Healthy Family Expo!

Are you looking for small steps to healthier, more active, eco-friendly family living?WCF - 200 x 100 #2 for blog post

Healthy Family Expo has the answers for busy Metro Vancouver parents at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday, March 26th!

THIS EVENT TURNS THE TYPICAL EXPO ON ITS HEAD! Parents can taste and shop their way around 200+ exhibitors, including the Whole Foods Market Zone, London Drugs Health Zone, Toyota Outdoor Living Zone, West Coast Kids Healthy Baby Zone, Green Living Zone and more. But it’s the kids who will be blown away by the enormous Active Kid Zone, with a giant hamster ball track, rock climbing wall, Springfree Trampolines, run bike and sportball areas, Tumblebus & TumbleTown, Science World fireball show, Vancouver Aquarium AquaVan, Bobs & LoLo and Jessie Farrell concerts and very popular meet & greets with CBC Kids favourites Daniel Tiger & Super WHY!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 26th and grab your 2-for-1 Expo tickets online for a limited time with promo code WCF241, and you will be entered to win the early bird Springfree Trampoline prize! First 200 adults through the door will receive an adult ticket to Science World and partial proceeds of ticket sales support the Canadian Autism Network.

WCF - 200 x 200 #1 for blog postSharing is caring, so the Healthy Family Expo is giving away thousands in pre-expo prizes leading up to the $15,000 Grand Prize Showcase to be won at the main event on March 26th, including a one-year lease on a Toyota Prius c.

To get involved in the fun:

  1. Join the Expo Facebook Event to RSVP to win thousands in prizes from Expo partners at their March 23rd Facebook Party!
  2. Grab 2-for-1 Expo tickets for a limited time using promo code WCF241 (click for tickets!).
  3. Grab VIP Expo tickets to get a loaded gift bag and skip the line at the door! Only 100 available (click for tickets!).

Mid-Week Easy Meal! Asian Chicken and Rice Salad

Looking for something easy to make for dinner in the middle of the week between school runs and homework? Look no further!

Asian Chicken and Rice SaladUntitled

Created by: BITE ME MORE – Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat


2 cups water
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups Minute Rice® Premium Instant Long Grain White Rice
2 cups Minute Rice Premium Instant Long Grain White Rice

Asian Dressing
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

2 cups roasted deli chicken breast meat, shredded
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cup chopped cucumbers, unpeeled
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
½ cup roasted peanuts

2 tbsp chopped green onions
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
lime wedges


  • To prepare the rice, in a small saucepan bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Place rice in large serving bowl and set aside.
  • For the dressing, in a medium bowl whisk rice vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds until smooth set aside.
  • To prepare the salad, add chicken, red pepper, carrots, cucumbers, parsley and peanuts to the cooked rice. Pour dressing over to coat well. Garnish salad with green onions, sesame seeds and lime wedges.

Backpack Buddies in Your School?

We are so fortunate to live in an area with access to locally grown foods to maintain healthy and active lifestyles. But for some in poverty, access to nutritious food is far out of reach, meaning too many children are going hungry. With more than 20 per cent of BC children living below the poverty line, how can we expect them to concentrate in the classroom with growling bellies? Backpack Buddies looks to eradicate childhood hunger by providing a weekend worth of meals to those in need.

This charity helps the Metro Vancouver area fill the weekend hunger gap by providing stocked backpacks for children to take home and share with their families, breaking the cycle of poverty. The program works with local partners and communities to distribute the backpacks through local schools. It was started in 2012 by mother and daughter duo, Joanne Griffiths and Emily-Anne King, and today they have helped deliver more than 8,000 backpacks in the 2015/2016 school year alone. Currently there are nine schools in the Lower Mainland who are part of the program, but you can help! Donate money, food, or time and be a part of the solution to child hunger.

Play Grant for Britannia Community Services!

For some kids, the opportunity to play is limited by finances, location and safe locations. Physical literacy is vital for children to develop appropriately and learn to live healthy lifestyles as adults. Answering the call is RBC and their Learn to Play grants, which support kids and youth in sport and recreation. The grants go towards teaching children to play through jumping, swimming, skating and more, mastering movement skills and building confidence while growing physical strength.

