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Promoting Healthy Families through Nutrition, Activity and Support


By Sarah Hyett, Prevention and Screening Services - October 27, 2018

Does your family stay healthy together? Spice up your family’s routine with ideas from Paediatric Healthy Living team members Becky Burton, Social Worker and Team Lead, and Cayla Mantis, Registered Dietitian.  “Limit the time spent on electronics, eat healthy foods most of the time, and get regular family physical activity. These are a few examples of healthy behaviours that contribute to healthy children and families,” they explained.

If you think it can be a struggle to plan for the entire family to be healthy, you’re not alone! Burton and Mantis acknowledged the significance of these challenges, and shared some suggestions for approaching them. “One of the biggest challenges families face is being stretched for time. This can present barriers to family physical activity, meal preparation and family meal time. Time management does not mean expecting perfection, rather it helps parents to differentiate between what they need to do versus what they prefer to do with their families,” encouraged Burton and Mantis. The pair also explained that a helpful strategy may be to first identify priorities related to family health and wellness. Parents can then take a look at their schedules to determine where these priorities fit.

Burton and Mantis advise doing activities together as a family. Burton and Mantis said, “It is extremely important for parents to role model healthy behaviours related to eating, physical activity and coping as children learn from what they see their parents do. If children are exposed to healthy habits at home it will encourage them to behave in the same way.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can make healthier choices for you and your family, Burton and Mantis will be presenting in the Healthy Get-Together Speaker Series, hosted by Prevention and Screening Services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Their session will cover promoting healthy families through nutrition, activity and supportive home environments; while discussing the role of parents as role models, the division of responsibility in families, and parental participation in family activities. Their session will be held on Tuesday November 13th from 7:00-8:00 pm in Auditorium A at our Hospital. The event is free, open to everyone, and parking passes are available.

To register for the event contact Ann-Marie Cline, Prevention and Screening Senior Secretary and Telemedicine Coordinator, at 684-7237.

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