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Boost your child's health

As parents we want our children to be healthy and to do well in school. And in the busyness of the world that we live in both of these things are becoming more difficult. 

There is one thing that you can do to boost their health and school performance, and it doesn't cost a thing or require any special equipment. 

Walk to school.

Yup. That's it.

Now while this might be a simple idea, we understand that doesn't mean it's an easy idea. If you would like some tips and ideas on how to start incorporating walking to school visit this article from Fraser Health.

Kids Activity - Bowling Milk Cartons

We're always looking for fun things we can do inside, for those days where the weather is really bad or we have a small window of time before we have to leave to go somewhere.

This game can be played inside or out and you can change the difficultly level so that it's fun and challenging for almost every age.

And because all you need are some empty cartons/jugs and a ball, it's also an activity that's easy to put together (although depending on how much milk your family drinks it might take you a few weeks to save up enough jugs).

Click here for instructions.

Recipe: School Lunch - Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for new ideas for my daughters lunch. Simple things that I can make up ahead of time. One of her favorite foods is macaroni and cheese so when I saw this recipe for macaroni and cheese cupcakes I was pretty exctied!

One of my favorite things about this recipe is how you can really make it your own by changing what ingredients you add to the macaroni. Leave out the stuff that your kids don't like and add in what they do.

Click here to view the recipe.

Home workout: Yoga for beginners

There are so many health benefits from doing yoga. Everything from feeling better physically to feeling better mentally. 

Lots of people are nervous about trying yoga for the first time. They'r afriad that they will look silly, or that the class might be too hard.

Here's a really great yoga class (for beginners) that you can do at home, no special equipment needed.

And, if you find that you really like yoga, come try one of the yoga classes that the City of Abbotsford has to offer. Click here to see the drop in schedules.

Recipe: Salsa

Homemade salsa is a really easy thing to make. You can made it mild or spicy and even experiment with adding in things like mangos or strawberries. Once you have a good base recipe that you like there are so many possibilities! And, it's a great way to eat more vegetables. Salsa is great with chips or crackers, on top of scambled eggs, mixed in with some avacado or as a dip for veggies like celery. 

Here's a good base recipe for salsa from Appetite to Play.

Get the kids to help

When it comes to making healthier choices in your life, in many cases what stops us is a lack of time. It can feel like we don't have enough time to cook dinner at home, we don't have enough time to go for a family walk, etc. 

While it often feels easier to just do everything yourself (the dishes, the cooking, the laundry, the cleaning), if we find ways to get our kids to help not only does it lighten our load, it also teaches them really important life skills. Our kids will need to know how to do all this stuff themselves when they are adults and out on their own.

At first, getting your kids to help around the house might seem like more work than help, it probaby is. AND, if you stick with it, they will get it, and their help will give you more time and more freedom.

If you need a few tips on how to get your kids involved, check out this post from Weelicious where they share 8 tips to encourage children with household chores.

Note - there are some product endorsements in their article. We do not endorse or promote any products.

Life Goals or Fitness Goals?

Personal Trainers are dedicated to helping people reach their fitness goals. Whether it be weight loss, energy gain, or being able to run a 10k race. They are trained in how to prescribe exercise and how to motivate their clients.

So what happens when the Personal Trainer themselves doesn't feel like hitting the gym to workout? They experience a personal crisis.

Read this post from Personal Trainer, Irina Almassan, to learn what she discovered about herself during this personal crisis and how those discoveries can help you achieve your goals.

If you would like to learn more about the Personal Training services offered at the City of Abbotsford call 604-853-4221.

Do you have Work/Life Balance?

More than ever it can be hard to balance the demands of your worklife with the commitments and interests of your personal life. If your balance is off there will be a ripple effect through all areas of your life. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association has a free, online quiz that you can take to see how balanced you are. Along with the quiz there are also a number of free resources to help you find your best balance.

Staying Motivated

Changing your behaviours is tough. Whether you are trying to eat healthier, be more active or get more sleep, changing our behaviours is tough.

When we track what we are doing and reflect on what worked well, what didn't work so well, we are much more likely to be successful with the behaviour change that we are working on. 

Here is a fantastic tracking tool from ParticipACTION that you can download and use right away to help keep yourself moving forward toward your goals.

Recipe: Thai Curry Chicken

It can be hard to find recipes to make when you have family members (or friends) with various food sensitivities or food preferences. This recipe satisfies the gluten free, dairy free, whole food crowd.

The Anytime Anywhere Workout

We get it, you're busy. Life is busy. And with that busyness often comes increased levels of stress and less time to take care of ourselves. And, the ironic part is that when we are busy, when we have higher stress levels, that's the most important time to be physically active. 

Here is a fantastic video from Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer Gillian Goertzen. She demonstrates a series of movements that require no equipment, that will train your entire body.

Don't let the busyness of life stop you from taking care of your most important asset, you.

Recipe: Chocolate Pudding with a Twist

I know in our family it's sometimes a challenge to find receipes for desserts that actually are healthy and don't require a whole bunch of ingredients that we never use. With just 5 ingredients, this chocolate chia seed pudding from Weelicious is fantastic and really easy to make.

Click here to watch how to make it.

Butter Coffee Buzz

You've likely heard of the latest coffee craze.....adding butter and MCT oil to your morning beverage to infuse it with all sorts of health benefits.

But wait, do you know what MCT oil actually is? Do you know why these ingredients are thought to have health benefits?

Before you jump on the butter coffee bandwagon, take a few minutes to read this post from Functional Nutritionist, Michal Ofer, where she explains the ins and outs of this latest health trend.

Sleep and Weight Loss

In this blog post, from Personal Trainer Irina Almassan, she summarizes the key findings and some cool facts from the book 'Why we Sleep" by Mathew Walker.

Here are a few to pique your interest:

  • A human needs 8 hours of sleep. Anything less than that (even 1 hour) has serious health consequences.
  • The human brain needs a reset after 16 hours. If you are awake for longer than 16 hours, your brain starts to fail
  • When you are not getting enough sleep, the body is particularly reluctant to give up fat

Click here to read her full post, including part 2 of this series.

Recipe: Kale Chips

Making Kale Chips is an extra fun way to eat veggies, and a great recipe for getting kids involved in the kitchen by having them rip or massage the leaves!

Kale is also easy to grow and is a fun gardening activity for home to get kids involved in learning about growing food.

This recipe comes from Appetite to Play.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches kale
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and paper

Instructions

  • Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Remove stems.
  • Rip kale into bite-sized (approximately 2 inch x 2 inch) pieces (not too small that they’ll become crumbs).
  • Spread evenly on baking sheets then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Using hands, massage oil evenly into all piece of kale.
  • Bake in a 325 F oven for 15 minutes checking occasionally but not stirring, until lightly golden and crisped.

Safety Tips

  • Help your child to wash her hands with soap and water before and after preparing food. 

  • Supervise your child when using knives or other kitchen utensils.