Here we are in Hamilton! We just completed another successful Healthy Together Training in Vancouver with a great group of attendees at the British Columbia Aboriginal Child Care Society. We now have another 29 trained Healthy Together Facilitators who can offer a program that strengthens family, friend and community relationships as they teach and practice healthy weight strategies with families. We had a lot of fun practicing some of these ideas ourselves…have a look as we practice our dance moves, and get our hearts beating a little faster and have some fun.


Our project lead evaluator, Dr. Mary Jung has been featured as one of Kelowna’s Top 40 under 40.

561453633bd5c.image Read the full article about how she ‘walks and works’ from the Kelowna Courier here;



Greetings from the Healthy Together training event being held today and tomorrow in Kelowna. We are launching the first training for the 2015 2016 year of the Healthy Weights for Children Project…an initiative of the Innovations Strategy funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Healthy Together 4

We are very excited to train 100 new facilitators across Canada in this project year. We have revised our Facilitator Guide and the 3rd Edition is now available on the login portion of the website version for all trained facilitators past and present.

Healthy Together 3

Next stop is Winnipeg on October 6th and 7th where we will join facilitators at the historic Fort Garry Hotel…we still have spots available for this event. This is a free training event which provides a Facilitator training kit to all those who complete the training….Facilitator Manual, Facilitator Guide, Website login and access to all resources required to offer this innovative, family health program in your community.

Contact us for more information if you are interested in the Healthy Together training or if you want to find a trained facilitator in your community.


What motivates you to get fit? How about earning points that you can redeem against travel and groceries? (Yes please!)

The federal government has announced a new app that will reward Canadian for making healthier lifestyle decisions.

Carrot Rewards

Read the full story here >

Michele travelled to Castlegar for a Healthy Together site visit at the end of June. She was greeted by Laura Munoz (Evaluator) at the airport and taken to the Kootenay Family Place for the final session of Healthy Together for 7-12 year olds.

Kootenay Family Place Veggies

A real highlight of this visit was the use of fresh vegetables to greet children and provide their after school snack. The day at hand was an exciting experience for the families because the activity for the day was skateboarding. Two Healthy Together staff were skilled and passionate about this sport and brought their enthusiasm to the group. They provided safety gear and skateboards for anyone that wanted to try this activity. Staff led the participants in the basics and supported them to try their hand at this sport. For some this sport was already a part of their fitness routine because Castlegar has an active skateboard park program in place, for others it was a first experience at this sport. This group demonstrated a great use of local talent and the promotion of local, free community activities as a physical activity option. Physical Activity, like people, comes in a variety of shapes and styles. Skateboarding was offered twice in the same session to provide two activity breaks which was very needed by this active group of youth. Castlegar will enjoy a summer of skateboard activity and now maybe a few more families will be using the service and joining their children for a fun day at the park.

Kootenay Family Place Making Sushi

Following the activity everyone had great fun trying their hands at making sushi!

In 2014 Dr Petrella and his research team,  along with Dietitians of Canada, developed two new smartphone apps which aim to support Canadians to lead a healthier lifestyle. The apps focus on physical inactivity and unhealthy diet.

HealtheSteps app: Improving physical activity and fitness levels; reducing sedentary time.

HealtheSteps app

The app gives you everything you need to get more active – built in fitness test, personalized exercise prescription, goals, tracking, heart rate monitor and a virtual coach to keep you motivated. Perfect for beginner who want to get more physically active as well as more experienced exercisers looking for an evidence based approach.

eaTracker app: Improving overall nutrition and healthy eating behaviours.

eaTracker app

Developed by Dietitians of Canada, you can use eaTracker to check your food and activity choices, analyze your recipes and plan your meals. Sign up to set goals and track your progress.

Have a look at what is going on in the Halifax, NS area…this is a fellow Innovations Strategy Project, The Ecology Action Centre, doing great work in the Atlantic region.


The Our Food Project present some of the highlights of their year‘s work.

Some of you may have seen the 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card (formerly the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card)…it seems Canadian children are not doing well in the physical activity department. The actual grade given was a D-


This is just another reason to think about running Healthy Together in your community to support parents and children to learn about and develop healthier living practices that include physical activity as well as healthy cooking, eating and lifestyle information.

The physical activity recommendation for children is 60 minutes of heart pumping activity a day. That might seem like a lot but keep in mind this can be broken into smaller blocks of time. Let’s think about 15 minutes of activity four times a day. You might take a fast walk around the block …just 15 minutes of heart pumping walking…maybe running. Later on you might decide to play Frisbee golf and to get your heart rate going you can move quickly as you go fetch the Frisbees for the next turn…high knee stepping, skipping, running or galloping will increase the heart rate as you move. Two 15 minute blocks to go. Try 15 minutes of clothes peg tag. Go to a park so you have wide open spaces. Maybe you end your day with a hike and mix it up between 5 slow and 5 fast paced minutes of hiking. Do this for 30 minutes and you have added your final 15 heart pumping round of activity.

As adults we need 150 minutes of heart pumping activity a week…how many of those minutes can you achieve with your children so you can both benefit from being physically active while also enjoying time together as you create healthy habits.

How can you get you support your children to get 60 minutes of heart pumping activity a day?

If this is a new idea for you just start with 15 minutes a day and build up a strong habit slowly…take a month and add 15 minutes a week.

Read the full report here.

The Healthy Together Team wishes you a great physically active day…any way you decide to get there!


Michele recently travelled to Saskatoon to visit Catholic Family Services (CFS) as they ran Healthy Together for students in the work place skills class at a local high school. I was warmly greeted by the people and the city of Saskatoon.  Everyone was very friendly and the sun was shining along the beautiful walking paths beside the Saskatchewan River. Catholic Family Services is housed in a multi-service agency building next to a large park. One of the highlights of this trip was the partnership with the school district. The Healthy Together team from CFS joined forces with the staff and students at the high school to run the program during school hours as part of the curriculum and the enthusiasm from students for cooking and trying the foods they prepared.

Healthy Together Program Staff members

Healthy Together Program Staff members

Michele sampled the chicken strips, with honey mustard sauce, and also enjoyed a side of yam fries. The youth were enjoying their time in the kitchen home economics room but all agreed the sunshine and ovens made for bit of a hot cooking space as they learned how to make healthy chicken strips and dip.  Staff and students really enjoyed the food they made. After a lunch break the youth joined together for the learning of the day and finished up with some physical activity and Frisbee in the school outdoor space.

Michele and Anima recently took a trip to Ontario for the 4th Annual  Canadian Obesity Conference in Toronto. They presented early findings and lessons learned from the Healthy Together Program as part of a 6 presentation panel. Approximately 70 people attended this 1.5 hour session.

Both Anima and Michele had the opportunity to attend workshops on this day and participate in some lively discussions related to Industry and Obesity Prevention which considered public and private partnerships. They also attended a workshop session that highlighted the success of Comprehensive School Health (CSH) in improving diets, activity levels, and body weights. The successful program was recognized as a “best practice” and has inspired the development of the Alberta Project Promoting active Living and healthy Eating (APPLE) Schools. The project includes 10 schools, most of which are located in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. The present study examines the effectiveness of a CSH program adopted from a “best practice” example in another setting by evaluating temporal changes in diets, activity levels and body weight. This was a very inspiring presentation that left everyone feeling very hopeful about the positive impact possible when teaching children and families about health, healthy eating and activity.