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FANs of the Month: The Pena Family

fom-penafamily2The Pena family has been chosen as the FANs’ of the Month! Dominga Pena is the mother of three healthy children; Brandon (3rd grade), Keily (1st grade) and Max (pre-k) who all attend PS 157, Bronx, NY. She is actively involved in the school PTA, attends all of the FAN4Kids workshops/events, is always willing to give a helping hand and a good role model for her children!

The Pena family has been chosen as the FANs of the Month because of the positive life changes the entire family has made. Thanks to FAN4Kids, Dominga is proud to say her family has become healthier! Dominga has found her family drinking more water, exercising more and definitely eating healthier. “We are eating more vegetables now and it is my children who are encouraging our family to not eat junk food. FAN4Kids has taught my children how to make healthy choices. Before, my children only would drink juice- now, they are aware of the importance of drinking water. Even Keily drinks more than a bottle of water everyday.”

Not only is Brandon now more open to trying new foods, but he tells his siblings to not drink soda because it “will eat your bones” and he only drinks soda once in awhile. Brandon says in FAN4Kids, “I am learning to how to keep fit and how to eat healthy so we can make our bodies strong.” Keily, who also has FAN4Kids, says she is learning how to stay healthy, all about the different food groups and a new muscle each week. After each food tasting day, Keily comes home with the FAN4Kids tasting letter and shares with the family what she tried. During the fruit tasting, Keily told her family she tried natural applesauce and she liked it. Both Brandon and Keily tell their parents to look out for added sugars when buying foods such as applesauce. Because of her children’s influence, Dominga is now looking at the nutritional fact labels before she buys food for the family.

Even 4 year old Max; the youngest of the family (who does not have FAN4Kids this year), has learned ways to be healthy. He said (and demonstrated at the same time), “we can do 10 pushups and 10 squats so we can make our bodies strong.”

Dominga has noticed that her children want to be involved in not only eating healthy, but exercising. “When I am exercising, they are interested. They now see the elliptical as a fitness machine instead of a toy.”

It has been a healthy “family affair” for the Pena’s! It is great to see that not only FAN4Kids students, Brandon and Keily, are changing their habits, but the entire family is becoming healthier. They are all teaching and motivating each other to make healthy choices as a family.

Congratulations to the Pena family! Keep up the great work!