The Britannia Community Services Centre is the latest recipient of a $9,450 grant, part of which will go to the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society’s Learn to Skate program, which will provide urban Aboriginal children, tweens, teens and youth with an opportunity to learn how to skate while also encouraging future participation in the sport. “By providing organizations with the funding and resources to teach kids basic skills, we’ve been able to empower them to feel confident and competent to move their bodies, engage in sport and create lifelong relationships with physical activity,” said Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION. Not only will kids benefit from the grant but so will the greater community as a whole. Congrats to the centre for their grant!

Food Guide Changes

Staying healthy is about more than visiting a doctor. It is the result of the choices we make every day. The Government of Canada is taking action to help Canadians make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced that Health Canada has started a process to revise Canada’s Food Guide to reflect the latest scientific evidence on diet and health, and to better support Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, in making healthy food choices. The announcement was made at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

As part of the Food Guide revision, Health Canada today launched a consultation with Canadians, which will run to December 8, to determine how Health Canada can provide better dietary guidance that meets the needs of Canadians.

This revision is part of a multi-year Healthy Eating Strategy. As part of the Strategy, Health Canada will use every tool at its disposal—legislation, regulation, guidance and education—to create conditions to support healthy eating. In addition to revising Canada’s Food Guide, the Healthy Eating Strategy outlines how Health Canada will achieve the commitments set out in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Minister of Health related to sodium, trans fat, sugars, food colours, marketing to children, and the Nutrition North Program. Health Canada will continue to engage with stakeholders and experts to further refine the strategy as it moves forward.

Quick facts

  • In Canada, four out of five Canadians risk developing conditions such as cancer, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes; six out of ten adults are overweight and one-third of youth are overweight or obese.
  • Poor diet is the primary risk factor for obesity and many chronic diseases, and places a significant burden on the health of Canadians and our health care system.
  • The annual economic burden of obesity in Canada is estimated in the billions of dollars.

New Breast Milk Donation Locations

Doctors often encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies, since it has been clinically proven that a mother’s milk is the best nutrition for little ones to develop and grow healthy immune systems. But for some new parents and vulnerable babies, access to quality, safe, and healthy milk is not only a challenge but a necessity. The BC Women’s Milk Bank, through BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, takes in donations of breast milk, pasteurizes it, then feeds babies who are in the neonatal intensive care unit who are at high risk of developing infections and others diseases. Healthy donor milk is just one effort to help their tiny bodies fight off disease. “With a helping hand from donated breast milk and even more milk depots opening, babies will have a better chance to thrive,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “We have long known the benefits of human milk for vulnerable babies, so now we’re making it even easier to donate milk to help babies in need.” Previously, it has been a challenge to access these donation centres, meaning milk supply had decreased to a dangerous and all time low. Thankfully, five new donation locations have opened up across the Lower Mainland, giving potential donors better access to drop off their milk while giving more at risk babies access to the quality nutrition they need.

Healthy Back to School Snacks

by Jessica Tong, RD

September is just around the corner, which means that it is time for parents to come up with fresh ideas for back-to-school healthy snacks. This year, be a back-to-school champion with snacks that will inspire ooh’s and ahh’s!

The key to preparing back-to-school snacks is to include both protein and fibre while avoiding excess salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Protein and fibre are digested slowly so they provide steady energy and a lasting feeling of fullness. Choosing nutrient-dense ingredients will keep your kids feeling energized and satisfied all day. Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit is a great snack component as it is rich in fibre and vitamin C. It is naturally low in sugar but has a juicy, irresistible taste. By brightening up your kids’ lunchboxes with SunGold kiwis, they will start enjoying fruit from a young age, and onwards!

