WestCoast Families March 2012

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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

hit the road

get away in just a day

mom spice goddess westcoast

march 2012

travel | health & fitness | spring break

Bal Arneson

families westcoast


family travel! Spring Break Fun Two Weeks of Local Activities

Health Eating Clean on the Go


TOP STORY Hit the Road to Oliver/Osoyoos, Leavenworth and Powell River




Health Feeding Picky Eaters

Health Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

WestCoast Walks Main St. Riley Park

Last Look Healthy Bento!





Parenting Work/Life Imbalance


top story

Hit the Road get away in just a day on our cover...

Founders and owners of the infamous Foundation restaurant, the Woods family are always up for a drive, Sunday or otherwise... Parents Amy and Mark, son Story, 6, and daughter Rashelle, 4, are happy to roll anywhere... often landing in the Okanagan because any further and they may just keep driving to visit family in Ontario.

31 mom westcoast

32 WCM Profile Bal Arneson 33 WCM Feature Parental Friendships 34 Style File 36 WCM Events

from the editor 6 6 8 19 22 27 30 36

Editor’s Note Mailbag Contests Geekology Rising Stars Reading Corner Community Calendar Where to Find WCF

Photographed by Revival Arts | www.revivalartsstudio.com

next issue april 2012


our annual green issue

camp guide part 1: sleepover & family camps



www.twitter.com/wcfmag www.facebook.com/westcoastfamilies

March 2012


editor’s note “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

families westcoast

Henry Miller (1891-1980), writer and painter


he approach of spring has always given me the desire to take flight. This probably accounts for why most of my health resolutions are made at this time of the year, rather than January 1. The uplifting feeling that comes from longer days and shorter frosts makes me more eager to put on my running shoes, experiment with salad combinations and laugh a little more often—in short, shake off the hibernation tendencies that appear at the end of each year and stay uninvited for several months. It seems fitting, therefore, that March marks our focus on health, in all of its forms. Truly, health is more than counting calories and running a six-minute mile. It is a mental, emotional and social process that takes its cue from every aspect of our lives—the stresses that we deal with, the illnesses (both mental and physical) that we may be facing, and the mental mindsets that guide us through our most important decisions. And while nutrition is ohso-important, let’s not forget about the importance of something as simple as friendships, even for überindependent parents. It also seems fitting that this month sees us focus on family travel. The call of spring seems to bring out the wandering spirit in young and old, so we decided

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new website

coming March 1! new look! new content!


to look at a few places that you could wander to and through—all within a day’s travel—that are a little off the beaten track, but offer loads of fun for the whole brood. And since spring break—all two, interminable weeks of it—is just around the corner, we threw in some local suggestions for what to do with the offspring—and yourself—to keep from “wandering” right out of your mind. On a different note, March 8 is International Women’s Day, and the theme for this year, as set by our Minister for the Status of Women, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, is “Strong Women, Strong Canada.” I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of interviewing Bal Arneson, famed cookbook author and Food Network star, for our WestCoast Mom profile this month. We’d also like to thank all of you who came out with us to celebrate the re-launch of our publication last month. It was wonderful to meet so many of you and enjoy the newly renovated space at Science World. We hope you all had a wonderful time, and we look forward to celebrating with you again soon. Good health and safe travels,

mailbag I found the Montessori article that you printed in the last issue [Building Brighter Brains, Jan/Feb] very well written, but was wondering why you left out the other side of the story, that looks at those who have had negative experiences with this system of learning. Just as it’s a wonderful program for many, it’s a not-so-wonderful program for many others. I would love to see an article written about that. D. Green

1215-C56 St, PO Box 18057 Delta, BC, V4L 2M4 Tel: 604.249.2866 Fax: 604.247.1331 westcoastfamilies.com info@westcoastfamilies.com ­Publisher Andrea Vance publisher@westcoastfamilies.com Managing Editor Anya Levykh editor@westcoastfamilies.com Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso studio@westcoastfamilies.com Accounts Receivable & Bookkeeping Jennifer Brulé finance@westcoastfamilies.com Administration / Editorial Assistant Jennifer Bruyns admin@westcoastfamilies.com Advertising Inquiries sales@westcoastfamilies.com 604.249.2866 For distribution inquiries, please contact: Andrea Vance Contributors: Alyssa Bauman, Bopomo Pictures, Jennifer Bruyns, Ana Paula Calabresi, Angela Davidson, Michelle Eliot, Nicola Enright-Moran, Amy Fardell, Jamie Field, Krysta Furioso, Sierra Gemma, Kimberly Jenns, Jodi Iverson, Revival Arts Photography, Brooke Sherwood. WestCoast Families (WCF) is an independent, regional parenting publication. As the Lower Mainland’s prime resource for happy, healthy & active families, WCF provides informative and relevant content. All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families. PUBLICATIONS MAIL 40027247 Published nine times per year in British Columbia, Canada. Total circulation: 50,000 For queries about editorial submissions, please view the contributor guidelines on our website. To submit a community calendar event or share your feedback, please email info@westcoastfamilies.com.

Hello! We are a local family that reads your publication each issue, and we love the new look and readability of the magazine. Even my husband approves! I. Cheng Correction Notice: The Physical Literacy article in our January/February issue was incorrectly attributed. The article was written by Richard Way of the Canadian Sport for Life Project. We apologize to Mr. Way for the error.



WestCoast Families is proud to have been selected as a mom-friendly employer for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List. And congratulations to our fellow inductees!

Thanks for Celebrating With Us! On January 24, we celebrated the re-launch of our magazine with many of our readers, advertisers, partners and sponsors! We hope you all had a wonderful time and are so grateful for all of the support you have shown us!


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Heartfelt thanks to our Party Sponsors

Chris Hamilton Music for Kids www.facebook.com/ChrisHamiltonKids

Party Arts Face Painting www.partyarts.ca

A Special Thank You to Our Host Sponsor Science World www.scienceworld.ca

A big shout-out to our Prize Sponsors Phoenix Gymnastics www.phoenixgymnastics.com

Bopomo Pictures Photography www.bopomo.ca

Jump Gymnastics www.jumpgymnastics.ca PNE/Playland www.pne.ca Brightstars Children’s Dance www.brightstars.ca WildPlay Element Parks www.wildplay.com

Castletop Characters Clown & Balloon Creations www.castletopcharacters.com

Vancouver Aquarium www.visitvanaqua.org Buddings Daycare www.buddings.ca Richmond Aquatics www.richmond.ca The Great Escape www.thege.ca McDonald’s www.mcdonalds.ca Flips N Kicks Gymnastics www.flipsnkicks.ca

Picture Your Cake Custom Graphic Cakes www.pictureyourcake.com

Gabriela’s Movement Studio www.movementstudio.ca Atlantis/Pedalheads www.atlantisprograms.com


Visit us online for new contests every issue!


Does Your Mom Need an Adventure Intervention? Do you know a mom (or maybe you are one!) who needs an Adventure Intervention? Stuck in a rut? Always too busy? Working too much? No time to do anything for themselves? WestCoast Families & Wildplay have the answer! Nominate a mom in need of some primal fun for an Adventure Intervention at WildPlay! Swing from the ropes, take a zip line, climb through the trees, and let out a roar. One lucky WestCoast Families mom will be picked to experience all of this and more, for free! Her adventure will be filmed and documented, and she will be profiled as our WestCoast Mom in the May 2012 issue, letting readers know about how her “intervention” has affected her life. www.wildplay.com

Deadline to Enter: March 22, 2012 To enter, visit www.wildplay.com/unleashmymom and give one lucky mom (or yourself!) a “wild” time!

Enter to Win a One-Week Spring Break Camp at Pear Tree Education! Pear Tree Education believes in delivering Education 3.0, a highly interactive and advanced model that utilizes the gadgets that children are used to, along with collaborative and thematic learning in a variety of subjects. Choose from morning or afternoon camps for kids ages six to nine, or 10 to 13. Camp options include: CSI Forensics—Young Detectives; Digital Photography for Kids; Life on Mars; Kids Can Cook!; Slowmation—Claymation Animation; Movie Making; and a Salmon Lifecycles camp, set up in cooperation with the BC Ministry of Fisheries, which will allow children to watch Coho salmon develop, study them, and release them into the wild. (Total value $300.) www.pear-tree.ca

Deadline to Enter: March 10, 2012 Visit www.westcoastfamilies.com to enter online!



March 2012



Work/Life Imbalance

By Nicola Enright-Morin


o you feel stressed by the pressures of modern life? Are you constantly in a rush; dividing your time between a busy job, family and friends, feeling as if everything is just way out of balance? If that sounds like you, then you’re not alone. According to a recent report from Statistics Canada, one in four Canadians would describe their lives as extremely stressful. The numbers are even higher for families. Two-thirds of working moms say their biggest stress is worrying over family issues, while over half (55 percent) of people with families feel stressed over lack of time. Yet is it possible to take charge of our busy lives? And if we don’t, will our children pay the price for our work/life imbalance? According to Paul Kershaw, associate professor at UBC and advocate for social change, we are already paying the price for our overloaded lives. Kershaw states that even though the large majority of households are now on a dual income (both parents working), the average household income is the same as it was a generation ago, when generally only one parent was working. He says that here in B.C., families have even greater cause for concern. “In B.C. the problem is especially acute. We are the only province in the country where household income for young couples has actually dropped since 1976. That is also side by side with the largest housing price increase (149 percent) in Canada.” Kershaw calls this the “Generation Squeeze” effect. Families are squeezed for time, income and child-care resources. But don’t be fooled by the catchy phrase. Kershaw is trying to convey a serious message. He says kids are already feeling the detrimental effects of their parents’ overburdened lives. He says that 30 percent of kindergarten kids in B.C. are now starting school unable to meet key ageappropriate requirements, including simple tasks like holding a pencil correctly, climbing stairs, Getting Organized following simple instructions, and getting along Family therapist Michele Kambolis shares the sentiment that a little organization goes a long way. She says with peers. He says it’s a problem that affects all bulletin boards are a great way to get everyone in the family on the same page, while online or digital families, from all walks of life. In fact, most of the planners with automated reminders are also great at keeping everyone where they need to be. All families kids struggling with the basic requirements come have their own everyday pressures to cope with, but ultimately, they must find a balance that works for from middle and upper-income families. them. With that in mind, Kershaw says everyone needs to get involved, to implement changes he Here are some more ways to get organized: believes will benefit all families. As you can see on Kershaw’s website, he spends a lot of time Menu Planning. Running on empty, or empty calories, is a sure-fire way to hit the burnout wall in doubleadvocating for the policy changes he feels will quick time. So, plan ahead. Make extra so you can freeze meals. Take turns cooking. Fill the fridge with healthy help. “Canada is increasingly becoming a country snacks. Hit the grocery store with a list. There are multiple ways to make it work. Finally, be sure your kids are not the only ones leaving home with a healthy lunch packed in their bag. that is harder to raise a family in. The squeeze on time is a reality and getting people to start Prioritize Your Time. Do you really need to take that call from your chatty co-worker? Do you need to dialogue about change is the first step to getting read all the statuses of your “friends” on Facebook? When we procrastinate or “misallocate” our time, we can change to happen.” be our own worst enemy. Make a list of essentials for today and stick to it. Mary Salter, a mother of two young boys from Port Coquitlam, recently made the decision to Exercise Together. The biggest excuse we all make for lack of exercise is “no time.” If you schedule time return to work full-time. She says that while her for a walk by the river, that yoga class with your child or a family swim, you’ll be surprised how quickly it family were managing okay financially, she admits becomes part of your routine, and how you’ll come to appreciate the restored sense of well-being. that “being able to pay the mortgage each month and not having to budget and re-budget is a Schedule Downtime. Does every nano-second have to be structured? Make sure you allow time for you lot less stressful that it was before.” She does say and your family to just “be.” Hang out together, with no plan, nowhere to go and allow yourselves to just go that she misses the time spent away from her with the flow…it does wonders! sons, but knowing that she has found excellent childcare for them has made all the difference. Call for Reinforcements. If you are feeling utterly swamped, get some help. If you have good friends or family nearby, ask them to lend a hand. If you can afford it, get a cleaner or someone to help out around the “Even though I miss my kids during the day, it house. Don’t forget that kids love to be involved in chores, and are usually much more capable than you give is so much easier leaving them with someone I them credit for. trust and know that my kids love to be with.” Salter

