Healthy Abbotsford Blog

Building your child’s brain is like building a house

This article comes from Active for Life.

Parents have been hearing for a long time now about the importance of our child’s early years. The preschool years, we’re told, prepare children to be successful in school and in life. These first years also set the habits that they will carry throughout their lifetimes – to be active, healthy, and productive adults.

Brains, like houses, need solid foundations and four walls

How can we support building a strong brain architecture for our child in the early years? After all, we only get one brain. What we are born with must last our lifetime.

That’s where the house construction analogy comes in. When building a sturdy house, we start with a firm and level foundation. Then we construct strong walls, ensure that the wiring and plumbing are properly done, and then cover it all with a weatherproof roof. We choose durable building materials that will last a lifetime.

In the same way, the four walls of a child’s brain are cognitive, emotional, physical, and social. If one of those areas isn’t developed, the brain is missing a key structural component. Each of those walls needs the other three in order to function well.

To read the complete article, click here.

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Abbotsford to Pilot New Approach to Physical Activity

9 communities to pilot Canadian Sport for Life approach to sport and physical activity

grandparents playig basketball with young kids
How do you make a community physically active for life?

With a chuckle, Lea Norris paraphrases a colleague’s thoughts on the subject.

“It’s about getting physical literacy into the water supply,” says Norris, the project’s lead for Canadian Sport for Life’s community connections.

She’s kidding, of course, but the meaning behind the words is clear — physical literacy must be part of every aspect of our lives.

That’s what she’s aiming to do in her role at Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L), a movement to create better-quality sport and physical literacy experiences across Canada. It seeks to link sport, education, recreation, and health, and to align community, provincial, and national programming.

This year, nine communities across Canada are testing the CS4L approach to sport and physical activity for children and adults. Those communities include Abbotsford, B.C.; Cochrane, Ab.; Hamilton, Ont.; Red Deer, Ab.; Vancouver, B.C.; Edmonton, Ab.; Victoria, B.C.; Winnipeg, Man.; and Toronto, Ont.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Stuck in a Rut? Try Something New

In this 3:30 minute TED Talk, Matt Cutts shares his experience with doing various 30 day challenges (take a picture everyday for a month, ride your bike to work, stay away from sugar etc.). In particular, he found that doing these challenges:

  1. made his time much more memorable, instead of the months just flying by;
  2. improved his self confidence and sense of adventure;
  3. proved that small changes are sustainable.

He finishes the talk with a fantastic statement,

 

“the next 30 days will pass whether you like it or not. So why not think about something that you’ve always wanted to try, and give it a shot for the next 30 days.”

Capture

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What to Do With All Those Carrots?

Do you have a big bags of carrots in the fridge and don’t know what to do with them? Watch this quick video and learn how to make a Moroccan Carrot and Orange Salad. The salad only has 5 ingredients and takes only minutes to make.

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How to Choose the Right Oil

This is a great article if you’ve ever found yourself in the kitchen wondering which oil you should be cooking with. In this article from www.acefitness.org, you will learn the cooking uses, the type of fat and smoke point (important so you don’t smoke out your kitchen) for the following oils:

  • Almond
  • Avacado
  • Butter
  • Canola
  • Coconut
  • Grapeseed
  • Olive
  • Peanut
  • Sesame
  • Sunflower
  • Vegetable

 

The Article

You’ve probably heard that extra virgin olive oil is good for you (hello, Mediterranean diet) and that margarine is bad for you (trans fats). But what kinds of oils are best for your health? And which ones are best suited for high-temperature cooking like sautéing, stir-frying and baking versus better for salad dressing and finishing sauces? Most people are familiar with basic cooking oils, such as canola and vegetable oils, and the most popular kid on the block (with a mixed reputation), coconut oil. If you’re feeling a bit confused, we’ll help you sort things out. Click here to read the rest.

 

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Homemade Fishy Crackers

Parents are becoming more and more aware of what goes into the food they feed their family. Whether it be because of allergies, sensitivities or simply a desire to eat better, we are becoming more educated on the food we eat.

And once you start reading all the labels of your child’s favorite snack foods, you realize that you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients, never mind knowing if they are healthy or not.

In this video you will learn a simple recipe (only 4 ingredients) so that you can make your own, healthy, fishy crackers.

Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers - video

Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers

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7 reasons soccer is essential for kids

This is from www.activeforlife.ca.

Just about any sport or physical activity will help to develop physical literacy and good movement skills. However, if you had to pick one sport that developed the most skills and capacities, it would have to be soccer.

kids-practice-with-soccer-ball-612x300

Soccer develops 7 key areas:

  1. ABCs – not what you think
  2. Running
  3. Jumping, hopping, skipping, galloping, and dodging
  4. Throwing and catching
  5. Tracking the movement of an object in flight
  6. Decision making
  7. Kicking

To learn more about each of these areas, click here to read the entire article.

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Don’t Eat This For Breakfast!

Nutella is a favorite breakfast spread for a lot of children. And if you listen to the commercials, you hear that it’s also nutritious. Or is it? In this 4:30 video, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, of www.weightmatters.ca, shows us how to make Nutella and what Nutella and Oreo cookies have in common.

 

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10 easy ways you can add physical literacy to your kids’ daily routine

This article is from Active for Life.

Your days are packed solid. Sometimes (okay, most of the time), it’s impossible to even consider adding anything to the schedule.

But helping your kids learn to move doesn’t have to be a chore. You don’t have to schedule it. You don’t have to add anything to your family’s already hectic day.

At Active for Life we’re all busy parents just like you. We know how difficult it can be to find time. So we asked each other to share some fun ways that we practice fundamental movement skills with our kids at home, just by tweaking the things children do every day anyway.

There’s no need to announce that it’s time to work on skills. By making it fun for kids, they won’t even realize that they are practicing movement skills. They’ll just enjoy the activities.

The added bonus is you might end up getting some more help around the house!

 

  1. Hop to it. After breakfast, hop or skip to the bathroom to brush their teeth. If one-foot hopping, don’t forget to switch legs.
  2. Catch a snack. Instead of putting snacks directly into their backpacks, throw them instead! This works well with oranges, apples, and boxes of raisins.
  3. Sock toss. While the kids put away their laundry, have them toss a rolled up sock into the air in front of them and then catch it with their non-dominant hand. When this becomes easy, get them to do it while moving around.
  4. Step on the crack. During the morning walk to school, develop balance by walking along cracks in the sidewalk as if they were a tightrope.
  5. Be a stork. At the grocery store (or anywhere else you’re waiting in line), balance on one foot. Don’t forget to change feet!
  6. Kick it. On the way home from school, kick a rock along the sidewalk. The purpose is to keep the same rock in play and not to kick it too hard or too far.
  7. Stair jump. If your kids are old enough to do this safely, have them try walking backwards down the stairs or jumping up the stairs with both feet.
  8. Do the can-can. While the kids are helping put away groceries, challenge them to balance cans on the palms of their hands.
  9. Backwards brush. Before bed kids can brush their teeth with their non-dominant hand (but make sure they go back over them with their dominant hand to avoid an angry dentist).
  10. Laundry shoot. Throw dirty clothes into the laundry basket by shooting them in from a couple of feet away. As their accuracy improves, increase the distance.

Even choosing just one of these a day will help your kids develop skills like balance, throwing, catching, jumping, and kicking.

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Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work

Weight loss happens to be one of the most popular goals that people set. Sandra Aamodt is a neuroscientist and science writer, who takes the complexities of neuroscience research and whips them into fun reads that give people a better understanding of their minds and behavior. In this 12 minute video she shares some of the research that helps to explain why diets don’t work.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The set point for the weight that your body likes to be at is actually a range of 10-15 pounds
  • If you lose 10% of your body weight your metabolism will slow down 250-400 calories per day
  • You can take control of your health by taking control of your lifestyle, even if you can’t lose weight
  • The typical outcome of dieting is that you’ll gain more weight in the long run
  • A lot of weight gain boils down to eating when you’re not hungry
  • If diets actually worked, we would all be thin right now
  • At its worst, dieting causes collateral damage (weight obsession, eating disorders etc.)
  • At its best, dieting is a waste of time and energy

So, what’s the solution?

MINDFUL EATING

  • Sit down for regular meals, without any distractions
  • Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full

Instead of trying yet another diet this year, why not try mindful eating? And definitely watch this 12 minute video, it’s worth it.

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