Healthy Living in the North

FASD Awareness Day: September 9th

pregnant woman, health. dad, mom

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term used to describe the range of harms that can result from alcohol use during pregnancy. At Northern Health, we are committed to supporting International FASD Awareness Day. This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol. FASD can be prevented!

Drinking alcohol at any point during a pregnancy can harm the baby because baby’s brain and nervous system are developing throughout the entire pregnancy. Alcohol’s effect on the developing brain can mean that children may have lifelong learning difficulties and problems with memory, reasoning and judgment.

What if I was drinking before I knew I was pregnant?

Having a small amount of alcohol before you knew you were pregnant is not likely to harm your baby. Quitting alcohol now and looking after your own health are the best ways to ensure that your baby is healthy. Pregnant women benefit from:

  • Lots of rest
  • Regular medical care
  • Healthy food
  • Supportive friends and family
  • Healthy recreation and physical activities
  • It is best to avoid cigarettes and other drugs during pregnancy, including alcohol

Tips for partners and friends of pregnant women

  • Have a non-alcohol drink option at parties or gatherings
  • Bring non-alcoholic drinks for outings
  • Hang out with people who don’t drink
  • Encourage women who are pregnant not to drink
  • Respect the decision made by pregnant women not to drink
  • Participate in recreational and physical activities with your pregnant friend or partner
  • For yourself, be aware of Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (ccsa.ca)

Where can I get more information and help?

If you need help to cut down or stop drinking, be sure to talk to someone. Friends, family or a doctor, midwife, nurse or counsellor can help. In addition, these are some great resources:

What are some ways you support families not to drink alcohol when mom is pregnant?

Sarah Brown

About Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown was born in Zambia, Africa and has lived and worked in many small rural communities across Canada. Prince George has been home for the past 20 years with her husband, two children, cat and dog. Sarah is a graduate of UNBC and a Public Health Nurse Practice Development Leader. She has many interests in the field of preventive public health. Sarah love’s being outdoors (even in the snow!) and is often out hiking, appreciating the beautiful trees, birds and blue skies of the north. Sarah is passionate about learning, reading, gardening & watercolor painting!

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IMAGINE Grants profile: Family FUNdamentals

An eight month year old laughing.

Family FUNdamentals is ensuring that kids stay laughing as they grow older through healthy eating and physical activity.

About the IMAGINE Grants

Northern Health’s IMAGINE grants fund health promotion projects by community partners, including northern groups/organizations and schools or districts, to support the health and wellness of northerners where they live, work, learn, and play. Ideas for projects are inspired and guided by Northern Health’s Position Statements. We’re happy to introduce an ongoing series of blog posts that will highlight past recipients of IMAGINE grants and share their great work with you!

Introducing Family FUNdamentals in Terrace, B.C.

Running June 5 to July 3, 2014 in Terrace, Family FUNdamentals —  a program funded by the IMAGINE Grants — is working with children five years of age and younger to prevent eating disorders before they start. Program facilitator, Anne Peltier, explains the need for such a program: “There is growing literature to suggest that children as young as three are aware of weight and body size and commonly express a desire to be thinner. Children at an early age are exposed to messages that emphasize the importance of being thin and looking fit.”

The only program in B.C. designed specifically for parents with children under five, Family FUNdamentals’ goal, as described by Anne, “…is to foster a competent parent/child relationship with food and activity to promote healthy growth and development of children and prevent disordered eating.” They accomplish this goal by focusing on healthy eating, weight, activities, positive body image, and proactive parenting skills that encourage fun through family-based activities.

The program originated from Family Services of the North Shore, expanding upon the work of the Jessie’s Hope Society to ensure that the provincial eating disorders prevention work becomes Jessie Alexander’s legacy. IMAGINE grants funding allowed coordinators to facilitate the program in their community, as well as purchase resources and the food needed to prepare the healthy snacks provided during the program.

Parents and guardians in and around Terrace can register for the program by contacting Anne or Tara at 250-638-1863, toll free at 1-888-638-1863, or by visiting them in person at The Family Place: 4553 Park Ave., Terrace. For parents interested in Family FUNdamentals who are not near Terrace, Anne recommends appropriate online resources or discussing healthy living with professionals, such as dietitians or paediatricians.

