Clare found the label reading session really useful, and reports being more mindful when choosing products in the supermarkets – “I am more wary of the ‘traffic light’ system on packaging and try to avoid all those reds. I never even thought about that before”
Since completing their course on BeeZee Live, Clare, Jamie and Dylan continue to practice their new healthy habits – they are more mindful with snacking, reduce portion sizes and make the effort to eat together as a family at the dinner table.
They have also made effort to be more active, although lockdown, with Clare being a key worker, has made this a little trickier – “We started doing PE with Joe but didn’t stick to it unfortunately, however, as I am a key worker Jamie is still attending school 3 days a week and they have been doing lots of physical activities. Lockdown has been such a strange and emotional time and I’m finding it hard to get motivated with exercise but I know in time things will change.”
Dan, one of the nutritionists that ran their group is so proud of Clare and Jamie’s progress and enthusiasm – he said:
“Always the first family to arrive on site, they became more and more involved each week, both on site but also on our Family WhatsApp group cheering on other families while making us all laugh with pictures of Jamie and Dylan! Even now, although the programme has finished, Clare can still be seen supporting other families on our Facebook page. I’m confident they will continue making healthy choices and help inspire others to do the same. “
I would highly recommend BeeZee Bodies because they have really helped us to make some positive changes to our eating habits. Both Jamie and I had lost weight after just 6 weeks. Dan, Freya, Lucy and Martha were so welcoming, friendly, patient and supportive to all the families and the loveliest bunch of people you could meet! We learnt so much from the sessions and are sad they had to end. Thanks so much guys!!