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weighed up all the childcare options and found that a nanny was the best fit for her family. “I know that my boys are still in a familiar environment and they are still getting the one-on-one time that they both need.” If you do feel pressured as a parent in your increasingly “squeezed” lifestyle, it is almost certain that your children will feel the same. School counsellor Hazel Neill says that kids notice when their lives are constantly stretched to the limit. “One of the things that children do say to me, quite often, is that they are always rushing, and that Mom and Dad are always busy.” However, Neill says one way for parents to alleviate some pressure is to stop being so hard on themselves. “When you get home, your child is not overly concerned that the house is a bit messy, or that they’re having sandwiches for dinner, but they are concerned if they don’t get time to spend with Mom or Dad. Sometimes, as parents, we set unrealistically high standards for ourselves and sometimes what we have to prioritize is the quality time.” She says that even spending as little as five minutes a day, giving children our complete and undivided attention should not be underestimated. “One of the most important things to recognize is that five minutes of fully attending to your child is worth a huge amount.” This means switching off the TV and phones, shutting out any other distractions, and engaging with only your child and no one else. Neill also points out that even if our busy lives are overwhelming, there are many things we can do to make things easier. “Being busy doesn’t have to mean being stressed. Being super-organized really makes a difference.” She says that being punctual for things like school or daycare, and arriving in a calm, non-rushed way, all help to set your child up for a good day. By making a few small tweaks to your busy lifestyle, you can help family life run much more smoothly. “Even taking the time to eat a good breakfast together, as a family, models to your child that it’s important to take time out of your day to live well and in a calm way.” Neill also says that paying attention to structure and being consistent with everyday rules, such as mealtimes, bedtimes and screen time (i.e. watching TV/playing on the computer), make a difference to family equilibrium.


babyguide Book today! The 2012 Baby Guide is coming soon!

Helpful Reading Striking a Balance: Work, Family, Life by Robert. W. Drago Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work, and Family eds. Dawn Corner Jefferson and Rosanne Welch Paul Kershaw www.blogs.ubc.ca/newdealforfamilies Michele Kambolis www.michelekambolis.com

March 2012


Spring into Action in

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Spring is right around the corner and in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism Region, it’s easier than ever to get outside and explore – and there’s a lot to do!

Written by Andrea Visscher Photos by Bob Young This spring, spend a weekend away and explore the Sea to Sky corridor. Located just an hour outside of Vancouver, Squamish is known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. There is no limit to the abundant kid-friendly activities in store. For educational outings, make your first stop the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. Step into an authentic train station from the mid 20th century and discover restored steam engines and more in this popular railway heritage attraction. Keep rolling through Squamish and visit another historic attraction at the Britannia Mine Museum. Unearth your inner explorer with hands on activities perfect for all ages.


Afterwards, continue along the Sea to Sky Highway into Whistler for WildPlay and ziplining. Ecological adventure awaits high amongst the old growth fir trees at Whistler’s WildPlay Element Park. Suitable for kids as young as seven years, adventurers can swing, jump, climb, and conquer planks, swinging logs and cargo nets. Take a Ziptrek EcoTour and get a high speed bird’s eye view of the wildlife that call Whistler home. Back in Whistler Village, the Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone is a kid-friendly playground space with spider webs, go karts, trail rides, and batting cages. For an authentic farm-fresh experience, visit the Bakerview EcoDairy. Located in the agricultural heart of the Fraser Valley, this demonstration farm is the first of its kind in Canada. Visitors can learn about sustainable farming practices, new green technology, watch cows being milked with a robotic milker and check out the goats on the roof. Finish the day with a visit to historic Clayburn Village. The town was established in 1905 and today many original buildings still stand. Sample the bountiful candy offered inside the Clayburn Store. This restored tea house and confectionary was built in 1912 and boasts nearly every type of candy imaginable. Stay in one of the village’s historic buildings, which is now the charming Clayburn Village Bed & Breakfast. There are many family experiences to choose from in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism Region. Visit our blog at 604pulse.com for insider tips, upcoming events, and our favorite things to see and do in the region.



Get Away in Just a Day Family-Friendly Destinations That Aren’t so Far from Home Warmer weather means our thoughts turn to the open road, and this spring, we headed out to points south, east and north. The catch? No longer than a day of driving (hopefully a little less!) and must be a familyfriendly place that has enough variety to at least offer one busy day of fun and frolic for young and not-so-old (although two would be even better!). Here’s where we ended up:

Oliver/Osoyoos More Than Just Wine Country By Anya Levykh Just over four hours’ drive from Vancouver, this South Okanagan spot has some of the smallest and most dynamic micro-climates in B.C. Standing on the hill that is part of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, one can see straight across to Osoyoos Lake. On one sunny afternoon, you could see storm clouds and rain over the water just a few minutes’ drive away. The diversity of landscape translates into fun for families as well! Getting There: Take Highway 1 east, then exit onto Highway 3, known as the Crowsnest, which will— eventually—lead you to Highway 97, which goes straight through Osoyoos and Oliver. Count on about 4.5 hours of straight driving if coming from Vancouver, and be sure to pack lots of snacks and drinks, as the Crowsnest doesn’t have a lot of places to buy food and drink before you reach Hope.

Get Picky Covert Farms is a 600-acre organic farm just north of Oliver at the foot of anya McIntyre Bluff. Shop at the Farm Market or, better yet, bring some bags and baskets, and take advantage of the incredible U-Pick opportunities. Drive out to pick fresh peaches, berries or other fruits, vegetables and herbs, depending on the season, then head on back for an organic, Mexican lunch from their outdoor cantina. Anya says: The soft tacos are amazing, and don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the amazing views! www.covertfarms.ca staff pick

Don’t miss along the way: The Othello Tunnels in Hope, part of Coquihalla Canyon jen Park. Originally part of the Kettle Valley Railway, the tunnels are laced with a series of bridges that go through a gorge surrounded with sheer cliffs. The scenery is beautiful, and the tunnels are like going through a time-warp back to the frontier age. Just make sure to bring a flashlight! Jen says: We took our son there a few years ago, and we were all amazed! www.othellotunnels.com/attractions staff pick

Staying There: The Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos specializes in family accommodation right on the lake in downtown Osoyoos. The apartment-style suites feature separate bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchens, soaker tubs, DVD players and an outdoor pool with a very popular waterslide. Watermark Wine Bar and Lounge does bangup breakfasts with lamb bacon, free-range eggs and local produce, as well as lunches and dinners for the whole family. Or you can use one of the pool-side grills to barbecue your own steaks! www.watermarkbeachresort.com

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ihalla els at Coqu Othello Tunn BC ism ur To it: Cred


Canyon Pa

Fun in the Desert Head out to the Osoyoos Desert Centre for a guided (or not!) walk along the raised boardwalk that circles 1.5 kilometres. See jackrabbit, foxes, birds, butterflies and—yikes!—maybe a sleepy rattlesnake from your elevated perch, and then head into the interpretive centre to see more details on what kind of life calls this desert home. www.desert.org

Gourmet Breakfast Dolci Deli is just down the street from the resort. Enjoy a gourmet omelette or some of their house-cured meats, like the smoked bacon, with egg and fresh croissants. Then pack a picnic lunch of meats, olives, fruits, cheeses, bread and drinks to take on the road. www.dolcideli.com

Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad This 4,000-square-foot wonderland is the largest miniature European railway in Canada. Follow along the tracks to see the cities, towns, people, animals and attractions, all laid out with precise detail. www.osoyoosrailroad.com Rainy Day Escape Built in 1946 in the Art Deco jodi style of the Golden Era (red velvet curtains and all), the theatre has been owned and operated by the Lesmeister family since 1963. And while the look is vintage, the technology is digital and 3D-compatible. Great prices and air-conditioned, too! Jodi says: Four generations of my family have watched movies here. It’s wonderful and great for hot summer nights, too! www.olivertheatre.ca staff pick

Get Tickled Tickleberry’s in nearby Okanagan Falls is a local legend, thanks to their amazing, drool-worthy, fudge. The store is crowded during its open season, March through October, and sells a variety of ice creams, sorbets, tea accessories, kites, fanciful chandeliers and more. And, of course, there is the fudge. www.tickleberrys.com

Go For a Ride Rattlesnake Canyon is the local amusement park, with several rides, a minigolf course, a bungee bouncing station, arcade, climbing wall and café. Open June through September, it’s a great way for kids to burn off some energy while giving parents a chance to rest on the many convenient benches. www.rattlesnakecanyon.ca March 2012 15