Northern Health is proud to help provide a starting point for amazing programs like this!

Mike Erickson

About Mike Erickson

Mike Erickson is the Project Assistant in Health Promotions. He started at Northern Health in October of 2013. Mike grew up in the Lower Mainland and has called Prince George home since 2007, when he moved here to pursue a career in radio. In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching sports, reading, and ice fishing. His favourite thing about the north is the slower pace of life and the fact that he no longer has to worry about traffic every morning.

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Children: keeping them safe from falls and injury-free

Kathy and grandson

Kathy spending time with her grandson.

Children – those active little beings designed to move, explore, interact with the environment, challenge our thinking and delight our senses. It’s a big responsibility keeping them safe from falls and injury-free.  This is especially true during the early years when their curiosity, coupled with their level of development, can put them in vulnerable situations that can lead to injury, at home, at the playground and at child care.

Reflecting back as a parent of three daughters, I wanted nothing more than to keep my girls safe from harm. This included: preparing our home, keeping curtain cords up high and out of reach, securing shelving units to walls, ensuring all hazardous products were inaccessible, and lowering the hot water temperature to 49 degrees Celsius. I thought I had it covered; my little home was safe. Then the unthinkable happened. My two-year-old daughter pulled out the drawers in the kitchen, used them as a ladder, scampered onto the counter and somehow tumbled off, resulting in a serious fall.

According to the Healthy Canadians website, every day two Canadian children die from unintentional injuries and another 80 require hospitalization. These are staggering statistics considering many injuries could have been avoided had better preventive steps been taken.

In my case, I was close by and a fall still happened. What had I missed?

Preventing falls involves a combination of safe environments along with active supervision. Active supervision, or the level of supervision that a child requires, will change depending on their age, physical health, social skills and risk-taking behaviors. In general, active supervision means being within sight and reach at all times, paying close attention and anticipating hazards when your child is playing or exploring.

As a Licensing Officer for Northern Health, monitoring licensed child care facilities, I see first-hand the importance of being proactive and thinking ahead when it comes to safety and preventing falls. Children attending child care programs need opportunities to be physically active, to practice new motor skills, to play freely and to explore. Falls prevention strategies are not meant to take away physical activity, but to create a safe environment in which physical activity can take place.  Active supervision is also important in child care settings. By watching closely, child care providers can offer support, while building on the children’s play experiences, promoting their overall development and ensuring that play is enjoyable. In childcare settings, supervision, together with thoughtful environment design and arrangement, can prevent or reduce the likelihood of accidents and the severity of injury to children.

As the years passed and my girls grew, our actions and focus on safety and falls prevention changed.  We no longer had safety covers on the electrical outlets, hazardous products had found their way back under the sink, fragile decorator accessories were everywhere and the girls were allowed freedom away from mom’s watchful eyes. Today, I now have four active, little grand boys visiting on a regular basis. I find myself thinking of that terrible moment when my daughter fell, my responsibility as a grandparent and the actions I can take to ensure a safe environment for them.

Injuries can be devastating; we were lucky.  My daughter recovered from her fall and it taught me a valuable lesson – I can take steps to prevent the ones I care for from being injured.

Visit our Falls Prevention page for more information.

Enter the Falls Across the Ages contest to win prizes!

Kathy Basaraba

About Kathy Basaraba

Kathy is a Licensing Officer with Public Health Protection out of the Prince George office. In her role as a licensing officer, she monitors and inspects licensed childcare facilities to ensure the health, safety and well-being of children in care. Although she has lived in northern communities for most of her adult life, she is still adjusting to the cold and snow. When not at work she can be found at home, spending quality time with her family and friends.

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Healthy Living in the north starts with our children

Mother and baby

There are a lot of great benefits, for both mother and baby, when it comes to breastfeeding. What’s your positive experience with breastfeeding? (Photo by www.ericscottphotography.com)

As parents, we always want to do the best for our children, and if it’s an option, why not breastfeed?! I found breastfeeding created a special bond with each of my babies; all three loved to breastfeed around the clock. Although this was tiring, I look back at it now and realize that I got to spend quality time with each of my boys at a young age, knowing that I was promoting health and well-being, and in the end, creating the foundations of a healthy lifestyle to live by for each of them.

