Healthy Abbotsford Blog

Gatorade: Weight Gain and High Blood Pressure

This is a short and sweet article that really highlights when to use Gatorade and when not to. While the article focuses on kids, the information is just as relevant to adults. Often times sports drinks (like Gatorade) are marketed in a way that we are lead to believe that the drink has health benefits. Watch out for those claims, using sports drinks when you don’t really need them will only enhance your waistline.

Click here to read the article.


Don’t Ditch Sports

There are only so many hours in a day. Often, as a parent, you have to decide what activities your child will participate in and which ones they won’t. A focus for many parents is the academic success of their children. While academics is important, please do not forget that so is physical activity. In fact, kids who are physically active do better academically than kids who are not. And one of the easiest ways for kids to be active is to be involved in a sport. So, when choosing what to sign your kids up for and what to ditch, please don’t ditch the sports.

pictues and words around sports


Are You Raising a Total Kid?

Active for Life has a quick, 7-question quiz, that takes you through what it takes to raise a Total Kid. What is a Total Kid? Here is what Active for Life has to say:

We support the leading experts that the formula to develop a whole and successful child comprises of:

  1. Intellect (IQ) that are you born with, plus
  2. Emotional Intelligence (EI) that you develop over time, plus
  3. Physical intelligence (PI) or physical literacy (PL) that you learn to master.

You may be familiar with other descriptors and concepts that include physical intelligence; body intelligence; bodily intelligence; body IQ; body smarts; kinesthetic intelligence; physical knowledge; and physical development.

We like to keep it simple, we call it: physical literacy.

Research studies report that parents who work on the physical intelligence of their child, as much as any other aspect of their children’s growth, will have a more balanced and successful child. Are you raising a “Total Kid”?


Is Your Child Falling Behind?

There are so many things that you worry about as a parent. Is my child growing at the right pace, are they talking at the right time, what if they take forever to start walking? While we can’t control when these milestones happen, we can create environments that encourage them. One area that we really need to encourage is that of physical literacy. Not sure what physical literacy is? Read the information below from the Active for Life website :

Just as children need to be taught to read and write, they need to be taught how to run, jump and throw. After all, movement is a child’s first language, and our ability to move is the most fundamental means we have of interacting with our world. It’s called physical literacy.

To develop physical literacy, there are certain fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills our children need to learn the right way, at the right time during their development. These skills include movements such as running, jumping, hopping, balancing, throwing and swimming.

If any of these skills aren’t developed properly, future development is restricted. Children may be excluded from many sports and activities later in life. But give a child a strong foundation of movement skills and they’ll be ready to learn more complex movements and sport skills when the time is right.

So now you know a bit more about physical literacy, what’s next? In this section of the Active for Life website there is a interactive tool that shows you what fundamental movement skills children should learn and practice and different stages of their development. The movements are broken into the following age groups:

  • 0-2 years
  • 2-4 years
  • 4-6 years
  • 6-8 years

And for each movement you can click on an icon where you are given ideas on how to help your child develop that skill.

Physical activity is the best way for our children to grow up healthy and happy. As parents it is our responsibility to ensure that our children have the skills they need to enjoy being active for life.

acitve for life logo


PROVEN Treatment for Better Quality of Life

This revolutionary treatment is free and available to everyone. Here are some of the results that people on the treatment have experienced:

  • Alzheimers and dementia – reduced progression by 50%
  • knee arthritis – reduced pain and disability by 47%
  • anxiety – reduced by 48%
  • depression – 30% of people had relief with a low dose, 47% had relief with a higher dose
  • fatigue – this is the #1 treatment
  • and is PROVEN to improve quality of life

Want to know how to get it? Watch the video below.


8 Tips to Eating Out

Healthy Tips for Eating Out (from Healthy Families BC)

  1. Say “no!” to supersizing – Avoid extra calories in food and beverages by choosing half or regular sized portions.
  2. Share your food – Order two side salads and split an entree with a friend.
  3. Avoid the “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” syndrome – To avoid overeating, have a piece of fruit or drink a glass of water with lemon 30 minutes before your meal.
  4. Words to watch for – Menu items described as “crispy”, “brined”, “pan-fried”, “alfredo” or “gratin” may be higher in calories and sodium.
  5. On the side – Ask for your dressing on the side and a double serving of vegetables with your entree.
  6. Load your pizza (with veggies). Order pizza with extra vegetables like spinach, peppers, tomatoes and onions and forgo extra meats, feta cheese and olives.
  7. Say “hello” to H2O – Limit sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages, opting instead for regular or soda water, tea, milk or a small glass of 100 per cent juice.
  8. Hunt down the whole grains – Some restaurants offer whole grain options – all you have to do is ask. Request whole grain breads, buns, pizza crust and crackers.