Leavenworth A taste of Germany close to home By Ana Paula Calabresi and Angela Davidson Photos by Ana Paula Calabresi Who knew Europe could be so close? Barely a four-hour drive from Vancouver, Leavenworth, a small town in the heart of Washington, USA, is a great destination for a short family trip. From horseback riding, biking and river tubing to skiing in winter, Leavenworth has plenty of activities to keep your family busy year round. It’s also a big town for festivals, with some kind of event or celebration happening almost every weekend. If you can, try to make it down for Oktoberfest, which is one of the biggest in North America. The German-style Christmas is also pretty fantastic, but places get booked up long in advance for this one, so plan ahead. Since spring is on its way and as we look ahead to summer, here are some suggestions to explore the best of what Leavenworth has to offer during the warmer seasons. www.leavenworth.org How to Get There: Head for the border and get on Highway 2. It’s about a four-hour drive, with lots of great stops along the way. Take the Cascade Loop driving tour along the way to get the full scenic adventure. Make a stop at Lake Chelan, which is just an hour away and features amazing camping and nature walks. www.cascadeloop.com Where to Stay: I find that you can never go wrong with Best Western. Leavenworth’s Icicle Inn is a good family-friendly option for accommodation, a 10-minute walk away from downtown. The kids will love the pool, the arcade and the miniature golf course. And you can indulge yourself with a massage at its spa. The hotel is also pet-friendly. www.icicleinn.com If you like the camping life, the KOA Leavenworth is a haven for kids. With a full playground, games room, pool, and LOTS of green space to run around, it’s perfect for family camping. There’s even a fenced doggie playground for Fido, complete with obstacle courses and playhouse! A small general store and a coffee/snack bar with ice cream too. If you’re not the tenting kind, take a look at the great cabins. www.leavenworthkoa.com What to Eat: Traditional Bavarian food, of course! You won’t remember you are in the United States when you go down the stairs to Andreas Keller restaurant. The wooden country furniture and live harmonica music will make you feel like you are in a true German village. If you never had German food before, try the sampler plate to get a taste of typical sausages, German-fried potatoes and red cabbage. www.andreaskellerrestaurant.com

With a more informal setting, the outdoor patio of the München Haus on Front Street is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day over a stein of German beer. The specialty of the place is the variety of barbecue sausages (they are delicious and big!). www.munchenhaus.com

staff pick


You might not think of Mexican food right off the bat here, but check out South restaurant for fresh, modern Latin fare at great prices. Andrea says: The homemade chips and salsa were amazing, and we highly recommend the pork taco sampler and the green enchiladas. The lime margaritas were some of the best we’ve ever had! www.southleavenworth.com

What to Do Start your day early with a stroll along Front Street, with its colourful charming shops and unique Alpine architecture. Kids will have a blast at the Hat Shop, with a huge variety of funny hats and costumes. Your mouth will water by the windows of the yummy Danish pastries or chocolate shops. Handcrafted candles and soaps, clothing, fine art, jewellery—you will find all this and much more. www.hatshopwoodshop.com Just a short walk from Front Street is Waterfront Park, where you have beautiful views of the Wenatchee River. Kids and adults alike will enjoy hiking along the trails of the park or just relaxing – or playing – on the small beaches along the river. River tubing is one of the greatest activities for kids during summer. You can take your own tube or rent from a few places in town. But don’t leave it for the end of the day (like I did), the tube rent companies close at 6:00 p.m. on weekends in the summer. The more adventurous families can go rafting down the river. In the afternoon, visit the vast collection of nutcrackers of all sorts from all over the world at the Nutcracker Museum. The museum is open afternoons from May to October. www.nutcrackermuseum.com The Smallwoods Harvest is a must-stop for anyone travelling through the area with kids. Right on the main highway, about 5 minutes east of downtown Leavenworth, Smallwoods is a farm with a fantastic petting zoo, playground, cow train rides, and much more. The store here is filled with local produce, wine, and more regional goodies than we could list here. We stocked up with great snacks, drinks, and fruit, and spent the afternoon exploring the grounds. It’s a local favourite too, any time of year! www.smallwoodsharvest.com

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Powell River Nature’s Wonderland By Jamie Field Photos Courtesy of Tourism BC/Danielle Hayes Located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, this pristine area is home to some of the best outdoor opportunities on the West Coast. Formerly the site of the world’s largest pulp and paper mill, it is now also a cultural mecca, with a thriving arts and music scene. www.discoverpowellriver.com How to Get There: Located four to five hours northwest of Vancouver, you can reach Powell River via BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, then through Earl’s Cove to Saltery Bab. Although it’s part of the mainland, there are no roads going directly from Vancouver through to the area, so ferries are a must. Once you get there, it’s easy to get around by car. Where to Stay: Check out one of the many guest cabins and cottages available in the area, or go camp at Willingdon Beach Municipal Campsite for a full-service site with beach, playground and mini-golf and full amenities. www.willingdonbeach.ca Where to Eat: Stacey’s Just Baked Bakery and Café offers homestyle service, fresh-baked goods and excellent coffee. 4598 Marine Ave | 604.485.9185 For dessert, check out the gelato at Rene’s Pasta, made inhouse and super-fresh. 4701 Marine Ave | 604.485.4555

What to Do Visit Skylight Art Studio & Supplies for kids and adults art programs, art supplies and local crafts and art. www.skylightart.ca

staff pick


Powell River Historical Museum is home to some great exhibits on First Nations culture, early settlements in the area and the former logging and pulp mill, as well as local culture and music. Krysta says: This is a great way for the whole family to get to know the community and explore its rich history. www.powellrivermuseum.ca

For hikers of moderate skill, Valentine Mountain offers a short, uphill climb of about 100 steps, with the benefit of fabulous views of Powell River, Texada, Savary and Vancouver islands. www.sunshinecoast.com Lund, at the very end of the Pacific Coastal Highway, is a tiny fishing village with great salmon and cod fishing. Take a boat to the local marine park for some fantastic bird-watching. On the way back to Powell River, stop in at the Laughing Oyster for amazing seafood. The Wednesday night buffet is popular with locals. www.lundbc.ca | www.laughingoyster.ca The Powell Forest Canoe Route offers amazing scenery in a pristine area that includes eight lakes and five portages, for a total distance of 57 kilometres. Whew! To do the whole route comfortably takes almost a week, so maybe stick to a short section. www.canoeingbc.com/canoeroute If you’re a boater, Refuge Cove is a beautiful place to stop and refuel. Stock up on supplies, then take a walk to explore the gift shops, cafes and other services. www.refugecove.com Savary Island is another little gem that is a short ferry ride away from Powell River. Check out Riggers Restaurant and General Store for pub-style food and a store that feels like 7-Eleven meets Gilligan’s Island. www.savary.ca | www.riggerssavaryisland.com

March 2012 17


we approve!

Family-Friendly Travel Apps to Turn Your Trip into a Breeze! Road-Trip Bingo

Start up the app, shake to create a bingo card and then begin watching for signs, vehicles, animals and more. When you get five in a row, you win! Before you know it, you will be at your destination. $0.99-$1.99 for iPhone and iPad. Good for: Keeping the kids occupied in the car during that long weekend drive or just day-today errand-running.

Open Table

Find restaurants nearby and make reservations on the fly. Free for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows and Kindle Fire. Good for: Hungry families that don’t want to eat at a drive-thru.

Eat St.

Forget hot dogs and find the best street food trucks and carts across North America, searching by category or those closest to your location. Free for iPhone and Android. Good for: Gourmet pit-stops while wandering the streets of a new city.


The classic spelling game is so much more fun when the little man dances to his death across the screen, no? Free for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Good for: Early to late spellers—anytime.

Sunday Drives

Turns your otherwise long and boring car ride into a part of your vacation by pointing out scenic routes, historical landmarks, fun restaurants and hidden local gems along your route. Free for iPhone. Good for: Families driving for hours with a backseat full of bored and cranky kids.

Mom Maps

Locates family-friendly places on-the-go, like parks, restaurants and play areas, with reviews from other parents and a detailed map of how to get there. Free for iPhone and Android. Good for: Conveniently finding nearby places to fill vacation downtime.

Rest Area Finder

Automatically finds your current location and displays all nearby rest areas and welcome centres. Free for iPhone. Good for: Finding good pit stops for snacks and stretches on long drives.

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Gas Buddy

Finds the cheapest gas to your location anywhere in North America. Free for iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry. Good for: Saving money on re-fills for all those road trips, or just driving around town.


Browse millions of travellers’ reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions. Free for iPhone, Android, Palm and Windows. Good for: Finding interesting places on the go, and avoiding those that aren’t.


Interactive Panorama Capture and Sharing makes the best of your camera by stitching together your photos to create panoramic images. Send 360-degree views to friends and family while you’re on the road and prepare to be amazed. Free for all iOS devices. Good for: Wannabe photojournalists and slide-show showoffs.

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MORE CONTENT ONLINE! Looking for more ideas? Day camps, perhaps? Visit westcoastfamilies.com to see a full listing of Spring Break day camps for all ages & interests!

Just a short drive from Vancouver, Pemberton has some of the best ice fishing in the region. And after a day of hitting the slopes, this lowkey activity might be just the thing. Catch steelhead, rainbow trout, coastal cutthroat and more! DIY or turn to fishing guides like Pemberton Fish Finder to smooth the way. www.tourismpembertonbc.com www.pembertonfishfinder.com

Hit the Beach

A Rainy Day Tumble

Avoid the crowds, don the rubber boots and head out to enjoy the wind—and even spray—at Ambleside or Stanley Park. Make a sand castle with all that wet sand and then head out for a hearty lunch at Savary Island Pie Company in West Vancouver for gourmet soup and sandwiches, or Nook in the West End for authentic Italian pastas and pizzas.

Tumblewoods, a brand-new indoor play space located in Squamish, features three lifesize tree houses, a 20-foot rock climbing wall with auto-belay, a gated toddler area and a café with housemade soups, sandwiches and baked goods.




Teach Your Kids to Care

Just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Lynn Canyon Park is a gorgeous and pristine area with lots of family-friendly activities like mini-hikes, waterfalls and the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, which stretches 50 feet above ground level. Best of all? It’s free. www.lynncanyon.ca

GoVoluntouring.com offers family-friendly volunteer vacations, both locally (helping people with disabilities enjoy the outdoors in Kelowna) and abroad (turtle research and whale watching in Baja, California). Trips available from one day to two weeks. www.govoluntouring.com

Go Buggy for Bees

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

The Honeybee Centre in Cloverdale will be doing live hive openings and demonstrations three times daily during spring break. Find out how bees make honey, see where they store it and what they do with it, and learn how beekeepers care for their charges. Bonus, admission includes access to the Bug Lab, where you can see tarantulas and other spiders and insects.

