Healthy Abbotsford Blog

A Health Wake-up Call for the Fraser Valley

“People in the Fraser Valley Regional District are more likely than other B.C. residents to have health problems such as cancer, heart disease, asthma and diabetes.   That was the finding of a report from Fraser Health and the Fraser Valley Regional District which was released on Thursday, titled the Health and Active Living Snapshot of the Fraser Valley”.  Click here to read the full story from the Abbotsford News

As a municipality in the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford statistics contributed to this snapshot.   So this begs the question, what can we do to make Abbotsford a healthier community? What can you do?

Get started by visting the Get Involved section of the Healthy Abbotsford website to discover the many things you can do to make Abbotsford a healthy place to live, work and play.  Whether you are a parent, student, business owner, educator, health professional or community leader, find out how to improve the health of your community.

Everyone has the potential to contribute to healthy living in their own unique way!


Your Kitchen Dietitian – Altering Reciples

Eating healthy at home is as easy as making a few simple changes to your favorite recipes.   Vashti Timmermans, a BC Dietitian, has made a great video on how to alter recipes and make home cooked meals more nutritious! 

For more nutrition tips from Vashti visit


On April 30th, Run/Walk to Help Kids Participate!

The 2010 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card gave Canada a failing grade for children’s physical activity levels.  Sadly, only 12% of children and youth are accumulating enough physical activity to meet Canadian guidelines.

We know that children involved in organized sport and physical activity programs have higher overall levels of physical activity (CFLRI CAN PLAY 2007-2009). However, many families can’t afford these opportunities for their children.  So it is more important than ever to support organizations that can provide no or low cost quality programs to children and youth.  The West Abbotsford Community School is one of those organizations!

Here is your chance to help get kids active!  The West Abbotsford Community School Society is hosting the first annual West Abbotsford Walk/Run for Success on April 30th, 2011 starting at 10am. The Walk/Run for Success is a 2km walk, 5km run or 10km run taking place at Rotary Stadium and Discovery Trail.

By participating in the West Abbotsford Walk/Run for Success fundraising event, you are helping to provide children and families with the opportunity for success by supporting subsidies towards programming, equipment and supplies, in order to allow for free and low cost educational, recreational and cultural programs.  Including programs which get kids physically active!

For more info on the walk/run and how to register click here.

To learn more about the many programs offered at the West Abbotsford Community School click here.


Get Kids to Eat More Veggies and Fruit. Take them to the Supermarket!

How often do you go to grocery shopping only to come home to hear the kids complain that there is nothing to eat?  Help your kids learn about the foods you want them to eat and pull them away from their unhealthy expectations.  Engaging your kids in grocery shopping is an excellent way to get them interested in new healthy foods, not to mention help them learn about healthy shopping and meal planning.

Next time you take your kids to the supermarket try out some of these great activities from the “Fruits and Veggies, More Matters” website.

  • Eat Your Colors Every Day is an activity for your child to find different colors of fruits and vegetables in the supermarket.
  • All Forms Count is an interactive tool to help kids understand the different forms produce can come in. Your child can go through the list and check things off as you browse the aisles for your groceries.
  • For an excellent tool to promote eating fruits and vegetables to your child have them use the I’m Stuck on Fruits and Veggies card. Kids simply keep the PLU sticker from every fruit or vegetable they consume and fill out the card. Once your child has collected the appropriate number of stickers you can reward them to help promote their healthy eating habits!

For more great activities and tools on encouraging your kids to eat veggies and fruits click here to visit the “Fruits and Veggies, More Matters” website.      

Fresh local market food


Another Great Reason to Get Active Outside! “Get to Know” your Wild Neighbors and Win!

2011 Robert Bateman “Get to Know” Contest

This year, renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman invites all Canadian youth to go outside and “get to know” their wild neighbours. The Canadian Wildlife Federation Robert Bateman “Get to Know” Contest encourages young people to develop a deeper appreciation for their neighbours of other species by getting outdoors and creating art, writing, digital photography, and videos.

2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. In celebration of this important designation, the theme of the 2011 Get to Know Contest is “This is My Forest”.

Winners will receive all kinds of wild prizes. The contest launches during National Wildlife Week, April 10 – 16. To learn more and find out how to enter, visit


Vitamin D for Healthy Bones and Muscles and a Reduced Risk of Cancer

Vitamin D is needed for developing and maintaining healthy bones and muscles, especially in growing children and older adults. Additionally, research is showing that vitamin D may play a role in reducing your risk of certain types of cancer, in particular colorectal and breast cancers.

You get vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and in your diet. As little as a few minutes of sunlight a day can give you the vitamin D your body needs. However, as we live in a cloudy and rainy climate most of the year there is concern from the experts that we may not be getting enough vitamin D to reap all the health benefits.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that Canadian adults consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. Talk to your doctor about taking 1000 IU a day during the fall and winter months. 

For more information on vitamin D, and who is at greatest risk of deficiency, click here


April is Cancer Awareness Month! Show your Support and Pledge to Fight!

Healthy Abbotsford is proud to support the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Campaign. We are encouraging everyone to proudly wear the daffodil pin during the month of April to remember those lost, to encourage those battling cancer and to show cancer that we will fight for life.

Donate to the Canadian Cancer Society and get your daffodil pin from Abbotsford Recreation Center, Matsqui Recreation Center or Abbotsford Exhibition Park.

Daffodil Pin

Did you know that 50% of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living, healthy environments and public policies that protect all Canadians?  In addition to cancer research and providing support for those fighting cancer, the Canadian Cancer Society also supports prevention. While not all cancers can be prevented you can reduce your risk of certain cancers by taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle and by supporting a healthy environment.

For a 5 dollar daffodil pin donation, show your commitment to living healthy and fill out a Daffodil Pledge to Eat Well, Be Active, Live Tobacco Free or Be Kind to the Environment

Here’s My Pledge!  What’s Yours?

Laura's Pledge