Healthy Abbotsford Blog

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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Families – Get Fit and Healthy for FREE!

The City of Abbotsford has been chosen to offer the MEND (mind, exercise, nutrition, do-it) program which is funded through the Ministry of Health. This 10 week program is a fun, free program for families with 7-13 year olds who are above a healthy weight. The program facilitates safe, effective and lasting lifestyle changes by improving children’s physical activity levels, nutrition and self-esteem.

 

Program starts January 7, 2014. Space is limited to 15 families.
Call or email now to secure your spot.

mend@abbotsford.ca or 604-859-3134 local 5297

MEND Handbill - FINAL

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The Dreaded Question – What’s for Dinner?

This information comes from Healthy Families BC.

At the end of a long day when you are harried, hurried and your family is hungry, that’s not a question you want to hear – especially if you’re asking yourself the same thing! Eating out or ordering in is an option for some busy days, but for families watching their budget there’s a better strategy to regularly put healthy, quick meals on the table.

Our three-step strategy – Get Organized, Plan Ahead, and Make a List – is designed to put you in the driver’s seat so that you have everything you need on hand to take the chore out of meal preparation.

Here is one of the free resources on the site for planning ahead, the meal planner tool. A really simple way to plan out what meals you want to cook. Click here to download your own copy and click here to view the other tools and resources that are available.

Meal-Planner

 

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If You Don’t Design Your Life Someone Else Will For You

A while ago I watched a fantastic video on TED. Nigel Marsh, who has written extensively over the past seven years about work-life balance shares four observations from his work and experience. Here are some of the highlights of his talk:

1. Certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged in a day to day basis with a young family – he talks about how there are so many people out there who are working long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.

Is this you? Are you currently in a job that just simply isn’t compatible with having balance in your personal life? If you are, chances are that you have tried time and time again to create more time with your family only to fall short. Take an honest look at your job – is it really possible to have balance with it and  your life?

2. Governments and corporations aren’t going to solve this issue for us – Nigel says, “if you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you and you may just not like their idea of balance.”

Who is designing your life, you, or the people around you? You have the ability to design your life the way you want it. It will likely mean making difficult choices but at the end of the day if you get to live the life that you want isn’t that worth it?

3. We need to be realistic about the time frame we use when judging the balance in our life, we can’t do it all in one day – it is about finding a realistic time frame without putting your life on hold.

What time frame would be realistic for you? For me, I look at balance on a weekly time frame. During that week did I connect with friends, was I physically active, did I take time for personal reflection and growth? For me a week is long enough to judge the overall balance in my life. Some days are completely out of balance but when I look at the week as a whole that is how I judge my level of balance.

4. We need to approach balance in a balanced way. The small things matter, balance doesn’t have to be a drastic upheaval of your life.

I think that this is a point that is so easy to miss. We live in a society where everything has to be big, be dramatic. Because if it’s not big and dramatic how could it possibly have a major impact on my life? The jokes on us folks, it’s the small things that truly make the largest difference.

Take a moment to think about Nigel’s closing statement - we need to change society’s definition of success from the idea that a person who dies with the most money wins to a more balanced definition of what a life well lived looks like.

My challenge to you – find a quiet place, grab a pen and piece of paper and write down what your life, well lived, looks like. Then do one small thing this week that will move you closer to that vision of success.

To watch the full 10 minute video click here.

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