The Young Naturalists’ Club of B.C. has several chapters throughout GVRD. Join a local group for a guided tour of the nature and wildlife in your own background. Each walk is around two hours in length. Hunt for fossils, discover life in a tidal pool and more! Events are mainly free, but preregistration is required.


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No, we’re not talking movies, but several museums offer half-price admission on Tuesday nights (like UBC’s Museum of Anthropology) or entry by donation (like Vancouver Art Gallery). And since the kids aren’t in school, early bedtimes aren’t a necessity. www.moa.ubc.ca www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

Ice Fishing in March? You Bet!

Visit the Other Suspension Bridge

Half-Price Tuesdays

Explore with BC Ferries Check out the packages to the Gulf and Vancouver Island. For instance, stay two nights at Salt Spring Island’s Green Acres Resort, with complimentary use of canoes, rowboats and paddle boats for $149/adult. Kids stay FREE and prices include return ferry and accommodation. www.bcferriesvacations.com

Lego My Lance, Sir Knight! Science World is running a fun Lego Castle Adventure. This hands-on exhibit lets kids explore castle-building using LEGO bricks. Dress up like princes and princesses, use a life-sized catapult to test the strength of your walls, and find out how and why castles are built the way they are. www.scienceworld.ca/lego

Biodiversity at its Best Beaty Biodiversity Museum, located at UBC, is home to over 20,000 square feet of collections and exhibits, including the largest blue whale skeleton on display in Canada. Interact with the specimens in the teaching lab, participate in activities designed for all ages and watch films celebrating biodiversity. www.beatymuseum.ubc.ca

For the Canucks Fan

Slow Down on Bowen Island

Rogers Arena offers weekly tours that take you behind the scenes to see where some of the biggest names in sports and performing arts strutted their stuff, prepared for the game and wound down post-show.

Only 20 minutes from Horseshoe Bay, Bowen Island is a perfect place to amble around, explore nature, do some toy shopping (yes, there’s a shop in the village), and do some relaxing, car-free biking. Park at the terminal, and then forget schedules—except for the ferry schedule, that it.



MAKE an Upcycled Scarf

Bike on the Spit

Make at Granville Island is offering FREE t-shirt scarf making workshops between March 9 and 23. Includes a t-shirt to cut up to make your scarf with, and half-price button making between 10am and noon. Details online.

Richmond’s Iona Beach, often referred to as the “the Spit”, lies adjacent to the Vancouver International Airport. Hike or bike the four-kilometre dyke out into the Georgia Strait, or go birdwatching at the two artificiallycreated ponds.



Get Dirty at VanDusen

Explore Chinatown

Stroll the gardens, explore the new Visitor Centre (a living, LEED-certified building), and take part in one of the fun family programs, like the kaleidoscopemaking workshop on March 17. Stop in at Truffles Café afterward for housemade sandwiches and pastries!

It’s proudly the second-largest Chinatown in North America, and is one of BC’s oldest neighbourhoods. Visit the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, and explore historical landmarks like the Millennium Gate, the world’s narrowest building. Stop in for lunch at Floata Seafood for dim sum.



March 2012 21


stars w Polly Krivchun

Rhythmic Gymnast

hile most eight-year-olds are busy trading collector cards and catching up on their favourite TV shows, Polly is busy most days training in the gym. The recipient of over 50 gold medals and 10 trophies from provincial, national and international competitions, Polly divides her time between gymnastics, school and her various other interests, which include ballroom dancing, laser tag, swimming, skating and playing guitar. “I have been doing rhythmic gymnastics since I was four,” says Polly, “so for half of my life!” It makes sense when you consider the family background. Polly’s mom, Alla, was also a rhythmic gymnast, and went on to become a Ukrainian National Team Member. After moving to Canada, Alla founded Planet Rhythmics, a local rhythmic gymnastics club, which she ran successfully for over a decade before Polly’s birth. “My mom was taking me to practice since I was two weeks old. Actually, I was almost born in the gym. My mom finished her regular training one day, and a few hours later, I was born! I’ve been there ever since.” Polly has been a three-time B.C. Provincial Champion since she first competed at the age of five, as well as a North American champion five times in a row. Her coach, Natasha Korkh, is credited for her unfailing support and encouragement, and this year Polly competed in Europe for the first time. She placed fourth out of over 250 contestants, and also won the Miss Personality prize—which isn’t a surprise when you get to know her. Despite her grueling schedule—she spends 20 hours per week training, in addition to attending a rigorous bilingual school in West Vancouver and participating in other activities—Polly is a cheerful, upbeat and enthusiastic child. “I love what I do—especially the performances and travelling to other cities and countries. And I love doing my make-up and hair!” enthuses Polly. “And since I know how to speak in English, French and Russian, I can make friends almost anywhere in the world.” When asked how she balances everything, Polly replies, “My mom is a very organized person and she helps me balance it all. My school gives me a lot of homework, but because I really want to be the best in everything…I do it very fast!” As for the future: “Besides coaching someday, I want to be a reporter on CTV News. They know everything and I want to know everything, too!” Do you know a local rising star? A talented musician or artist? A social activist? An eager scientist? Let us know about them, and they could be featured here, too! Email info@westcoastfamilies.com to nominate your own rising star!

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Eating Clean on the Go

The Essential Hit List: What to Eat, How to Pack and Where to Go in a Pinch


By Alyssa Bauman hether it’s a day adventure out in your city, a three-day camping road trip or the scheduled Thursday gymnastics class, every parent knows never, ever, let your kid get hungry. Avoid meltdowns, stabilize moods and keep your child primed and ready to handle daily stressors and emotions by always having healthy food on hand. A little preparation the night before is all you need, and it’s surprisingly quick when you have the right supplies. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking in terms of meals. Kids get over half their nutrition from snacks alone. Focus on nutrient-dense whole foods snacks and keep processed foods to a bare minimum. Instead of the apple-flavoured snack bar, choose an apple. Sure the snack food choices are accessible and endless, but try to navigate it by keeping refined and added sugars to an all-time low. Local competitive ice hockey player Stephanie Burlton handcrafts healthy whole food snack bars in an industrial kitchen in Gastown. Brio Bars (www.briobar.com), which come in flavours like Almond Hazelnut Brownie and Pina Colada, contain less than five ingredients, go through little processing and have no refined or added sugars. Burlton, always on the go and in need of instant energy (sound like your kid?), just wasn’t satisfied with the packaged bars available and decided that to sustain her energy, she needed to make her own. The result: a yummy, kid-approved bar for those who are NOT sensitive to nuts.

Easy and fast on-the-go snacks

Cooked organic soybeans and peas; veggies like carrot and cucumbers cut into chips; celery and pepper sticks; fruit—dried, cut up and whole; roasted chick peas; kale chips; Brio bars; air-popped popcorn; hummus; nut or seed butter and honey sandwiches; organic meatballs and mini muffins (maybe pulled easily from your freezer?); soups; whole-grain crackers; brown rice cakes and crackers; cubed cheese; corn chips and salsa. For those with nut sensitivities, look at products like Barney Butter and Savi Seeds, available at Whole Foods and Choices, that are completely nut-free.

How to Pack

The right food storage makes packing up food that much easier and portable, not to mention greener. Pretty, bright containers make healthy food fun and alluring for kids. You’ll be surprised just how much they eat when it’s packaged well. These containers easily double to pack up restaurant leftovers, so an hour later when you hear “Mom, I’m hunnnnngry,” you are armed. These local companies are making great strides in cleaning up our city and making the Ziploc baggie a thing of the past. Amen. Onyx Stainless steel bottles and tiered-tiffins keep things warm and compartmentalized—soups, rice and hearty fare; or cool—fruit, salad, cheese, etc. Plus, they could be spill proof if you don’t fill food to the top. www.raspberrykids.com Wean Green Tempered glass containers come in bright fun colours in all different sizes—square snack cubes, smaller baby food cubes, sandwich cubes and bowls. Specifically designed for little hands to snap open, Lil’ Miss Independent can do it herself so you won’t have to pull over. www.raspberrykids.com

Innate Gear makes very cool and functional on-the-go food storage. Stainless steel bottles, thermos and containers with food-grade silicone lids double as bowls to make sharing (what a concept) that much easier, cleaner and convenient. www.innate-gear.com So what happens when, well, you just didn’t get it together? Luckily, Vancouver is a super health-conscious city. It’s easy to still eat well even on the road. Do yourself and your family a favour and skip the nasty fast-food chains serving up three days’ worth of saturated fat in their sugar-and-sodium-laden foods. Instead, try these around-the-town healthy go-to spots that are fast, handy and oh-so-healthy.

Healthy Fast Food Spots Wrap Zone What kid doesn’t like a fun snack wrap? Roll up a load of fresh veggies in a whole grain wrap or try one of the healthy kids’ choices featuring brown rice, veggies, and even tofu. Skip the juices and empty-calorie colas and opt for water (which you will no doubt have packed in the car, see above) or feel good about splurging on one of the real-fruit smoothies. Locations in B.C. include Vancouver, North Vancouver, South Surrey/ White Rock, Kelowna and Vernon. www.wrapzone.com Whole Foods When road-tripping with more than one adult, keep the kids in the car and run into this grocery store’s fabulous prepped food zone. Choose from an array of healthy options like salads, bean salads, grilled chicken kabobs, vegan goods, baked goods and hummus. Try the burrito, sushi, smoothie, salad and sandwich bars. Locations throughout Vancouver and West Vancouver. wholefoodsmarket.com Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company This super kid-friendly restaurant featuring local produce serves up organic artisan pizzas, salads and pastas, and nitrate-free organic meats. Call ahead for pizza to go. Locations in Vancouver in Kitsilano and on Main Street. www.rockymountainflatbread.ca Sejuiced Fresh vegetable and fruit juices, shakes, vegetarian chilis and burgers, savoury soups, quesadillas, vegetable wraps and sandwiches, rice and quinoa bowls, and huge yummy salads are all available for pick up at this counterservice gem. They will even pack in your own containers to avoid a car mess. Call ahead for to-go orders and expedited service to stay. In Kitsilano. www.sejuicedvancouver.com Booster Juice This chain juice and smoothie spot stocks healthier food choices like wraps, quesadillas and interesting snacks. Multiple locations in BC. www.boosterjuice.com Certified holistic nutritionist and health consultant Alyssa Bauman founded Nourished {A Health Consulting Firm} two years ago when she was constantly being asked for healthy living advice. Eating well fuels your life, your passions and what’s important to you. Foods she cant live without: kale, Llmon, quinoa, avocado, berries, chick peas. www.nourished.ca March 2012 23


Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Improving Developmental Health Through Sport


By Brooke Sherwood and Angela Davidson ody Ouellette is your typical 12-year-old boy chasing the dream of one day making it to the NHL. Weekends are filled with hockey practices and games with for his minor hockey team in Aldergrove. Here’s what is not as typical about Cody: he didn’t step on the ice to learn how to skate until he was 11 years old, and has diagnosed A.D.D (Attention Deficit Disorder) and A.D.H.D. (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). According to the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, A.D.D affects approximately five to 12 percent of school-aged children in Canada, so Cody is far from alone. “Prior to joining hockey, Cody struggled in school both academically and socially” says Sonya, Cody’s mom. According to Cody’s parents, due to his A.D.D and A.D.H.D, Cody’s mind is constantly moving at a high speed with an immense amount of thoughts and processes. This makes it hard for him to concentrate, causing him to become easily distracted, which in turn was causing issues for Cody at school, and these same issues were starting to isolate him from his peers. When he was diagnosed at age nine, the Ouellette’s decided to try and find outlets for Cody so he could relieve the stress he was feeling on a daily basis, and expand his skills socially. According to KidSport Canada www. k i d s p o r tc a n a d a . c a ) , t h e Ouellette’s were on the right track. Several recent studies show that participating in organized sports improves children’s self-esteem and selfconfidence, as well as academic performance, and teaches positive social coping skills. Despite being a “late bloomer” by hockey standards, Cody is a skilled player and a leader on his team. Last year his team won the divisional banner in the Pacific Coast Hockey League. This year he was picked to be affiliated with the PeeWee rep team, one of only five kids in the association given the honour. Cody’s success on the ice was not the only thing worth celebrating that season. “With hockey, Cody developed confidence, more self-control and discipline. He started to understand what accountability was and why it was important. He was accountable to his team, and our deal was he had to do well in school in order to play hockey. He didn’t want to let his team down,” says Sonya. “When he started to gain success in sports, he gained success in school, too.”

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That success translated into closer friendships with his school and team mates. According to “The True Sport Report,” a research paper published by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, physical exercise has been shown to reduce clinical symptoms in patients with psychiatric disorders, including depression. Organized sports are also associated with less anti-social behaviour in youth, including incidences of drug and alcohol abuse, and can be a key factor in adolescent identity formation, a critical step in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. For most of us sports are something we do to pass the time and perhaps achieve a measure of success. But for the Ouellette’s, the success will be measured differently, not by banners won or goals scored, but by knowing that no matter the outcome, Cody overcame his obstacles in life by finding passion and determination within himself through the medium of sport.

Resources In addition to KidSport, which helps parents with grants to cover the cost of registration for one season of sport, there are several organizations that help children with developmental disabilities thrive through sport. Canucks Autism Network provides year-round sports, recreational and vocational programs for families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. www.canucksautism.ca The Let’s Play program is directed at B.C. children eight years of age and under with mobility-related disabilities by providing them with equipment, training and resources to facilitate active participation in sport. www.letsplaybc.ca ConnecTra is a local website that maintains a comprehensive list of Vancouver and Lower Mainland organizations and programs that help individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. Click on “Recreation & Leisure.” www.connectra.org B.C. Developmental Disabilities Association offers programs and resources for children, adults and families in Vancouver and Richmond. www.develop.bc.ca

March 2012 25


Feeding a Picky Eater By Sierra Skye Gemma


y son has been a picky eater since the age of two. While most children grow out of the picky eater phase by ten, my 11-year-old shows no signs of doing so. Like many parents of picky eaters, I worry about his nutrition. I decided to stop worrying and start investigating. I contacted Jessica Begg, a Registered Dietitian with Flourish Wellness + Nutrition in Vancouver. Begg’s first piece of advice: follow the Canada Food Guide. Focus meals on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Begg recommends shopping for produce by colour. The bright colour of some fruits and vegetables is a visual cue for the nutrients they contain. For example, blueberries and other dark berries, oranges, spinach, and bell peppers are all high in antioxidants. The rich colours of tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and mangoes are an indicator of vitamin A. Begg’s second piece of advice: feed your child the same foods you eat. Making special meals for a picky eater sends the message that your child doesn’t have to follow the same rules as the rest of the family. Oops! I was definitely guilty of this. Making this change was difficult, but I avoided dinnertime battles during the transition by offering at least one vegetable I knew my son liked. I still wanted to move dinners beyond one “safe” vegetable. How exactly does a parent get their picky eater to try new foods? In Elizabeth Pantley’s book, The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution, she proposes that you start with a good attitude and a supportive environment. Pantley reasons that you can’t force your child to eat, but you can control which foods you offer and how you respond to confrontations. “A good attitude is contagious, so make yours worth catching.” Forget the “eat your vegetables” lectures. One study found that they lead to more resistance to trying new foods. Instead, lead by example and share your enthusiasm for food with your child. I decided to try out this suggestion. I stopped vocalizing my criticism of my son’s pickiness. I gently encouraged him to keep an open mind, but remained calm when he wouldn’t try a new food. Leading by example, I made Brussels sprouts. As a child, I hated Brussels sprouts, and I didn’t hide this fact from my son. Instead I told him how sometimes your taste buds change, so it is good to re-try foods. I said we would try the sprouts and if we liked them, I could make them again. Feeling no pressure, he tried and liked the Brussels sprouts! (Too bad I didn’t!) Pantley highlights the importance of creating an environment that promotes healthy foods. She suggests looking at your refrigerator and cupboards from

Cool Find: Today I Ate a Rainbow! Rainbow Kit Designed by a local mom, the colourful chart and book act as interactive tools to get kids eating more fruits and veggies. $20 at Spa Utopia in Langley and online at www.growinguporganic. ca. www.todayiatearainbow.com

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your child’s perspective. Where are the treats? Where are the healthy foods? If the first foods your child sees are sweet or salty snacks, it’s only natural that he will ask for the treats in front of him. I suddenly understood why my son was always asking for granola bars. Those were the only snacks that were visible to him! If you put fruits and healthy snacks at your child’s eye level and hide the cookies and chips, you will have created an environment that supports your mission. After I changed my attitude and my environment, I started looking for additional ways to guide my child through his picky phase. The following expert advice was the most helpful for my family. Be Patient. Keep offering a new food without expecting your picky eater will try it. As pediatrician Dr. Joshua Rosenblatt states, “Some youngsters need to be offered a new food up to 15 times before they will eat it.” Let your child smell, examine, or squish the food if she chooses, but don’t pressure her to try it. If she tries the food, don’t offer praise. If she won’t take a bite, don’t criticize. You can make these new food encounters stress-free and casual by remaining neutral to her reactions. Go Slow. Make small changes in order to make a big difference. Pantley advises slowly replacing unhealthy ingredients with more nutritious choices. For example, trade in hot dogs, sausages, and high-fat deli meats for healthier options, like turkey or chicken sausages and organic luncheon meats. Be Cunning. Hide healthy foods if necessary. Pantley reasons that if you hide healthy ingredients in well-liked dishes, you won’t be as anxious about your child’s nutrition, resulting in more relaxed meals. I’ve had great success in hiding nutritious ingredients in my son’s favourite foods. For example, I’ve added finely chopped mushrooms and kale to taco meat and finely chopped spinach and red bell pepper to spaghetti sauce, all without notice. Smoothies offer one of the easiest places to hide unfamiliar fruits and veggies. Pour leftover smoothies into popsicle molds to make healthy “treats” you’ll be happy to serve. Timing is Everything. Reveal healthy foods when the time is right. Pantley recommends that you casually unveil hidden healthy foods only after your child has enjoyed the dish several times. One way to do this is to invite them to help you make dinner. Add the suspect ingredient to the recipe in a matterof-fact way and let your child draw his own conclusions. Each child is different, so reveal foods only when you think your picky eater is ready.

Helpful Links

Picky-Proof Smoothies

PickyEating.ca. A commercial site with explanations of various eating disorders, plus tips and resources. www.pickyeating.ca

Blend and share each recipe for easy, nutritious “treats.” Each recipe makes 2-3 servings.

Breakfast for Learning. National nonprofit organization dedicated to child nutrition programs in Canada. Website has sample menu plans and recipes. www.breakfastforlearning.ca

Banana Berry Bomb 1 cup fresh baby spinach 1 cup frozen blueberries 1/2 banana 1/2 cup blueberry juice or berry-based 100% fruit juice blend 1/2 cup vanilla-flavoured Greek yogurt

Health Canada. Government website, with Canada Food Guide and detailed explanations of dietary requirements for each age group. Click on “Food and Nutrition.” www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Orangesicle Surprise 1 cup frozen mangoes or peaches 1/2 cup 100% orange or orange-tangerine juice 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup vanilla-flavoured Greek yogurt

reading corner Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Theory and Practice, 2nd ed.

How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant?

By Margaret Thompson, Christine Hooper, Cathy Laver-Bradbury, Christopher Gale Geared more towards mental health professionals, this book is nonetheless an invaluable resource for parents of children with mental illness, full of case histories, diagnosis tools, interventions and more. $55.00

By Caitlin Friedman, illustrated by Shaw Nielsen This charming little story about a hungry giant who comes for lunch is beautifully illustrated with lots of pop-up imagery and the recipes for everything the giant eats are included for kitchen-curious kids, all in serving sizes suitable for one hungry giant (or eight little kids). The blueberry muffins were our favourite! Suitable for ages four and up. $16.68

Suzie’s Sourdough Circus

Camping with Kids: The Best Campgrounds in British Columbia and Alberta

By Kathy Sage, illustrated by Eliska Liska In this part-storybook, part-cookbook, spend a day in the kitchen with Suzie, her dad, and a whole circus of sourdough starter cells, and learn how to make wholegrain sourdough breads, pancakes, bannock, and even a chocolate and vanilla sourdough cake. $9.95

Good Food to Go: Healthy Lunches Your Kids Will Love By Brenda Bradshaw and Cheryl Mutch, M.D. Feeding kids healthy and nutritious meals and snacks isn’t always easy. This power-packed book is full of creative ideas for balanced lunches and nutritious snacks, plus bulk cooking ideas, meal planners, lastminute meals and more. We loved the Greek picnic!


Freshalicious: Eat Fresh, Live Local, Eat Healthy By Stacey Fokas More than just a cookbook, this is a sharing of one Canadian woman’s food journeys, as she reconnects with the food, and growers, in her own “backyard.” Recipes are conveniently divided into seasons, to be in line with what’s locally available, with many options for vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free meals. We like the chapter on local beers and how to cook with them!


