Monthly Archives: December 2017

NOFASD Australia: 12 Mocktails for Christmas

nofasd_logoCount down to Christmas with the 12 mocktails of Christmas advent calendar

The silly season is now upon us and the diary is jam packed with function after function, family gatherings, parties and catch ups all featuring lots of food, drinks and alcohol. For those who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or taking a break from alcohol, Christmas often means trying to fend off the constant offers of alcoholic drinks while making the most of your sparkling water.

NOFASD and Pregnant Pause (FARE – Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education) want to ‘rock the mock’ this Christmas and have compiled the best mouth-watering mocktails for their 12 Mocktails of Christmas advent calendar. When mocktails taste this good, who needs alcohol? Ice-cold, fruity and delicious, these handpicked cocktails sans the booze are easy to make and ideal for all occasions. Save the plastic cups for picnics, these liquorless libations need to be served up in proper glassware – going alcohol free doesn’t mean being demoted to the kiddies table.

Whether you’re pregnant, planning a pregnancy, on a health kick, the designated driver or prefer not to drink alcohol or want to be the hostess with the mostest, why not beat the heat this Christmas and with mix it up with these tasty mocktails.

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 12Fruity Father Christmas  punch

250g strawberries, halved

60g raspberries

75g blueberries

1 ripe kiwifruit, peeled, finely chopped

2 cups cranberry juice

2 cups of raspberry juice

4 cups chilled lemonade

2 cups chilled pineapple juice

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Divide the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and kiwifruit evenly among 2 ice-cube trays. Cover with cold water and place in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight until set.

Combine the fruit juice, lemonade and pineapple juice in a large serving jug. Add the ice cubes and mint, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 11

Ginger beer and pineapple punch

850ml unsweetened pineapple juice

750ml good ginger beer

½  an ice cube tray of tea ice cubes

a handful of fresh mint sprigs

slices of your favourite fruit, like lime or orange

the pulp from one large passionfruit (optional)

Pour it all into a jug, stir and serve immediately. Make sure each glass gets some tea ice cubes

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 10Pink grapefruit ‘margaritas’

2 tablespoons coloured icing sugar

1 lime

6 teaspoons pomegranate syrup or grenadine

1 ½  cups pink-grapefruit juice

Place icing sugar in a shallow dish or plate. Slice six thin rounds from the middle of lime; set aside. Rub lime wedge around rims of six glasses; dip each rim in sugar to coat. Pour 1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup into bottom of each glass.

Place grapefruit juice and 2 cups ice cubes in a blender. Process on high speed until ice is crushed. Pour frozen mixture into martini glasses, and stir to combine with syrup. Garnish with reserved lime rounds or fresh seasonal berries, and serve immediately.

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 9Bellini Cocktail

1/4 cup peach nectar, chilled

3/4 cup ginger ale, chilled

1/4 cup fresh fruit or berries of your choice

Pour peach nectar evenly between two champagne glasses. Top with ginger ale and fresh fruit berries. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 8Sparkling sangria

4 cups black grape juice

1 plum

1 peach

2 clementines or mandarins

6-8 strawberries

2 cups ginger ale

A bunch of mint

Quarter plum and peach, and remove pits. Place fruit in a large pitcher.

Remove peel from clementines, halve, and place in pitcher.

Remove greens from berries, halve, and place in pitcher.

Cover with grape juice. Stir well, and let sit in fridge for 1-2 hours (or more).

Mix with ginger ale and add mint just before serving.

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 7Shirley temple

4 tbsp grenadine syrup

2 cups ginger ale

1 Maraschino cherry

Pop Rocks (optional)

Rim glass with pink Pop Rocks. Add grenadine syrup to ginger ale. Garnish with a maraschino cherry

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 6Chocolate Mock-Tini

1/2 cup chocolate milk

1 cup mint choc chip ice cream


Drinking chocolate powder

1 candy cane (optional)

Wet rim of a martini glass and dip into drinking chocolate powder. Blend together chocolate milk, mint-chocolate chip ice cream and 4 ice cubes and add to martini glass. Garnish with candy cane.

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 5Snuggles on the beach

1/3 cup cranberry juice

¼ cup grapefruit juice

40 mL peach nectar

2 teaspoons of grenadine

¼ cup of ginger ale

Throw everything in a highball glass with ice. Stir. Garnish with an orange round and some cherries. Drink up! Feel free to increase quantity to make  enough for the entire party or tweak the ingredient amounts to your taste.

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 4Apple fake-tini

1 cup sparkling apple juice (preferably dry)

ice for mixing

cinnamon sugar for rimming the glass

orange or cinnamon stick to garnish (optional)

For an extra kick add 2 tablespoons of Ginger-Cinnamon syrup:

Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 2 cinnamon sticks, and some ginger to taste in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved, let cool and strain to remove excess ginger and cinnamon.

For the Fake-tini

Prepare martini glass by wetting the rim with sparkling apple juice and then dipping in cinnamon-sugar.
Add ice to martini shaker. Pour in apple juice (and ginger syrup if applicable). Shake and pour into prepared glass. Garnish with apple slice or cinnamon stick.

