Come Boogie with Healthy Start – Join Our Team for a Day of Fun!

Healthy Start/Départ Santé invites you to walk, run, roll, skip or hop along as part of our team for the 8th annual Bridge City Boogie in Saskatoon, SK. On June 8, 2014, for the second year in a row Healthy Start will be hitting the pavement for the ‘Boogie’, promoting physical activity and active lifestyles, and ultimately – having fun! The Bridge City Boogie is a community event which begins in the morning and heads right on in to the afternoon. The day centres on the walking/running segment (2km, 5km, 10km options), but also includes a host of other ‘Boogie Fest’ activities including food vendors, live entertainment, and a kids zone (including bouncy inflatables, face painting and more!). We are excited to share our enthusiasm for healthy active lifestyles with our community (you) and would love to have you on our Bridge City Boogie team. How to join the Healthy Start team: CLICK HERE Click ‘Register Now’ Login or sign-up for a “Race Roster” Account and proceed to the ‘Boogie’ registration. Select your distance (2km, 5km, or 10km) and fill out the registration. At the bottom of the form you will be asked ‘Would you like to join or create a team?’…click ‘Yes’! Search for and select ‘Healthy Start / Départ Santé’ from the Team Name drop down menu. Continue to follow on-screen prompts to complete your registration! Click here for more information on the Bridge City Boogie, or for team information, contact [email protected]

Feature: Tisdale Tiny Tornadoes Daycare, Leading the way towards healthy, active kids

Healthy Start wouldn’t be possible without the tireless effort, dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership offered by early years directors, educators, and cooks. As such, in this feature we would like to recognize some of the great work going on at one of our proud Healthy Start centres – Tisdale Tiny Tornadoes Daycare. Since completing the Healthy Start training last January, staff at Tiny Tornadoes have been energized and motivated to keep their kids moving and eating healthier. Tiny Tornadoes has made leaps and bounds, demonstrating their strong commitment to healthy children. When it comes to food, not only has Tiny Tornadoes revamped their menu to more closely reflect guidelines from the Canada Food Guide, but they have started a weekly event dubbed “Cooking with the Kids” where they find inspiration from various Food Flair (LEAP BC) recipes. For example, they recently created their very own fruit pizzas (featured in the March Healthy Start Sampler) with great success; the kids loved both helping out with food preparation as well as trying out their very own creations. While Tiny Tornadoes draws inspiration from Healthy Start resources, they have gone beyond the book pages and found creative ways to spice up food time. Every week, Tiny Tornadoes selects a different cultural theme, encouraging the children to explore new foods. During a recent ‘aboriginal week’, for example, children got to try their hand at preparing baked bannock and salmon burgers (LEAP Food Flair, pp. 148 & 176). To support physical activity, Tiny Tornadoes has taken initiative, appointing one staff every day to be in charge of coming up with a new activity or fun way to keep the children moving. But what happens when it’s raining outside, or what about long Canadian winters? No problem! Tiny Tornadoes has created an indoor space in their daycare dedicated to keeping kids active at any time of the year. With a quick glance at their ‘active space’, one can easily spot hula hoops, floor hockey and bowling equipment, a parachute, balls, and much more! But fancy equipment isn’t a necessity. The children have really enjoyed taking part in even the simplest of games, such as freeze dance (LEAP HOP, pp. 34-35), as well as making their very own play equipment out of coat hangers and knee high stockings (LEAP HOP, pp. 118 & 145). In Tisdale, the energy has been contagious, going well beyond the walls of the Tiny Tornadoes daycare centre. For the past month and a half, Tiny Tornadoes has been getting together with two other Healthy Start-trained daycare centres on a weekly basis to partake in a collaborative program they call “Move to the Music”. Not only is “Move to the Music” a great way to get the children together and moving, staff are enthusiastic about getting involved as well, modelling and motivating the children to keep moving. To top off this great partnership between daycares, the centres all joined in for a friendly physical activity community challenge; coming home with the ‘Golden Shoe Award’ was none other than the Tornadoes.  So what’s next? The Tiny Tornadoes are currently looking at developing a weekly preschool program which will continue to partner with local daycares and provide fun activities and obstacle courses for the kids. The great stories coming out of Tisdale are, in large part, a result of staff collectively taking up the torch and committing to healthy living. They have embraced the need for physical activity and healthy eating, not only in the lives of their children, but in their own daily activities as well. Staff are now making sure to take the time to sit down with the children at snack and mealtimes, joining in and trying new foods with them. In addition, several staff have recently joined a gym to help them along on their journey towards healthy living. It is important for caregivers to lead by example, modelling healthy behaviours in their day-to-day. Heather Storey, an early years educator at Tiny Tornadoes sums it up quite nicely, “We believe if we are enthusiastic about living a healthy lifestyle, we will be role models to our children and [we] hope they will be just as passionate living a healthy lifestyle.” Healthy Start wishes to thank Heather Storey and Tisdale Tiny Tornadoes Daycare for taking the time to share their inspiring stories and successes – you are truly amazing “Healthy STARS”!