Chocolate-covered kiwi pops are a perfect hot day treat that will make your kids’ eyes light up. The steps are simple: peel and slice SunGold kiwis into thick rounds, make a small slit on the side of each kiwi round, gently insert a pop stick, and freeze the kiwi pops on a baking sheet until they are solid. Over a double boiler, melt 8 oz of dark chocolate and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Dip each frozen kiwi pop into the chocolate mixture until the kiwi is completely coated, sprinkle chia or hemp seeds on top, and freeze them again until the coating hardens. These kiwi pops are low in refined sugar while high on the yummy scale!

For something nutritious and easily-portable, try a homemade trail mix. The options are endless but try to select ingredients that are low in added salt and sugar. I recommend combining dried apricots, dried SunGold kiwis, coconut flakes, organic popcorn, and raw almonds. This crunchy, chewy trail mix is low in sugar and packed with fibre – qualities that are rare in most school snacks. If your child’s school is a nut-free zone, try dry-roasted chickpeas or edamame beans instead.

To perk up the kids’ back-to-school lunch boxes with something that is both nostalgic and creative, this is for you: homemade fruit roll-ups. The best part is that it is so simple to make! Puree chunks of fresh fruit of your choice until they become very smooth (this is a great way to use up over-ripe fruit), spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper, and bake it at 200 degrees F for 4 hours, or until the centre is set. Once the fruit puree is dried, you can cut it into 2-inch strips and roll them in parchment paper. The kids will love having this as part of their school lunch box – that’s if the parents don’t get to them first!

When the kids are home from school, have them cozy up on the couch with a book in one hand and a cone in the other. Mix plain yogurt, chopped SunGold kiwis, berries, and high-fibre granola and fill mini ice cream cones with the mixture. This makes a fun snack that provides them with fuel to tackle any activity before dinnertime.

The most important part of planning snacks is to get your kids involved. Have them participate in the preparation as they are more likely to eat it if they helped make it!

Help Raise Money for Autism Now

For parents of children with autism, accessing programs while raising awareness is vital, and Choices Markets has answered the call.

Choices Markets will host its 4th annual Puzzle Piece Campaign from August 1-12 at all eleven of its British Columbia stores. During the campaign, stores across the province will raise funds through the sale and purchase of puzzle pieces and there will also be charity barbecues on August 13th at all Choices locations. All contributions will go directly to Autism Speaks Canada to fund research, advocacy and community programs, as well as provide support for families across Canada that are impacted by autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Speaks Canada, is part of North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization working both locally and nationally, to increase awareness about autism spectrum disorder, fund autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families in British Columbia and across all of Canada.

For more information, please visit or call 604-952-2266.

For more information about Autism Speaks Canada, please visit or call 1-888-362-6227.

Summer Fun at Rocky Mountain Flatbread

Keeping little ones busy during the summer can be a challenge, and there’s always a million extra chores for parents and caregivers. There’s also the need to prepare regular lunches and meals to ensure kids are fed and energized for all that summer fun!

Thankfully, Rocky Mountain Flatbread heeds the call of parents who need to keep the littles busy while also eating some tasty food! Every Wednesday from 11am – 12pm, moms, dads and caregivers can register to take their little one to the restaurant for parent-child workshops! Each week will feature a different activity, be it storytelling, yoga and dance, creating healthy snacks, faceprinting, crafts and tea party dress up events! Parents will have fun with their children participating in an unique activity, while kids will have a blast.

Best of all, stay behind afterwards to have a delicious pizza, full of healthy, local and organic ingredients that keep everyone fuelled and full!

Registration is required and class size is limited so be sure to register at to take part in these classes at the Main Street location!


Choices $25,000 Giveaway!

Choices Markets, which originated in BC and is still BC owned and operated, is turning 25 years old! In the Lower Mainland, we’re all familiar with the grocer’s wide selection of organic and natural foods. Choices is also known for great educational classes that are designed to educate shoppers about nutrition and awareness of the quality of food we feed our families. To celebrate their momentous anniversary, Choices will be giving away $25,000 to one lucky shopper, amongst several other great prizes. Enter in stores each time you visit a Choices market, and not only will you be entered for the grand price in December, but you may just win one of the many other prizes being given out over the next few months, including gift cards, money, washing machines and much more. Don’t miss your chance to win big, and pick up some organic apples while you’re at it!