‘Healthier 4 You™’ Campaign Raises Awareness of Healthy Choices in Convenience Stores

Calgary, AB, Oct. 22, 2018 – The Bridge Youth and Family Services Healthy Together program and Western Convenience Store Association (WCSA) are launching a ‘Healthier 4 You™” initiative with Calgary Co-op. Co-op stores at Kingsland and Auburn Bay are stocking up to 75 products identified by dietitians as healthier than other similar options in the store. The launch marks the continuation of an innovative partnership between the two organizations, both committed to promoting healthy eating and the positive role that convenience stores can play.

Says Andrew Klukas, WCSA President: “Too many people remain unaware that modern convenience stores offer a growing range of healthier food choices.” This program will help change that. “If we can positively influence people’s shopping habits at a young age, then as they go through life they won’t have to face the obesity-related illnesses we struggle with today. We’re excited about playing our part.”

The campaign raises awareness of healthier choices through in-store labeling and educational material. Specifically, Healthier 4 You logos identify snacks and drinks with higher nutritional value according to criteria developed by dietitians. A brochure for customers has label reading tips and steps for choosing healthier items.

Consulting Registered Dietitian Selena De Vries notes, “Many Canadians get too much fat, sodium, and added sugars in their diets.” Simple label reading skills can be very helpful for improving health.

The Healthier 4 You brochure provides tips on understanding sodium, fat, fibre and sugar content in popular convenience store products. Customers look for the orange checkmark logo that identifies products that are a good nutritional choice.

If you’d like to know more about the Healthier 4 You™ campaign contact catherine.nesmith@thebridgeservices.ca

Website: www.healthy-together.ca/H4U
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyTogether.ca

We absolutely LOVE this video of the Healthy Together program in action at the South Vancouver Family Place. Looks like they’ve had lots of fun and smiling faces over the last 3 months and of course lots of great food and fun! Thank you so much to the facilitators and especially Jen for putting together this video – great job everyone!

Press Release: Government of Canada announces funding to support Canadians in achieving healthier weights

Public Health Agency of Canada makes the official announcement for our very own Healthy Weights for Children: Healthy Together program! We are well underway and have great fun running this program across Canada. The Bridge is very happy to be a part of this wonderful opportunity!

Too many Canadians cannot get access to healthy foods and information on healthy eating because of factors beyond their control. Innovative policies and approaches are needed to remove these barriers and give Canadians the support they need to be healthy.

Last week, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced $10.5 million over three years for seven projects to promote healthier lifestyles among young Canadians and their families. The projects will target people in both urban and rural settings, as well as in remote, northern and underserved communities. This phase of funding will broaden the scope of the seven projects and expand their reach, while supporting broader policy changes.

These projects are part of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy that prioritizes action related to mental health and healthier weights, reaching more than 1.5 million people in over 800 communities in need.

Read the full press release here

We are excited to announce that Kelly Stone, FRP Canada’s Executive Director, and one of our project National Advisory Committee members, has been nominated for the Businesswoman of the Year Awards!

These awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding women in the National Capital Region. This nomination is an appreciation of FRP Canada’s recent organizational developments, and it shows that your association is on the move. We’re working hard to serve you better.

Learn more about the Businesswoman of the Year Awards here: http://thebyas.ca/


Congrats Kelly! We’re so grateful for your hard work and contributions to the Advisory Committee which has helped shaped the Healthy Together program into what it is today!

Ann is running the Healthy Together programs at the River District Center, Fraserlands Drop In. She was kind enough to share a ‘typical’ HT session and how it’s working at the South Vancouver Family Place.

Getting ready for the HT session at South Vancouver Family Place!

Their Program goes as follows:

  1. Arrival and Introduction– Children and adults settle in with the children doing as art project which focuses on the Food of the Day and/or the Physical activity. We discuss the Message of the day and go over the hand-outs for the session such as “Detours” for example. We also talk about the physical activity and the Food Project that is happening at this session.
  2. Physical Activity – Children and adults participate in this together after cleaning up their art project. We have done Tennis with balloons covered with nylons and the tennis rackets are hangers covered in a nylon (the participants made them together), Bubbles Outside,  Music and Dance, Bean Bags with music, Wiggly Ribbons with copying and music, Kites (hand made) indoors. All of these were very interactive and fun for both adults and children.
  3. Hand Washing and help set up the food project. Children can cut with plastic knives if the food item is soft enough.
  4. Food Project – recipes we’ve done so far are Yogurt Parfait, Hummus and Veggies, Pinwheels and Bugs on a Log (Cream cheese and veggies/Fruit).
  5. Clean up time.
  6. Outside time.

