What is The Bennett Foundation's O.C.E.A.N.?
Outreach is a crucial part of making a difference for The Bennett Foundation. “We’re in the community daily, trying new programs, getting people to understand about the choices they have, and that it’s their body, they own it, it’s up to them to make the right choices,” says Michael. By speaking at schools and offering programming to kids and educators, the foundation hopes to make change.
The Bennett Foundation is all about empowering families to have healthy lifestyles, which they do in part through Education. “The goal of this foundation is to change people’s thought process, about healthy shopping, affordability, accessibility, sustainability--all those things,” says Michael. “We go out and we do these programs, teach people, and give people choices.”
Some of the educational opportunities The Bennett Foundation has created or been a part of are: O.C.E.A.N. Health Fest, Seattle Tilth Rainer Beach High School Cooking Club, The Hope Heart Institute Family Health and Fitness Night, and cooking demonstrations at Kapalama Elementary, Waialua Elementary, and Saint Louis School in Hawaii.
The Bennetts don’t think of activity as being strictly fitness-related. “It’s just family things together that’s outside, just spending time together,” says Michael. “And that’s really the way we see activity, it’s just doing something as a family. Our organization is based around family.” Some of the Bennetts’ favorite family activities include:
• Reading books together without the TV on
• Going outside and playing in the garden
• Talking a walk together
• Pushing Ollie’s stroller
Nutrition plays perhaps the most important role in overall health. That’s why The Bennett Foundation has made connecting people with health educators and nutritionists a major initiative. The ability to make informed choices about what you eat is vital.
“Sometimes at my school I get hot dogs, gross stuff, so I just take fruit and vegetables and I turn it into a meal with cucumbers and tomatoes inside,” says Peyton.
“I’m just a regular person, and the kids eat regular things, and we have regular temptations,” says Pele. “We want sugar, we want to sometimes get fast food but we don’t, and those are the things that I have to help my children with, on making better decisions.”