By Jayne Seagrave An expert camper and author of several books on camping, Seagrave explores the world of camping and travelling with kids in B.C., including camping while pregnant to camping with babies to pre-teens. Great listing of family-oriented campground in B.C., which a small section on Alberta. $17.95

The Travel Mom’s Ultimate Book of Family Travel: Planning, Surviving and Enjoying Your Vacation Together By Emily Kaufman Vacations can bring families closer together—and also drive them crazy. Kaufman puts together a savvy list of locations, ideas and packing tips, plus advice on how to deal with some of the “stickier” aspects of family travel, like missed flights, sick kids, boredom, quarrelling siblings, and more. $21.00 .

Frommer’s 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up By Holly Hughes Whether you’re looking to travel across the world, or simply across town, this carefully-selected collection of destinations will help create amazing trips the whole family will enjoy—not to mention a pretty cool wish list. Includes listings for cities, parks, zoos, attractions and more, all organized and cross-referenced by age and interest, as well as geographically. $19.99

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westcoastwalks Main


Grab the kids and a travel mug, and join us as we explore South Main in the Riley Park neighbourhood! Bead Freaks Beads and Handmade Jewellery 4412 Main St. @ E. 29th Ave | 604.872.2210 www.beadfreaks.ca Gems, jewels, carvings, pearls, and, of course, beads! From all around the world and right in your backyard. Check out the Sunday drop-in workshops, take the little ones for a jewellery-making session, and don’t forget to grab a “mystery bag” on your way out! We Love: The Baltic amber beads, golden and perfect for necklaces.

Bean Sprouts Kids’ Clothing, Consignment, Shoes, Gifts & Toys 4305 Main St. @ E. 28th Ave | 604.871.9782 www.beansprouts.ca This long-established children’s store is a treasure-trove of unique clothing, accessories and toys for newborns to kids eight years of age. Lots of handcrafted, recycled and organic items, plus a play area to keep the little ones busy while you shop! We Love: The little playzone and aquarium to keep your little shoppers happy while you explore.

Shaktea Tea Merchant and Lounge 3702 Main St. @ E. 21st Ave | 604.873.5151 | www. shaktea.ca Feel the need of a relaxing cuppa in a calm and serene environment? With over 75 loose-leaf teas hand-picked from around the world, Shaktea offers sweet and savoury treats, sandwiches and tea accessories, plus workshops designed to increase your enjoyment—and knowledge—of tea. We Love: Their afternoon tea service is divine!

Need Lunch?

Cuppa Joe?

Liberty Bakery

Trafiq Café & Bakery

3699 Main St @ 22nd | 604.709.9999

4216 Main St. @ E. 27th | 604.648.2244 www.cafetrafiq.ca

If you want to hang where the Main Streeters hang, this is your spot. You enter from the side alley, and immediately you’re greeted by pastries, animal-shaped cookies and paninis. How inviting!

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Need a pick-me-up of local coffee and a housemade croissant? This licensed café has both, along with a nice little wine list for days when you need something stronger.

We’re hitting the street - where YOU live! Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Organic Pizza, Salads and Pasta 4186 Main St. @ E. 26th Ave | 604.566.9779 www.rockymountainflatbread.ca Owners Suzanne and Dominic Fielden are enthusiastic about their eco-friendly, sustainable and organic model, and it shows. Everything on the menu here is local, organic, seasonal and sustainable, and made with love. Kids will love the play area, with its wooden kitchen, kitschy aprons and felted wool toys. Adults will love the wine list and the wood-fired pies. We Love: The great play area for kids to get their sillies out while you enjoy your dinner.

Granville Island Toy Company Toys, Crafts, Games & Gifts 3298 Main St. @ E. 17th | 604.875.0065 www.toycompany.ca Whether you’re looking for a Playmobil set for your wee one, erector sets for a little engineer, or crafty sets for a mosaic master, this cozy and long-established store has it all. Check out the costume selection for year-round dress-up, as well as the awesome outdoor toys. We Love: The giant collection of Schleich animals.

The Regional Assembly of Text Stationary, Card-Making, Gifts 3934 Main St. @ E. 24th Ave. | 604.877.2247 www.assemblyoftext.com Books, buttons, stamps, cards, old-fashioned typewriters, a reading room (with seating!) and anything else that has to do with text— you’ll find it here. Check out their button-making station for a cool kid craft project on a rainy day. We Love: The button-making station for kids and grown-ups.

Stop & Stock Up Mainly Organics Neighbourhood Market 3010 Main St @ 28th Wheat-free, dairy-free, organic, all natural, fair-trade groceries– you name it, Mainly Organics will probably have it. A small store tucked away on bustling Main Street, this health food shop sells everything you need to stay vigorous and fit. As well as food and vitamins, Mainly Organics also sells delicious breads and pastas, natural beeswax candles, and personal care products.

after dark... Sweet Revenge Patisserie 4160 Main St @ 26th | 604.TRY.SWEET | sweet-revenge.ca This “desserts only” restaurant is an ideal way to finish off your busy day. The warm and inviting interior with faux tin ceilings, lush red wallpapers, oil lamps, antique style furniture and softwood floors set the mood. March 2012 29

community calendar VSO: Sailing the Musical Sea Vancouver Playhouse Theatre March 2, 10am & 11:30am Terry Fox Theatre, Port Coquitlam March 3, 10 & 11:30am “Let your music shine” with Lisa and Lucy, children’s entertainers. Jump and clap, swing and sing with Presto the Porpoise and Largo the Tortoise on this music-filled adventure on the high seas! 604.876.3434 | www.vancouversymphony.ca

A Little Princess Surrey Arts Centre March 2 & 3, 7:30pm March 4, 2:30pm Sara Crewe begins life as the beloved, pampered daughter of a rich man. When he dies penniless, the greedy headmistress at Sara’s boarding school shows her no mercy. Through her own integrity, the friendship of two other girls, and some astonishing luck, Sara maintains the generous spirit of a “real” princess. Tickets $16.75. Ideal for ages six and up. 604.501.5566 | www.surrey.ca Footloose Genesis Theatre, Ladner March 3-6, 7pm Delta Secondary presents Footloose, a fun musical recreated from the 1980s classic movie that the whole family is sure to enjoy! Tickets start at $10. 604.940.0069 | footloosedss.weebly.com Family Concert Series: Magician Yeeri Tsawwassen Arts Centre March 3, 2-4pm Vancouver Magician Yeeri will perform magic with intriguing props such as scarves that change colors, magic flowers and fun card tricks that children will enjoy. As part of this magic show, Yeeri also incorporate games for the kids and will perform some very funny puppetry with Ricky Raccoon. He involves as many children as possible to help him perform his magic. 604.952.3000 Hansel & Gretel Evergreen Cultural Centre March 4, 2pm Vancouver Opera’s darkly fantastic version of this classic tale will especially appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Twilight and other bewitching series. The show, based on Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic opera version of the Grimm Brothers’ fable, features four energetic young opera singers, one nimble-fingered pianist, a gorgeous “Edwardian” set and colourful costumes. Tickets $10-$18. 604.927.6555 | www.evergreenculturalcentre.ca Highlands Preschool Annual Children’s Sale Highlands Preschool, North Vancouver March 3, 9am-noon This is one of the Lower Mainland’s biggest children’s sales, with dozens of vendors and hundreds of shoppers every year. This is a great opportunity to sell new and gently used baby and children’s items in the most anticipated annual children’s sale on the North Shore! 604.980.1740

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Iron Scientist Returns! Science World March 10, 2pm Take the challenge and try to win a prize in this popular weekend program! Meet in the Innovation Lab. 604.443.7443 | www.scienceworld.ca Princess Tea Party benefitting the Children’s Wish Foundation The Coast Hotel & Convention Centre, Langley March 10, noon-3:30pm Join in for an afternoon of everything princess! Visit the Princess Parlour for your very own royal makeover, enjoy a variety of entertainment and activities, and sample delicious treats at the High Tea. Princes and Pirates are also welcome and encouraged to attend. With the purchase of your ticket, you are helping to ensure that The Children’s Wish Foundation can continue to grant the most heartfelt wishes of local kids with high-risk life-threatening illnesses. Tickets $25. Princesses, Princes, Kings and Queens welcome! 604.299.2241 | www.wishmonth.ca Family Fun Nights South Surrey Recreation Centre March 16, 6-10pm Are you tired of doing the same old thing on Friday nights? Why not switch up your routine with some healthy fun? Bring the whole family and enjoy activities, crafts and games in the youth lounge and Gym Three. $3/person. 604.592.6970 Saturn-5 Saturday: Blast off to Fun! H.R. MacMillan Space Centre March 17, 12:30-3:30pm This popular program runs on the third Saturday of each month. Each month has a different space-themed activity. Collect the secret code words of at least six sessions for an invitation to the Mission Accomplished wrap-up party on December 15. 604.738.7827 | www.spacecentre.ca Art Walks for Strollers Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre March 23, 10-11:30 am Yaletown is rich with preserved history as well as contemporary art and dynamic urban development. Babies in strollers and their adults join artist and educator Catherine Pulkinghorn on a walking exploration of public art and public spaces in the Roundhouse neighbourhood. Catherine highlights obscure and hidden treasures, while interpreting the familiar with insight and passion. $5/session www.roundhouse.ca