Save the date! Healthy Start to Host Provincial Forum Focused on ‘Moving Forward on Healthy, Active Kids’

Healthy Start/Départ Santé, along with three other provincial health promotion groups – Health Promoting Schools Program, MEND, and Saskatchewan in motion – will be hosting a provincial health promotion forum the evening of June 19, 2014 (5-7 pm social), and all day June 20, 2014 at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK. The forum will bring together key actors, stakeholders, and decision makers from across Saskatchewan and abroad, and will focus on informing concrete actions for stronger partnerships aligned with provincial strategies and priorities – ultimately, ‘Moving Forward on Healthy, Active Kids!’. The forum will feature a keynote address, panel sessions, and breakout/discussion groups, where dialogue, sharing of ideas, and forging/expanding collaborations to create greater opportunity for healthy active children, youth and their families will be highly encouraged. Three main objectives will be at the centre of the gathering: Exploring synergies for greater impact on the health of children, youth, and families Advancing the province’s priority of a 5% reduction in childhood obesity Assessing long-term sustainability and funding opportunities for healthy weights initiatives in the future in Saskatchewan. All those interested in joining the discussion are encouraged to check back here regularly for updates on registration and further details; or please contact [email protected] for any other inquiries. Additional details can be found here. Please do not hesitate to forward or share this date with your networks.

Healthy Start Looking to Recruit New, Enthusiastic Trainers

Healthy Start/Départ Santé is currently seeking individuals to become Healthy Start trainers. Healthy Start will be hosting a train-the-trainer session May 9th and 10th, 2014 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Becoming a trainer offers a rewarding opportunity to support early learning and child care centres, and promote the health and well-being of young children throughout Saskatchewan. • What it means to be a Healthy Start trainer. • Training session details. • Register for the training.

February 2014 Fitness Challenge

Thanks to all the centres that took part in our ‘Fit-ruary’ challenge, where we asked educators to use a calendar to note the healthy things they did during the month of February.  The centres that shared their calendars with us include Kinder Kollege in Kindersley, Dundonald Childcare in Saskatoon, Hope’s Home in Prince Albert, and Vanscoy Early Learning Centre. Responses from directors and educators from these centres were incredible!  Some educators were busy doing Zumba and gym workouts before or after work, while others listed activities like walking, shovelling snow and cleaning the house.  Many educators did stretching and active games with the kids at their centre, which goes to show that participating with the children for 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there can add up to hours of activity over the week.  People also listed healthy food choices like drinking more water, avoiding pop and eating more vegetables and fruit.  Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Healthy Start Presents at the Early Years Conference 2014, Vancouver, BC

Dr. Anne Leis, a member of the Healthy Start/Départ Santé research team, recently had the opportunity to present as a panelist at the Early Years Conference 2014 – Shaping Childhood: Factors that Matter in Vancouver, BC (Jan 31-Feb 1 2014). The panel session on engaging and supporting families for healthy lifestyles more specifically focused on the healthy development of children. Dr. Leis had the opportunity to discuss the Healthy Start strengths-based approach, designed to enhance physical activity and healthy eating among 3 to 5 year olds in early years centres. With ninety attendees from various organizations including Family Support Centres and other NGOs present, Healthy Start was met with much interest and support. Participants were especially interested by Saskatchewan’s project incorporating BC’s homegrown resource set LEAP BCTM. Several requests for further information and copies of our newsletters, as well as requests for Healthy Start training sessions were received. All conference presentations are now available here.

Meeting Our Goals!

Healthy Start/Départ Santé is pleased to announce that we have reached our target goal for the first year of implementation – and with 4 months to spare. Since September 2013, 40 childcare centres and pre-kindergartens have joined the Healthy Start movement in Saskatchewan, mainly in the Saskatoon and Central region. Additionally, 4 centres in the province of New Brunswick are also piloting this project. While we have successfully reached our goal for the year, this does not mean it is time for a vacation here at Healthy Start. In fact, more than ever, things are on the move! We are looking forward to starting our recruitment for year-2 of the Healthy Start rollout where 40 more centres including those in Regina and Southern Saskatchewan will have the opportunity to take part in this health promotion initiative. The rollout of Healthy Start will also continue in New Brunswick, with 4 new centres set to join the movement. Interested Early Learning Centres are encouraged to contact the Healthy Start team for more details on how to join.

Healthy Start Proudly Presents: Our New Website

After months of hard work and dedication from both our web designer and staff, we would like to take this opportunity to announce the launch of the Healthy Start/Départ Santé website. We cannot give enough thanks to our web designer Kevin Pryce (LIME Communications) for all the enthusiasm, commitment, expertise, and professionalism he has so kindly provided along the way. Our new website offers a one-stop-shop including a number of exciting tools and features to further promote healthy eating and physical activity in the early years. Key features include: Access to our evidence-based resources. A comprehensive collection of easily accessible resources and links from related organizations. Quick access to our monthly Newsletters with fun food ideas and ideas of how to incorporate more physical activity throughout the day. Featured stories of how Healthy Start has already been successfully adapted in childcare centres in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Opportunities to connect with Healthy Start staff and share your own success stories with others. Information on how you can get involved with Healthy Start today! You can check out more from LIME Communications’ great portfolio of websites at



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