Ann (L) & Jen (R) enjoying the sunshine during some outdoor play time!

It has been very successful and gaining attention from various Families. At this time I have about 12 or so Families registered. It has been very busy with Moms, Dads, Grandmothers and Grandfathers. They are really enjoying their time together. The hand outs are good and we share Healthy Food ideas and Physical Ideas together.


~ Thanks so much to Ann & Jen, who are doing an amazing job of promoting Healthy Together and supporting their families in living a healthy lifestyle!

So what is this new Healthy Together toolkit we’re talking about?! And how does it differ from the original HT facilitator manual?

After 3 years of training and implementation using the original HT facilitator manual we collected a mass of feedback from our facilitators and implementation sites about how great the program was, some shortcomings, sections that needed more information or clarification and even additional topics that you’d like to see in the program.

The new toolkit was piloted in Kingston in October 2016, we then made some last minute edits and launched the final product in March 2017. The new toolkit is now also available ‘en Français’!

The Toolkit is housed in a 3-ring binder making it easy to pull out a specific page for your session or for copying. There are 3 main tabbed sections;

  • Learning Activities (green tab) containing 30 activities
  • Cooking Activities (red tab) containing 36 activities 
  • Physical Activities (blue tab) containing 21 activities

There are also 2 more sections at the back of the binder containing the Appendices and the Facilitator Training Guide.

Each section incorporates many of the activities & recipes that you’ll recognize from the original facilitator manual but we’ve spent some time on the design so there’s a new, improved layout that’s easy to read and each activity is on it’s own page for ease of use.

We’ve had great feedback from our facilitators so far, but would love to hear what you think, contact us using the link in the top menu bar!

If you’ve previously been trained as an HT facilitator then you will have access to the new toolkit. All our facilitators have been sent an email update with instructions for creating a new registration for our website. This will enable you to access the login-only area of the HT website where the toolkit and all program resources are available to download. If you have not received your email or are having difficulties creating a registration then please contact us.

Our first training event of 2017 took place last month in Kelowna. We were excited to showcase our new and improved facilitator toolkit which we’ve been working on for the last year. We’ve welcomed the feedback over the last 3 years and have finally been able to incorporate the changes into something new and different. In late May we trained 25 facilitators from 12 different organizations across BC and Alberta. We were happy to welcome several new implementation site partners as well as welcoming back some familiar faces.

The new toolkit now has 30 learning activities and recipes and over 20 physical activities. It is designed so that facilitators can ‘mix and match’ the activities that are most suited to the interests of their group for greater flexibility and engagement.

Everyone got the opportunity to lead and practice a learning activity and we made sure to take plenty of breaks whilst at the same time show-casing some of our simple fun physical activities from the program!

You are cordially invited to attend a Partnership in Research Seminar

Assessing Social Return on Investment (SROI) in health promotion: Findings from the Healthy Together© Program

WHAT:  Dr. Anima Anand, Project Lead, Healthy Weights for Children, The Bridge Youth & Family Services, Kelowna, and Ms. Stephanie Robertson, Founder & President, SiMPACT Strategy Group, Calgary & Toronto, will discuss the use of SROI to evaluate health promotion programs for scale-up.

WHEN:  Thursday, February 16, 12 – 1:00 pm PST
WHERE:  Room 129, Reichwald Health Sciences Centre, UBC Okanagan
To attend in person or via webinar
Register at:  http://sroihealthy.eventbrite.ca  
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – Everyone is welcome!

Have a look at Michele Hopkins as she traveled to Bearskin and Caribou Lake for a community visit. Michele was in Thunder Bay for the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Reclaiming Our Right To Food Self-Determination meeting during the summer.

Michele joined a group of people who are committed and passionate about finding solutions that address needs in northern communities experiencing food insecurity related to high food cost, poor quality food, low food variety and difficult food growing conditions. This visit highlighted some of the conditions experienced in these communities that contribute to reduced quality of life and health outcomes related to food insecurity. The Bridge hopes to support better health outcomes by preparing and supporting northern communities to offer the Healthy Together program for families.