The Sanctuary at Hastings Park Nature Walks The Sanctuary at Hastings Park March 24, 9am Participation in these walks is free! They begin in the north-east corner of the Sanctuary rain or shine. Suitable for seniors, adults and families, the walk is led by a naturalist who will help you identify the amazing diversity that now exists in this ‘natural’ city park. No dogs please. Please use public transit and walk in via the Renfrew & Pandora, Hastings & Renfrew or Hastings & Lillooet entrances. www.vancouver.ca Kids Swap Meet at Cloverdale Fairgrounds Cloverdale Fairgrounds March 24, 9am-1pm This is an excellent opportunity to buy new and used infant to teen items. Vendors selling maternity items, clothing for all ages, toys, video games, furniture, strollers, bikes, sports equipment and more. There will be a concession and ATM on site. 604.588.9919 Vancouver Tap Ensemble: Heyday Scotiabank Dance Centre March 29, noon Tapping out intricate combinations to jazz rhythms, effortlessly mixing technical skill with musicality and charm, the dancers will not only take the audience back to a bygone era, but also seamlessly open up the future of tap with innovative technical prowess. The performance will be followed by a question and answer session for artists and audience. Tickets start at $8. 604.606.6400 | www.thedancecentre.ca Movie, Swim and Pizza Night Greg Moore Youth Centre March 31, 6-9:30pm Come out for an evening of swimming at the Leisure Centre and then move over to the Greg Moore Youth Centre, where you will get to eat pizza and watch a movie on our giant movie screen. For kids ages seven to 12. $16/person. www.mapleridge.ca Easter Carnival Coal Harbour Community Centre March 31, 10am-noon Hippity, hoppity, Spring has sprung! Join the Easter Bunny for an Easter egg hunt, arts and crafts, play time, face painting, and mini petting zoo. Pre-registration is recommended as space is limited. For kids two to six years. Parent participation required. Day of event drop-in admission: $6/child. 604.718.8222 | www.westendcc.ca The Cat Came Back Vancouver Playhouse March 31, 1pm & 7pm Suitable for kids three to 10 years and their parents! Get your tickets at the Playhouse. More shows run into the beginning of April at different times. 604.873.3311

mom westcoast

spice goddess

Bal Arneson Photographed by Bopomo Pictures www.bopomo.ca

wcm feature

parental friendships

March 2012 31

wcm profile

Bal Arneson

The Spice Goddess Dishes on Life, Food and Living Agelessly By Anya Levykh


f you haven’t watched her show on the Food Network, or her judging appearances on Iron Chef America, you may not be as familiar with her name, but Bal Arneson deserves fame for more than just her ability to make fabulous roti. Arneson was born in the village of Tibi (a tiny community of about 50 homes), in India’s Punjab region. Although she received a basic education, the expectation was that she would grow up to become a good sister, wife and mother. “Education was something I longed for. I would look at my girl cousins in the city, who were educated; they had such elegance. And they were always treated with respect by the men in my household. I thought if I was educated, I could have that, too. But my education was supposed to be about making good food and being an obedient daughter, so I was deprived of that until I came here.” The move happened because of an arranged marriage. As a young bride, Arneson quickly settled into the role of a “good” wife and soon had a child. The marriage didn’t work, however, and ended in divorce, leaving a young Bal with sole custody of an infant daughter and no way of making a living. When I asked how old she was at the time, the response was “I could have been 19 or 21. No one really knows, because I don’t know when I was born. When women are born [back home], they’re not welcomed,” Arneson explains. “Everyone is expecting and hoping for boys. So no one is going to take time to write down the date of a girl’s birth. I remember asking my mom if she remembered roughly when I was born, and she said it was when Pakistan attacked India. But since Pakistan is always attacking India, that didn’t help much. This week we’re celebrating my 40th birthday, but nobody really knows if I’m 40 or 38,” laughs Arneson. Arneson ended up picking her own date. “At first I picked February 1, because it was the birthday of an Indian actor that I had a huge crush on, but then it changed to the 7th, for whatever reason.” When I pointed out this made her an Aquarius, the reply was “Good. They’re very strong leaders, strong women.” That lack of attachment to one’s age has created a freedom of thought and unique perspective in Arneson, one she credits to the culture she was born in. “Celebrating your birth is a very Western notion,” continues Arneson. “Back home, we never celebrated birthdays. We celebrated festivals, birthdays of holy gurus, maybe, but never individual births. Women celebrated more what they did or became, like when you get your first period, that means your parents can start looking for a match for you. Then you get married and become a wife and daughter-in-law. And when you give birth the first time, you become a mom. This part of the culture I love. No one goes through depression when they turn 30 or 40 or 50, because it’s not your age that matters, it’s what you’ve accomplished in your life.” Accomplishment is something Arneson has in spades. After her divorce, she began cooking for busy families in the community, cleaning houses, anything to get by. And she went back to school, getting a degree in education. “I still teach part-time,” Arneson proudly states.

32 WestCoastFamilies.com

She eventually went on to complete her Master’s in Education, while still cooking privately and offering workshops. After a couple of years, Bal approached a local television station about doing a morning show, and the rest is culinary history. Today, she is writing her memoir, working on a new cookbook (her third to date), and filming the next season of Spice Goddess, which was nominated for the prestigious James Beard award last year. She has also created her own line of spices. “It’s so empowering to be able to share food with people, to show moms that they don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making something good for their kids,” enthuses Arneson. As for the future? “I am seriously considering doing a Ph.D. in women’s studies some day, focusing on women and leadership in Afghanistan, India, all around the world.” The idea is one that Arneson has been mulling over for some time, and comes from her strongly held beliefs about the status of women here and abroad. “I love women, and I think we need to support each other, mentor each other, make each other strong. I’ve had such fantastic opportunities here, so many things I would never have gotten to try back home. And I think it’s my duty to pass on opportunities to others, just as many people helped me along the way.” For now, though, Arneson is focusing more on her job as a mom to two active children. (Her son is from her second marriage.) She is inordinately proud of her offspring, regaling me with stories of their exploits and accomplishments. It’s clear that labels don’t form any part of her maternal identity. “I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘single’ mom, or a deprived mom, or a victim of some sort. Because I’ve lived the life of the girl in a village where you don’t have a choice, where you don’t have the freedom of being a woman. And here, I wake up every morning so grateful for what I have. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to be myself. And that is so powerful.” To learn more about Bal, visit her website at www.spicegoddess.com. Hair styling by Suki’s, www.suki’s.com.

wcm feature

Parental Friendships By Michelle Eliot


recall being the new girl in school, back in seventh grade. While throngs of kids clumped together in groups on the playground, I’d stand alone at the edge, fidgeting with my ponytail or stretching the ends of my sweater sleeves and tucking my hands inside—that prepubescent attempt at a portable security blanket. Making New Friends Can be a Scary Prospect As you grow up, you settle into the comfort of knowing you may never have to go through it again. That is, until you become a parent. Parenthood forces changes in existing friendships, and creates a need for new ones just when you thought you had your social circle all figured out. Take, for example, when your children start school. Parents are encouraged to get to know each other. But going beyond the casual hallway hello can feel intimidating, and echo days of awkward mingling from your own childhood. “I have felt like it was high school all over again”, says Shannon Cote-Gander, a mother of two children, aged four and six. “I find it very difficult to make friends with the parents at school. Everyone has their little groups, especially if they have older kids in the school. People seem to be warming up now, but I felt like I was the new kid.” Cote-Gander considers her closest friends to be a group she and her husband met at a pre-natal class, even becoming business partners with one mom and opening up a children’s store together. For new parents, attending pre-natal or infant classes can provide an important first opportunity to network, and help ease the isolation many feel during the insular and vulnerable days after having a baby. “What we know about isolation, it contributes not only to stress and anxiety—it can really affect your own self-perception and your sense of self-worth. And it can begin to erode your mental health,” says Rebecca Shields, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Vancouver and Burnaby branch. “When you’re isolated...some people start to spin out of control. Especially if they’re worrying, they need someone to say, hey, I went through that same struggle.” Shields recommends attending classes at community centres and libraries to meet other new parents. “A lot of people could go to a group, with their child, and then leave, and feel like they haven’t been able to make a connection. People come in, and may be shy or a little bit nervous. Understand that all those women and men are there for the same thing, and know that it’s okay to say hello.” Having empathetic conversations about the challenge of temper tantrums is one thing, but developing long-term, meaningful friendships takes time and patience. After having pleasant conversations or play-dates with another family, I’m often left reviewing the conversation in my head. “Well, they were nice...was I nice enough? Was I funny? Was I too nice? Too funny?” It’s Like Dating all Over Again Shannon Poole Evora slowly developed friendships with some mothers she met when her twins entered preschool. She credits one mother who initiated a regular girls’ night that involved watching The Bachelor together. “These nights were filled with so much laughter, so we became close pretty fast. I’m so glad I (went) because a strong group of friends is the result.” Even now that her children are in middle school, creative ideas for bonding continue, with the women taking kickboxing classes together. For Desmond Chen, father of four boys aged three to 20, organized sports have provided a place to find parents with similar interests. “There is a lot of time invested when your child is playing hockey, from six a.m. practice times and games. After seeing the parents a couple of times a week, you start to feel comfortable with them while watching our children play hockey.” For Chen,

a solid circle of friends with children is essential, especially if the children are the same age as his. I once interviewed a mother of seven who lamented that many families lack a support system of extended relatives. She suggests new parents seek pseudo-aunts, uncles and cousins by establishing friendships with others who have similar-aged kids. The assumption is that the children will want to remain friends as they grow up. They will have similar interests, possess compatible temperaments, and enjoy each other’s company. That isn’t always the case. “My son likes books and crafts” says Cote-Gander. “Everyone we hang out with, from birth until now, the boys were boys’ boys, rough and tumble, they want to play hockey. [My son] often felt left out.” Cote-Gander uses the differences to encourage her son to try new things and learn to get along with other kids who don’t have the same interests. Turning differences into teachable moments may not work as well for adults, however. In an age where parenting styles and philosophies are more divergent than ever, there’s also the tricky business of what to do when you disagree with another parent’s approach. It is here where, rather than provide common ground on which to commiserate, parenthood can instead divide along the lines of methods of discipline, for example. “It’s hard when you go for coffee or a playdate, and the parenting style is totally different from mine. Quite honestly, I kind of shy away from connecting,” admits Cote-Gander. Ideally, friendships with other parents would benefit both the children, by planting the seeds for friendships that could last until they themselves are raising families, and the parents, by providing a vital social and support network. Imagine a sunny weekend afternoon with the children playing in the park while the adults munch on a picnic lunch and plan their next camping trip together. It may not always be realistic, but it’s worth taking that first step and saying hello. Michelle Eliot is an associate producer with CBC Radio One’s On the Coast. Her parenting column, The Parent Project airs Tuesdays at 4:50 p.m.

Local Resources Strongest Families Offered through Canadian Mental Health Association, this free, weekly coaching program is delivered over the phone at times convenient to your family, and helps parents and kids manage behavioural and social problems, and promotes good social connections. www.cmha.bc.ca/how-we-can-help/children-families/strongestfamilies Burnaby Family Life Institute Offers counselling, family drop-ins, plus support and social groups for single parents, fathers, immigrant families, teens and more. www. burnabyfamilylife.org Vancouver Family Connections Local website that centralizes information on social and support groups at various neighbourhood houses, family places and community centres, including family outings, drop-in events and cultural buddy programs. www.vancouverfamilyconnections.org YMCA of Greater Vancouver All locations of the YMCA in the Lower Mainland offer parent activity groups for different interests, at minimal costs. www.vanymca.org

March 2012 33


stylefile R

U O Y Refine Design

Local mom Nishka and her son Jaden (age seven) are both into anything involving the outdoors, like long nature walks with the whole family. They are also very green-minded and love getting involved in community events to help the environment.