Why is breastfeeding important? Breastfeeding is just as important as handwashing, healthy eating and is great for the environment; breastfeeding – no garbage, no pollution and an attractive recyclable container! The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global effort for improving the role of maternity services to enable mothers to breastfeed babies for the best start in life. It aims at improving the care of pregnant women, mothers and newborns at health facilities that provide maternity services for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk substitutes. The Breastfeeding Initiative is a great support to moms for breastfeeding within the north. In 2013 the theme for World Breastfeeding Week is Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, with the goal of highlighting the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families.

World Breastfeeding Week will run from October 1-7, 2013, to recognize the importance of breastfeeding, promote the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, as well as social and environmental benefits.

To kick off the festivities in Prince George, breastfeeding families are invited to celebrate the 13th Annual Prince George Breastfeeding Challenge on Saturday, October 5/2013.  The event is held annually around the world in hopes of setting a new international record for the most breastfeeding babies at one time. It also provides the opportunity to recognize the special bond of breastfeeding between mother and baby. The event will be held in the Keith Gordon Room at the Bob Harkins branch of the Prince George Public Library. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with official latch-on time starting promptly at 11 a.m. The entire family is encouraged to attend this free, fun-filled event. The Quintessence Foundation, a non-profit group providing education to parents and professionals about breastfeeding and human milk banking, sponsors the Breastfeeding Challenge.

“Despite most mothers wanting to breastfeed, many are met with complex barriers that keep them from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. Support and encouragement from all angles can make success possible for mothers who wish to breastfeed.” (WABA, 2013).

Laura Ravlic

About Laura Ravlic

Laura is a public health nurse who works for the children and families Team in Prince George, BC. She has three energetic boys who keep her busy out in the community with their many activities, including bike riding, class outings and soccer, for which she is an assistant coach. She is also involved in the Baby Friendly Initiative which promotes a breastfeeding friendly environment.

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Language skills at an early age

speech and language skills

Getting your child off to a good start with strong speech and language skills in the first years of life are key to later success!

So how exactly do children learn to talk, anyway?

Writing almost 2,500 years ago, the Greek historian Herodotus recounts the tale of the Egyptian pharaoh Psammetichus, who ran the following experiment: prevent two children from hearing any language and, after the children stop their babbling, identify which language the children use to speak their first words. This language, he reasoned, would be the original language.

Fast-forward 2,500 years and we find ourselves in Speech and Hearing Month 2013.  What do we know now that the pharaoh didn’t? Among other things, we know:

  • Children are not born with a language, but with the ability to learn any language.
  • Babbling is a crucial part of language development.
  • Children need to be able to hear the language around them.

As the name suggests, speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) help children develop both their speech and their language skills. “What’s the difference?” you may ask.  “Speech” refers to the sounds a language uses – whether the sounds of English or Ancient Egyptian – and “language” refers to the message itself. Good language skills are key to a child’s ability to communicate – whether the child communicates with words, with signs or with technology. Audiologists assess a child’s ability to hear the sounds of language and determine how to help a child hear best in challenging environments like a noisy classroom. Both S-LPs and audiologists would have had much to say to Psammetichus.

Often, parents assume their child’s speech will just get clearer when the child gets older, that a child’s language skills will improve on its own, or that they may teach their children speech and language skills in the same way that they themselves may try to learn a second language. While it is true that some children may stop stuttering on their own or may correct certain speech errors without help, the reality is that not all speech and language problems are the same; many speech and language problems will not improve on their own. Early intervention is key in these cases, as research shows that speech and language delays can have significant, negative effects on both academic and social success. Early delays, untreated, can manifest later as reading or behaviour problems, even as anxiety problems or a lowered sense of self-esteem.  Getting your child off to a good start with strong speech and language skills in the first years of life are key to later success!!

So – how do children learn how to talk? By hearing language clearly, by developing the coordinated muscle movements needed for clear speech and by practicing language skills in an active way with caregivers on a daily basis.