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 3Virgin Mary

1 litre tomato juice, chilled

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

2 cups ice cubes

1 lemon, quartered

Salt and pepper

4 celery stalks and Tabasco sauce (optional), to serve

Combine tomato juice, worcestershire sauce and Tabasco in a jug. Divide ice between 4 glasses. Squeeze 1 lemon quarter into each glass. Place squeezed quarter in each in a high ball glass. Top with juice mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with celery and extra Tabasco (if using)

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 2Mockmosa

2 parts orange juice

3 parts dry sparkling white grape juice

Mint (optional)

Pour the orange juice into a flute glass and then pour the sparkling white grape juice. Optionally, you can garnish with a mint sprig.

Modified from recipe at

12 Mocktails of Christmas_Mocktail 1Nojito

12 to 14 small mint leaves or 6-8 big ones

30 ml fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

120 ml of sparkling mineral water

Put the mint leaves, lime juice and brown sugar in a tall cocktail glass and muddle the leaves. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add the mineral water. Stir to mix up the sugar. Garnish with another mint sprig.

Modified from recipe at

Retrieved from

Environmental Scan of Prenatal Services for Marginalized Women in Alberta: Specialized Services

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.16.29 AM

Executive Summary

Introduction: The Marginalized Women Working Group was formed by the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network to examine the availability and access to prenatal care services for marginalized women in Alberta. This environmental scan has been conducted to determine what prenatal services currently exist for marginalized women in Alberta and identify any gaps or opportunities that may be present. Structured phone interviews with key service providers were used to collect data; data was analyzed using a mixed methods approach.

Results: 62 individuals/programs were contacted and 49 phone interviews were completed, for an overall response rate of 79%. A wide range of different service providers from all five AHS Zones participated in the scan. Several strengths were noted in existing services: a strong provincial network of non-profit agencies and Canadian Perinatal Nutrition Programs, specialized maternity services offering tailored prenatal care, and several regional prenatal service networks. A provincial overview of findings indicated there are significant gaps and needs in the following areas:

1) addictions and mental health services,

2) affordable/supportive housing,

3) income/employment support,

4) primary care services,

5) care provider education,

6) newcomer services, and

7) transportation.

Several distinct themes were noted by location: Remote/Rural (poor access to health services), Small Urban (growing marginalized populations, limited specialized services), Large Urban (Capacity issues), and Correctional Centres (transient populations, limited time for prenatal care provision).

Looking at the data from an AHS Zone perspective revealed several unique needs and priorities: North (lack of services and isolation issues), Edmonton (need for an immigrant prenatal program), Central (need for specialized maternity services), Calgary (lack of outreach support workers); South (need for more primary care providers and supportive housing for pregnant women).

Lastly, participants identified several innovative programming examples for marginalized pregnant women in Alberta or elsewhere.

Conclusion: Findings from this environmental scan are compared with results from a recent literature review conducted by the Marginalized Women Working Group. Findings are noted to be closely correlated – particularly the need to tailor services for marginalized women and the need to address the root causes of marginalization. Preliminary recommendations for this environmental scan are: 1) Create regional prenatal networks, 2) Expand specialized maternity services, and 3) Support current services.

Click to download full report: MWWG Environmental Scan Report 2017

Reframing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Studying Culture to Identify Communication Challenges and Opportunities


Reframing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Studying Culture to Identify Communication Challenges and Opportunities

Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor and Marissa Fond


Implicit cultural understandings challenge those working to increase public awareness and support for programs to prevent and address fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Understanding these cultural beliefs reveals key challenges that communicators face; it also helps identify opportunities to foster public engagement and build support for policies and programs that are important for reducing the prevalence of FASD as a public health issue. Through a series of interviews with members of the public in Manitoba, Canada, we identify the cultural models that members of the Manitoban public draw on to make sense of this issue. These models and their implications are used to create a set
of recommendations that can improve understanding of the issue, increase issue salience, and generate support for solutions. While the research presented is specific to Manitoba, findings have significance for those working on FASD in other areas and for those working on other public health and science translation projects.

Keywords: culture and health, qualitative research, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, science translation, cultural models

To read full research report please visit:

‘Dry 9’ campaign urges Albertans to support alcohol-free pregnancies


With the holiday season comes festivities and parties, which can make avoiding alcohol a challenge for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

It can be difficult for pregnant women who are constantly being told to “just take a sip,” or “half a glass is fine,” and that “one or two won’t hurt,” however the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is out with a reminder that no amount of alcohol is proven to be safe.

READ MORE: ‘Their life is tough’ mom of 2 kids with FASD shares their struggles

The AGLC launched its Dry 9 movement on Tuesday, to create greater awareness of the effects of alcohol and pregnancy.

It’s not exactly news that the two don’t mix but the AGLC says the prevailing attitude that “a little bit is OK” and “moderation is the best thing” is a reminder that the discussion still needs to take place.

“With so many differing views; some that are conflicting, Dry 9 represents an exciting opportunity to provide information, resources and support for those looking to be alcohol-free to assist them in ensuring a healthy pregnancy,” Alain Maisonneuve, AGLC president and CEO, said.