Tension Hoop Earrings 45.00 and up www.designbyrefine.com

Goorin Bros. Rubin Cap 42.00 goorin.com

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve 68.00 lululemon.com

FO R Blackcomb Puffer Vest 175.00 aritzia.com

Get out there and GET THIS LOOK! Do you know a stylish parent or are you one yourself? Send a snapshot of yourself to info@westcoastfamilies.com and your sense of style could be profiled here in a future issue!

34 WestCoastFamilies.com

Outdoor Research Kids Alpine Hat $21.00 mec.ca


Carpenter Cords 50.00 tykethreads.com

Dandelion Kids Fore! Woven Shirt 20.00 dandelionkids.ca

em th



babyguide The 2012 Baby Guide is Coming this Spring! The 2012 Baby Guide features new articles, valuable local information, handy resource listings, and special offers and discounts for new & expecting parents. www.baby-guide.ca

Email sales@westcoastfamiles.com to book your ad today!

March 2012 35

momevents westcoast

Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town! Baby and Me Snow Shoe Guided Tours Mount Seymour Thursdays ongoing until March 29, 11am-1pm This invigorating snowshoe series is designed for parents with babies, by parents with babies! Mom, Dad and baby are invited to enjoy a 90-minute guided snowshoe tour followed by tea and snacks served indoors. Qualified guides create a supportive, social and fun atmosphere so you can relax and bond with your baby. Parents must be able to carry their babies for at least 90 minutes in their own comfortable back or front baby carrier. Single Drop-In $35 or with own snowshoes $30. Please call ahead to confirm it is running. 604.986.2261 www.mountseymour.com/snowshoevancouver The Heart Link Network Langley March 2, 6:30-9:30pm Meet like-minded women in the community at this women’s networking event and showcase your business. Reserve online. www.theheartlinknetwork.com The 8th Annual Vancouver Diversity Health Fair Croatian Cultural Centre March 3, 10am-3pm The fair features over fifty health and wellness related exhibitors, interactive fitness and culinary demonstrations, health screenings and onsite tests, spectacular multicultural entertainment and children’s activities and is offered in a number of different languages. Free admission. Please see website for more details. www.amssa.org/healthfair2012 Made in Whistler Artisan Market Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 3-7pm Come and enjoy one-of-a-kind items from local artisans, galleries and shops located at the Westin Resort and Spa. Featuring jewellery, ceramics, pottery, wood, fine art, unique fashion, wonderful local breads, chutneys, salsas and more. 604.935.8410 | www.whistler.ca Kismet Gateway Theatre, Richmond March 8-17, various times In the spring of 2009, four artists set out across Canada to interview one hundred people, aged one through 100 about their experiences and beliefs around kismet—fate and destiny. What they discovered on the road, a myriad of personal stories of mystery, joy and endurance, became the anchor for a fascinating and intimate show that blends verbatim interviews with the travelers’ experiences. A celebration of ordinary people, and the most charming, heartfelt, and endearing show you will see this year. Tickets available at the box office only. www.gatewaytheatre.com

36 WestCoastFamilies.com

Crimson Cabaret Centennial Theatre, North Vancouver March 10, 6pm Now in it’s sixth year, this show includes a spectacular array of local talent, including Vancouver trio Pacifika, R&B/soul singer Dawn Pemberton, Vancouver Academy of Dance, performance troupe Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret and more. Silent auction. All proceeds go to support the North Shore Women’s Centre. Tickets $30 in advance, $35 at the door. www.centennialtheatre.com

21st Century Flea Market Croatian Cultural Centre March 18, 10am-3pm This market has over 175 vendor tables jampacked with vintage jewellery, boho chic accessories, china and glass, retro furnishings, antiques & memorabilia, books, records & CD’s, mid-century Modern, linens & lace, collectibles, postcards & advertising, sports items, dolls & toys, silverware, paintings & prints, lamps & shades & more. www.21cpromotions.com

Women’s Swap Meet First Avenue Christian Assembly 46510 First Ave, Chilliwack, March 10, 10am-3pm Save money! Buy new and used women’s clothing and household items. Make Money! Reserve a table and sell the items you no longer need. $2 Admission. Kids Free. 604.819.2894

The Vagina Monologues Matsqui Centennial Auditorium March 23-24 The award-winning play is based on V-Day Founder/playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. With humor and grace, the piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength. Through this play and the liberation of this one word, countless women throughout the world have taken control of their bodies and their lives. For more than twelve years, The Vagina Monologues has given voice to experiences and feelings not previously exposed in public. www.vday.org

Cloth Diaper 101 Watershed Arts Café 20349 88 Avenue, Langley March 11, 7:30-8:30pm Thinking about using cloth diapers and want to learn more? Join this workshop hosted by the Little Monkey Cloth Diaper Store where you will learn all about the different types of cloth diapers: what works best for newborn, infant, toddler right to potty training. Preregistration is required. $10 per person or $15 per couple. 778.886.2522 | www.littlemonkeystore.com The Perfect Wedding Show Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre, Richmond March 11, 11am-5pm Featuring some of the finest exhibitors in the Lower Mainland. Wedding experts with products and services guaranteed to help brides feel confident and relaxed on their special day. Tickets: $10 person, (50% of ticket sales will be donated to Dress for Success Vancouver) 778.229.8818 www.perfectweddingshow.bc.com Wining and Dining at Wellbrook Winery Wellbrook Winery, Ladner March 12, 6pm The only rule for these cooking classes is to have fun! All classes include a full meal served with Wellbrook wines or Bremner’s juices, recipes and food prep demonstration by guest chefs. This night’s menu is crab & lobster. $60/person+ HST. Reserve your spot early as these classes are limited to 16 people and will fill up fast! 604.946.1868 | www.wellbrookwinery.com The Heart Link Women’s Network Langley, location TBA March 15, 6:30-9pm Women’s Networking meeting from 6:309pm Meet like minded women in the community. Showcase your business. This is a great way to meet new ladies in your local community. Reserve your spot on the website or by phone. Location TBA 604.996.4383 www.theheartlinknetwork.com

Memory March 2012 Civic Plaza, Abbotsford March 25, 11am Join the Shoe Memorial starting at 11am with the list of over 4,000 missing and murdered women and children. At 1pm there will be speakers and a vigil to honor the missing and murdered. If you bring a pair of new or gently used shoes they will be donated to The Warm Zone. Save $5 off a ticket to The Vagina Monologues by donating a pair of shoes (must be done before the Shoe Memorial.) Join in to raise your voice and tell people you are “done with it.” We are done with violence against women and girls! www.ragmag.net/memory-march Diva on the Run Jericho Sailing Centre March 27, 9:30am The only women’s-only 8km running event in British Columbia! Come take part in this fun, safe and non-intimidating run/walk along the beautiful seawall of Vancouver’s Spanish Banks and Jericho area. www.vancouver.ca Taboo Show Tradex Centre, Abbotsford March 29-31, check website for times The Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show is an upscale consumer trade show dedicated to romance and self-improvement - most of all, it’s a lot of fun! The show’s primary objective is to bring the industry together with prospective buyers in a comfortable, sophisticated and non-threatening environment. All Entertainment included with your ticket for the Show! Please note: you must be 19 or older to attend! www.taboosexshow.com

Where to pick up your copy of

families westcoast

Vancouver – East Britannia Arena East Side Family Place Riley Park Community Centre Vancouver – West Alta Vista Naturopathic Clinic HR MacMillan Space Centre Kerrisdale Arena Vancouver – Downtown BC Sports Hall of Fame RayCam Community Centre Science World North Shore Capilano Suspension Bridge Maplewood Farm West Vancouver Aquatic Centre Richmond Fun4Kidz Hamilton Community Centre Richmond Ice Centre Burnaby/New Westminster Bill Copeland Sports Centre Canlan Ice Sports Moody Park Arena Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam/Port Moody Crash Crawly’s Jumpstart Movement & Sound Place des Arts Surrey/Delta/White Rock Newton Wave Pool Pinewood Leisure Recreation Centre YMCA Tong Louie Langley/Abbotsford/Aldergrove Douglas Recreation Centre Fort Langley Sport Plex The Great Escape Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge Fitness Unlimited Jungle Jacs Play Centre Maple Ridge Leisure Centre

marketplace The Children’s Party Specialists Face painting, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and more.

604-318-1261 • www.partyarts.ca

Children’s Kingdom Montessori Centre Preschool & Kindergarten Register Now! September and January Enrollment Mandarin, Art & Music classes are included 4720 Elgin St. Vancouver (near Knight & 31st Ave.)

Tel : (604) 872-8898

March 2012 37

last look

Healthy Bento!

By Jodi Iverson Photographed by Krysta Furioso

Bento is a single-serving, packed meal originating in Japan. They can be plain and consist of leftovers, or can be as elaborate as your imagination allows! Not so creative? No worries! Simply Google “Bento Lunch” and browse the hundreds of blogs dedicated to the art. Getting your kids to eat more fruits and veggies can be tricky. This healthy take on a traditional bento lunch is a great way to pack a creative and attractive meal—with no processed foods—that your little one will be excited to open every day.

build a bento! Step 1 Use a round cookie cutter (or a water glass!) to cut two slices of bread to form owl body. Reserve some crust for branch. Use your child’s favourite fillings to create a tasty sandwich! Step 2 Use the edge of the same round cutter to cut out almondshaped wings. I used cheese here, but use your imagination! Step 3 Use veggie slices to create the owl’s eyes and beak. I used cucumber, carrots, and cheese here. Step 4 Cut owl’s feet from cheddar, and cut a heart from red pepper using a small vegetable or cookie cutter. Step 5 Assemble owl standing on your crust branch on top of a bed of greens. I always remind my daughter to put the greens in her sandwich! Step 6 Choose healthy sides to compliment your owl. Try using silicone cupcake liners to separate sides and decorative picks to make it fun!

38 WestCoastFamilies.com

bento-building supplies Try Daiso in Richmond or Yokoyaya in Vancouver for some great, inexpensive Bento accessories: www.daisocanada.com www.yokoyaya.com Pick up a stainless steel lunch box from Raspberry Kids or Wee Ones Reruns: www.raspberrykids.com www.weeonesvancouver.com

Jodi Iverson is an amateur bento artist, works in sales full-time, and is a busy mom of two, but has no trouble fitting the creation of a new and unique bento into her morning routine.

At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in Canada. Product availability varies by restaurant. ©2012 McDonald’s

March 2012 40

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