For more information on informed dining click here.

waitress with a tray of food


Stop Guessing, Start Asking!

To help us figure out what we are eating when we are eating out Healthy Families BC launched the Informed Dining Program. One of the unique features of this program is that if you are in one of the participating restaurants you can ask about the calorie and salt content of the different menu options BEFORE you order. Here is more information about the program from the Informed Dining Program website:

Dining out can be convenient and pleasurable, but it can be a challenge to make informed choices. That’s why the Informed Dining program assists British Columbians with the facts they need to make informed choices when dining out. You can be confident when eating at participating restaurants that you’ll have access to nutrition information before you make your menu choice. All you have to do is… Stop guessing and start asking!

Participating restaurants provide their customers with nutrition information (with a focus on calories and sodium content) for all standard menu items upon request before or at the point of ordering at a restaurant. To view each participating restaurant’s nutrition information, click here.


Is Active Play Extinct?

Active Healthy Kids Canada recently wrote an article titled “Active Play: Fun and Fundamental.” Below are some excerpts of the article that are really important for parents to know if they care about the health of their children.

Have you noticed that playgrounds and neighbourhood streets aren’t bustling with kids playing like they used to be a generation ago? You’re not alone. Play comes in many forms, but it is generally freely chosen, spontaneous, self-directed and fun—another way of saying it’s kids being kids. Unfortunately, active play is on the decline in Canada. According to the 2012 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, 46 per cent of Canadian kids are getting only three hours or less of active play per week—including weekends. Plus, kids spend 63 per cent of their free time after school and on weekends being sedentary.

“Kids of all ages should have regular opportunities for active play, where they can let loose, explore, run, climb, crawl and play in parks with friends, like their parents once did. Active play is enjoyable, but it is also shown to improve a child’s motor function, creativity, decision-making, problem-solving and social skills,” says Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Scientific Officer, Active Healthy Kids Canada, and Director of HALO.

Two of the major barriers to regular, active play in Canadian kids are screen time and parental safety concerns. In combination, these societal realities force children and youth into highly-controlled environments, where they have little opportunity to let loose and just play.

To ensure Canadian children of all ages have opportunities for active play, parents and caregivers can encourage children to choose active play over more sedentary behaviours, such as sitting in front of screens. After school and weekends are opportune times to encourage active play, especially outdoors. An additional benefit for parents is that active play does not have to cost anything. To address safety concerns, parents and caregivers can take turns supervising and playing with children outdoors or encourage kids to play with a buddy. Given the opportunity, kids want to play – 92 per cent of Canadian kids said they would choose playing with friends over watching TV.

How can you and your family encourage play for your kids in a way that you feel is safe and is fun? This is one of the most important things that you can do for the health and well-being of your children. If you need some ideas check out this page.

To read the entire article click here.


A Ridiculous Program for Parents

A few years ago I saw a class called “Parents – learn to play with your kids” being advertised in a lower mainland community. My first thought was, “how ridiculous”, parents know how to play with their kids, they just choose not to. So over the next few weeks I shared this ridiculous program idea to various friends and co-workers. The response was unanimous. There are a lot of parents out there who simply do not know how to play with their kids. So, it wasn’t so ridiculous after all.

Through many factors it seems that as adults we have forgotten how to play. And when we have kids it seems even more difficult to figure out how to play with them. So here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  • buy some board or card games - these games require no work on your part. Simply open them up and let the good times roll.
  • go to a local park that has a playground – let your kids run crazy! Give the monkey bars a try, play tag. Abbotsford has so many outdoor spaces for you to enjoy with your kids. Click here to access our interactive map.
  • go for a walk outside and play “I spy with my little eye“. Never played that one before. Look at any object that you can see and say, “I spy with my little eye something that is green” (or whatever color your object is). The other person then has to try and guess what it is that you are looking at. Not sure where to walk? Check out Discovery Trail, a beautifully maintained trail that weaves through our city.

Click here for more play ideas!

kids in a potato sack race