Healthy Abbotsford Blog

What’s the Deal with Chocolate Milk?

I am sure I am not the only one who has heard chocolate milk being promoted as a good option for kids, a way to get them drinking milk and increasing their calcium and vitamin D intake.  I’ve also heard it makes for a great after-workout recovery drink.

But lately flavored milk has been receiving more criticism.  After a quick review of the facts as given by the Canadian Nutrient File, it can be seen that chocolate milk has about 22 extra grams of sugar (per 250 mL) than regular milk, which equals almost 90 extra calories. Knowing this, is it still worth serving children flavoured milk, or should we concentrate on increasing consumption of plain milk?

Last week the Los Angeles Unified School District decided to take a stand against childhood obesity, becoming the United States’ largest school system to stop serving sugar-laden flavored milk.

Meanwhile grade 4 students in Edmonton are spreading the word of how much sugar is contained in sweetened milk.  Their anti-chocolate milk videos and blog have received a lot of attention from the likes of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, and the CBC.  The videos are a lot of fun, so check them out!

So what is the take home message?  Everything in moderation.  Save the chocolate milk for a weekend treat and lets applaud LA for removing it from their daily school lunches.

For More News and Info on Healthy Kids Click Here to go to the SCOPE Blog


4 Tips to Buying a Bike you Love!

The vast majority of us can remember our first time learning to ride a 2 wheeler. If it was anything like my memory it was an overwhelming sense of freedom! I can’t remember a day of my childhood that didn’t involve cycling around the neighborhood, biking to school or hitting some trails. But like many of us, the bike I had as a child soon had its fair share of use and abuse. Cycling with the old junker just wasn’t fun anymore.

Mountain Bikers

So here I am 31 years old and haven’t cycled in over 10 years. The technology has changed, there seems to be a style of bike for every conceivable type of riding and every rider I see is decked out as if they belong to a special club reserved only for the professionals.  So where do I start? I tried to find some info online and frankly the mass of information has sent my head for a spin. In an effort to figure this out I am connected with avid cyclist and owner of Life Cycles Bike Shop , Harvey Bergen

Harvey, an obvious fan of analogies, compares a bike to a pair of shoes. If you purchase a pair of shoes that don’t fit right or that aren’t designed for the activity you plan to participate in they will quickly end up in the back of your closet never to see the light of day. So when it comes to buying bikes, Harvey recommends that you consider the 4 F’s: Fit, Function, Fashion and Finance.

1 – Fit

Bikes come in many different sizes. We could get into the numbers, but generally these fall into small, medium and large frames. As well, you have bikes designed for women and those designed for men that take into account the anatomical differences between the genders. Harv’s advice is “try on” many different bikes to find the one that fits you best. Everybody has a different shape, size and proportions so one of the ways to know what fits you best is through trial and error. Help from an expert is also advisable.

2 – Function

This relates to the type of biking you plan on doing. Just like shoes are designed for different activities such as running and sports, bikes are designed for different terrains. So whether you are planning to commute to work on nicely paved roads or hit some rough trails, you want a bike that can perform well in your preferred conditions. Once you know the type of biking you want to do, go to your local bike store and explore the various options to suit your biking style.

3 – Fashion

We know now that buying a bike is about more then buying one that looks cool. However, once you know what fits well and is ideal for your intended uses you definitely want to find something you would be proud to ride down the street and show off to your friends. This helps to put you in the right head space and adds to the enjoyment of the ride.

4 – Finance

There are many different price ranges for bikes. Learn and explore your options in bikes before settling on a price range. This will help you get an idea of what your money can buy. If you purchase a bike only factoring in cost, it may not be the bike for you and will gather spider webs in no time. Harvey noted that a good purchase is one where you walk away thinking that that was the best money you ever spent! I’ll admit when I finally found the bike I felt met my cycling needs, I was pleasantly surprised at the price.

Now that you are equipped with the 4 F’s of buying a bike, get out there and rediscover your love of cycling!

Happy Pedaling!

Laura Loudon – Healthy Abbotsford Community Coordinator


Keep your Kids Active – Sign up for Summer Day Camps!

Did you know that many kids tend to be LESS active in the summer? This seems strange considering the sunny weather and the ample amount of outdoor activities available in the summer.  Reality is, kids with too much free time on their hands can get caught up in the lazy days of summer and choose to relax and watch TV instead of playing with friends outside. Unfortunately, many parents work hard all summer and don’t have the luxury to be home during the day to turn off the video games and send the kids outside.

Luckily there are some options! Summer Day Camps are a great way to get kids off the couch and having fun! Abbotsford has plenty of options for summer fun with a wide variety of summer camps offered by our Abbotsford Community Schools and Abbotsford Parks, Recreation and Culture.

Click on the links below to find a summer camp for your child:

Parls, Recreation and Culture Summer Day Camps – Your Summer Vacation Destination

West Abbotsford Community School – Summer Slam 2011 Day Camps

Central Abbotsford Community School – All Stars 2011 Summer Camps

Kids Camps


Visit Healthy Abbotsford at the Diversity Health Fair Tomorrow

Healthy Abbotsford is getting ready for tomorrow’s 3rd Annual Abbotsford Diversity Health Fair! Come on down and get the latest information on healthy living in multiple languages including information and resources on healthy eating, physical activity and smoking cessation along with get info on raising healthy, active kids (

Here’s the details!

3rd Annual Diversity Health Fair

Saturday, June 11 from 11am – 3pm

Ag Rec. building (Abbotsford Exhibition Park)

32470 Haida Drive, Abbotsford, BC

Please join us for a FREE health fair where you will have an opportunity to learn about healthy living, local health resources as well as an importance of prevention and early diagnosis. Also, there will be many health screenings including:

  • Blood Sugar Screening
  • Blood Pressure Testing
  • Hearing Test
  • Nutrition and Metabolism Testing

Click here to visit the Abbotsford Community Services website for more info.

Healthy Abbotsford Resources for Diversity Health Fair


Show Your Community Spirit & Win Great Prizes

Make your neighbourhood even better – get together, have fun, and win great prizes!

Abbotsford just kicked off the Neighbourhood Spirit Contest. The aim of the contest is to build neighbourhood spirit by giving neighbours an opportunity to work together to plan something special.

This something special can be anything from a community clean-up day to a neighbourhood street hockey tournament.

Need ideas? Contact the Community Developer at the City of Abbotsford at 604.557.1464 or email

Need Money? Vibrant Abbotsford provides grants up to $1,500 for projects aimed to improve your neighbourhood, visit

Entering is easy!

  • Get a group together with your neighbours
  • Come up with an idea
  • Enter your story online at
  • Take pictures and document your progress

Why not put a healthy spin on this contest. Try a community activity day at your local park or organize a neighborhood walking group!

Connected Neighbourhoods are Healthy Neighbourhoods – Abbotsford, Let’s Make it Healthy!

Neighbourhood Spirit Contest

Neighbourhood Spirit Contest