Are you concerned about your child’s speech and language development? Don’t wait like Psammetichus did to see what happens! Contact a Northern Health speech-language pathologist for some friendly and helpful advice on how to give your child a strong start for future success!!

P.S. And which was the original language, you ask? Herodotus tells us the children spoke their first word in Phrygian at age two – a full year later than they should have started talking.

Jackie Taylor

About Jackie Taylor

Jackie is a speech and language pathologist living and working in Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii. She grew up on the opposite coast (Saint John, New Brunswick) and graduated from McGill University in 2011. When she isn’t working, Jackie enjoys running and taking her dog for swims in the ocean.

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Modeling healthy behaviours

Rai with her son and dog.

Rai with her son and dog. How do you model healthy behaviours?

Okay Rai, put down the delicious cake with chocolate marshmallow butter-cream and walk away. Seriously, keeping walking girl, keep walking. A little further, a little faster. Hey, this could turn into a cardio workout! What is it about chocolate cake that turns me into the equivalent of the cookie monster? I have always had a sweet tooth and it seems once I start eating, I struggle to stop. After I had my son two and half years ago, I strived to be a healthy role model for him. How can I tell him “no” to the cookies when I’m in the kitchen secretly trough-ing half a pack? So I decided enough was enough.  I’ll be honest: I can’t totally write chocolate out of my life. So let’s talk about implementing a little harm reduction, right? Now it’s about moderation and allowable only if I’ve exercised. So far it seems to be working, mostly…

As part of being a role model, I felt it was important to instill the value of exercise. But how do you exercise with a small child, and a dog? I see these elegant moms dressed in Lululemon, running effortlessly with their calm toddlers who sit in jogging strollers and their well-trained dogs trotting alongside. I tried this, once. We made it three houses down before my kid tried to throw himself out of the stroller and my dog? Well, he was so scared of the stroller he tried to drag us into a ditch. And once my kid started screaming, my dog did his usual howling chorus. Elegant huh?

So, what works for me? I work full-time, I have a toddler. I needed to look at what worked for my life style. I realized I had a great space in my basement and the previous homeowner kindly left a rather nice treadmill behind when they moved out. I complemented this with a spinning bike. I added an art easel and toys for my kid to keep himself occupied and I now have a safe space to work out. We make it a special time for my son to come down in the basement each evening after supper and we spend an hour or so down there while I exercise and he plays with his toys. My workouts are usually complemented with a 35lb+ toddler sitting on me – I think of him as a rather cute dumbbell. I don’t know if you ever tried cycling with a kid on your knee, but it really works those thigh muscles. To mix things up and keep me interested I alternate with one day running the treadmill the other on the spinning bike. I also found YouTube has a great variety of workouts to suit my needs. I am not the most coordinated of people; trust me I am no dancer. When I watch an exercise DVD, I usually go the wrong way and spend most of my time trying to figure out what my arms are supposed to be doing, but after searching I found a video that is an idiot’s guide to exercising and with numerous choices, you can tailor your workout.

I started by making small changes and looking at what would work for me. By making sure it’s a good fit it allows me to keep motivated. I can still make improvements and educating my son at this young age about healthy choices is a great way to start him on the road for healthy choices for life.

How do you model healthy behaviours?

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” -Steven Wright

Rai Read

About Rai Read

Rai has worked for Northern Health for nearly 18 months, starting out as the CRU (community response unit) clinician in Terrace before stepping into the interim team leader position. She came to Terrace after working in as a geriatric nurse in Edmonton, AB and prior to that, working as a psychiatric nurse in Cardiff, Wales. She is passionate about promoting healthy living and nutrition, and thinks it’s key to understand how hard it is to fit everything in to a busy life. Rai is a strong believer is making lots of small positive changes and keeping a good sense of humor.

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Building healthier communities in our backyard

Thank you card

Our thank you card from the kids next door.

You never know when the opportunity to help build healthier communities is going to pop up. Sometimes these unexpected opportunities can have far reaching impacts.

Here at Northern Health’s Centre for Healthy Living office in Prince George, we recently experienced one of those unexpected moments. Our next door neighbour is the Aboriginal Choice School. One of the teachers approached us and asked if her class could pick the apples from the trees on our property so the class could make apple sauce. We gladly agreed - after all, Bear Aware keeps telling us to pick our fruit to prevent bears from being attracted to the ripe fruit trees. We certainly didn’t want any of us – or any of the kids – to be greeted by a bear one morning!

The kids came and had a fun time being outside and collecting the plentiful apples.

And then, we received the most lovely thank you card from the class with pictures of the children happily engaged in making and sampling their apple creations. You can’t help but smile back at all the lovely toothy grins.

Simple acts like this help create healthier communities in ways you may not even think! We contributed to a bear safe neighbourhood; we made good use of the fruit on our property; the children got exercise and time in the fresh air as they did the picking; the class was part of a as “close to the ground” eating experience as you can get; and they also learned about nutrition and cooking for themselves.

Last but not least, they had a positive and caring experience with an arm of Northern Health. Not bad for a simple “yes, you can pick our apples and save us the labour and save us from bears.”

What unexpected moments have you experienced that contributed to a healthier community for all of us?

Theresa Healy

About Theresa Healy

Theresa is the regional manager for healthy community development with Northern Health’s population health team and is passionate about the capacity of individuals, families and communities across northern B.C. to be partners in health and wellness. As part of her own health and wellness plan, she has taken up running and, more recently, weight lifting. She is also a “new-bee” bee-keeper and a devoted new grandmother. Theresa is an avid historian, writer and researcher who also holds an adjunct appointment at UNBC that allows her to pursue her other passionate love - teaching.

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Breastfeeding: Local eating for babies

Mother and baby

There are a lot of great benefits, for both mother and baby, when it comes to breastfeeding. What’s your positive experience with breastfeeding? (Photo by www.ericscottphotography.com)

This week (October 1-7) is Breastfeeding Awareness Week, and as a public health nurse, it really gets me thinking about all the amazing benefits of breastfeeding. We learned about some in a post from a fellow public health nurse last week.

I breastfed my son for 13 months and it was a positive experience for our family. The convenience, the financial savings and health benefits made it a great fit for us, and I always found co-workers and even strangers were so supportive, no matter where I went.

Recently, I attended a breastfeeding education session and learned “new to me” information about breastfeeding. One thing that stood out for me was “baby led breastfeeding.”  Babies are really smart about breastfeeding, and are much more involved in the process than I had realized. A really good example of this can be seen in a YouTube video called “Breast Crawl – Initiation of Breastfeeding.”

It was also interesting to me to think of breastfeeding from a wider perspective. During natural disasters, such as the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, breastfed babies were among few who had food security. Breastfeeding is the locavore diet for babies!!

How about you? What is your positive experience or interesting fact about breastfeeding? Please share below!

If you’d like more information on the benefits of breastfeeding and links to other great resources, visit our breastfeeding webpage!

Jennifer Miller

About Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller is a public health nurse in the Burns Lake Public Health office. She has been a registered nurse since 1986 and has worked for Northern Health since 1991. Since moving to Burns Lake in 1991, Jennifer has had the opportunity to experience a number of different rural nursing roles. When not at work, Jennifer can be found busy with her family, her medieval recreation group, or working on a variety of artisan projects, such as spinning.

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It’s World Breastfeeding Week next week: Let’s talk about the benefits

Baby

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is “the road to lifelong health begins with breastfeeding!”

World Breastfeeding Week will run from October 1-7, 2012, to recognize the importance of breastfeeding, promote the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, as well as social and environmental benefits.

As parents, we always want to do the best for our children, and if it’s an option, why not breastfeed?! I found breastfeeding created a special bond with each of my babies; all three loved to breastfeed around the clock. Although this was tiring, I look back at it now and realize that I got to spend quality time with each of my boys at a young age, knowing that I was promoting health and well-being, and in the end, creating the foundations of a healthy lifestyle to live by for each of them.

Did you know that you can protect the health of our planet by helping mothers to breastfeed? The International Lactation Consultant Association’s (ILCA) motto is the Road to Lifelong Health Begins with Breastfeeding and go green!  Producing infant formula has a devastating impact on the environment:

  • If the 550 million cans of infant formula sold annually just in the United States alone were stacked end to end, they would circle the earth 1-1/2 times, leaving 86,000 tons of metal and 1,230 tons of paper labels. (sourced from www.ILCA.org)
  • Approximately 10,000 square meters of land is required for every cow used in the production of milk to be used in infant formula. (sourced from www.ILCA.org)

Breastfeeding has numerous benefits which cannot be duplicated in any other form of feeding:

  • It has hundreds of antibodies, enzymes and other factors that protect your baby from infections and diseases.
  • Breast milk is easy for your baby to digest.
  • It’s always at the right temperature.
  • It’s easy to provide.
  • It’s always handy and changes as your baby grows.
  • It’s free.

In fact, infants who are not breastfeed are at increased risk of developing:

  • ear infections
  • childhood obesity
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • (SIDS) sudden infant death syndrome
  •  asthma and many other acute and chronic illnesses

In addition, mothers who breastfeed are at decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers, and osteoporosis. It also helps mothers’ return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.

This year, the theme of World Breastfeeding Week is The Road to Lifelong Health Begins with Breastfeeding. To kick off the festivities in Prince George, breastfeeding families are invited to celebrate the 12th Annual Prince George Breastfeeding Challenge on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 10 a.m.  The event is held annually around the world in hopes of setting a new international record for the most breastfeeding babies at one time. It also provides the opportunity to recognize the special bond of breastfeeding between mother and baby. The event will be held in the Keith Gordon Room at the Bob Harkins branch of the Prince George Public Library. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with official latch-on time starting promptly at 11 a.m. The entire family is encouraged to attend this free, fun-filled event.

We are also hosting a booth at Pine Centre Mall on October 5, to end World Breastfeeding Week, and to share information about breastfeeding and services available to mothers.

For more information on breastfeeding,visit the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada or the BC Baby Friendly Network.

Laura Ravlic

About Laura Ravlic

Laura is a public health nurse who works for the children and families Team in Prince George, BC. She has three energetic boys who keep her busy out in the community with their many activities, including bike riding, class outings and soccer, for which she is an assistant coach. She is also involved in the Baby Friendly Initiative which promotes a breastfeeding friendly environment.

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Partnering to help keep kids active

Kids playing in the pool.

Depending on their age, children need between 60 and 180 minutes of daily activity for healthy growth and development.

Although I’ve worked with children for some time now, I have recently learned a lot as co-chair of a new group of community partners called Healthy Families Prince George. For example, did you know on average, children are spending six hours a day in front of a screen? This includes watching TV, or playing with non-active electronic devices such as video games, tablets, computers, and cell phones. Looking back to my own childhood, I remember playing outside until we were called in to eat…boy, times have changed!

Healthy Families Prince George formed in the fall of 2011 in order to discuss the importance of physical activity and healthy eating for children ages 0-6. Community partners involved include Success by 6, the City of Prince George, Northern Health, School District #57, the Prince George Public Library, Pacific Sport Northern BC and the Child Care Resource & Referral…just to name a few. Our goal is to empower families, educators, and community service providers to support children in Prince George to eat healthy, be physically active and reduce screen time.

Depending on their age, children need between 60 and 180 minutes of daily activity for healthy growth and development.

Being physically active can help children:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Improve movement skills
  • Increase fitness
  • Build healthy hearts
  • Have fun and feel happy
  • Develop self-confidence
  • Improve learning and attention
  • Improve language skills

Here’s a few ideas on how to keep your little ones active:

  • Create safe spaces for your children to play, indoors and outdoors
  • Play music and learn action songs together
  • Make time for play with other kids
  • Get where you’re going by walking or biking

And remember there is nothing more your little one likes than participating in physical activity and healthy eating with you, their role models!

How do you help keep your kids active?

For more info on guidelines around physical activity for children, visit our position statement webpage and specifically our snapshot on sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity.

Jenn Tkachuk

About Jenn Tkachuk

As the Children First Manager, Jenn works with the communities of Prince George, Quesnel, Mackenzie, McBride and Valemount to promote the importance of the early years, increase community planning and coordination, and improve service delivery for children, youth and families. Jenn has worked in the area of early childhood development for 10 years and holds a master’s degree in social work. To stay active, Jenn enjoys working in her yard, walking her dog and snowshoeing in the winter.

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