“Whether it’s the holiday season or any time of year, we want to encourage people and their support networks to sign up for a Dry 9 and let others know about their healthy choice.”

Alcohol is a proven to cause birth defects, including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and there is no known safe amount.

The AGLC released three Dry 9 promotional videos, inducing one aimed at partners of women who are pregnant or trying to become so.

Newlyweds Jesse and Amber Kupina (left) were two of the speakers at the Dry 9 launch Tuesday morning at Central Social Hall in downtown Edmonton. December 5, 2017.

Newlyweds Jesse and Amber Kupina (left) were two of the speakers at the Dry 9 launch Tuesday morning at Central Social Hall in downtown Edmonton. December 5, 2017.


Newlyweds Jesse and Amber Kupina are planning to start a family and were two of the speakers at the Dry 9 launch Tuesday morning.

Kupina owns The Ranch Roadhouse country nightclub and Central Social Hall bar and restaurant, where the campaign was launched. He is constantly surrounded by opportunities to drink, but plans to give up alcohol to support his wife.

“I truly believe that, one, even though she’s having the baby, we’re having the baby — so I just equate it to supporting my partner. If she was trying to do a cleanse or trying to eat less pizza, I probably wouldn’t bring home pizza every day,” the bar owner said Tuesday morning.

“We just want to have the healthiest baby possible,” his wife Amber said. “I went to school studying nutrition, so it’s really important to me — the impact that even the food that we eat.

“So it’s not really a hard question: we’re a team, so if we’re going to have a family together, we want to do the whole thing together.”

Kupina doesn’t look at giving up booze as a sacrifice, but rather, a chance to do something different.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever – since I was 18 – had nine months off of drinking,” he admitted. Kupina said while he enjoys food and alcohol, he is also into exercise and physical fitness.

“I think this is a really good opportunity for me as well to, selfishly, to get that extra level of health for those nine months,” he said.

The other two videos released by the AGLC were aimed at friends of pregnant women and older generations.

“It’s very exciting because she can grow that little zygote to its full potential. And that’s way more exciting than a wine night, or ladies night, or a bachelorette party — you should still invite her to those, of course. Just don’t ask her to drink any booze,” an actor says in one of the promo videos.

Another video is aimed at older generations who claim back in their day, a lot of women drank while pregnant and their kids turned out fine.

To encourage Albertans to “do a Dry 9,” the AGLC is offering incentives to those who sign up online, including:

  • a free Dry 9 t-shirt (for the first 500 pregnant women that register)
  • monthly tips on how to handle situations with alcohol when pregnant and various facts on what stages of baby development
  • mocktail of the month recipes
  • Dry 9 videos to send to family, friends and spouses to get them to support you while you do your Dry 9
  • an interactive website ( which in the future will feature an online community forum to allow Dry 9 participants to share tips, ideas and support.

Retrieved from 

Better data needed to measure alcohol abuse in youth, health experts say


By Sarah Petz , CBC News Posted: Nov 22, 2017 8:21 PM AT

More than 200 New Brunswickers between the ages of 12 and 24 were hospitalized over the last five years due to alcohol intoxication, according to data provided by the province’s health networks.

But health professionals and experts say more concrete data is needed to measure how widespread alcohol abuse is in the province.

From 2012-2013 to 2016-2017, Horizon Health Network recorded 186 hospitalizations of teens and young adults due to alcohol, while Vitalité Health Network found there were 36 hospitalizations of teens and young adults due to alcohol at its hospitals over the same time period.

Better data needed

In an interview conducted in French, Martin Robichaud, regional director of emergency services for Vitalité Health Network, said he doesn’t believe the data accurately reflects what’s happening with respect to alcohol abuse in youth, because the way these incidents are recorded differs from one hospital to another.

He said he thinks both health networks should standardize their computer systems to have accurate data in the province.

Otherwise, it’s hard to say whether alcohol abuse among youth is a problem, he said.

But he added that he believes that the province needs to continue to educate youth about moderation, as too many of them abuse alcohol and end up in intensive care.

Stéphane Robichaud, chief executive officer of the New Brunswick Health Council, said he agreed that standardization of hospital data is important to more accurately capture this and other health issues.

The figures also don’t break down what communities the hospitalizations are happening in, which is important to consider, he said.

“The situation may not be critical from a provincial perspective, but it would be if it’s driven by a few communities,” he said.

Youth could be facing other consequences

Janine Olthuis, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick whose research focuses on alcohol abuse among youth, said the data wasn’t surprising.

But it’s still worrying to have any young people hospitalized for drinking too much, she said.


UNB professor Janine Olthuis says youth could be facing other serious consequences for binge drinking beyond landing in the hospital that aren’t captured by statistics. (CBC)


“In general, if you’re getting 30 to 40 kids a year hospitalized for alcohol use, that’s a problem. That’s something that shouldn’t be happening,” she said.

She added that hospitalization rates are not the only way to measure alcohol abuse, because if youth are drinking heavily, they could be facing other consequences, such as legal problems.

“Those are not health consequences, but they are going to have similar implications for people in this age bracket down the road,” she said.

“I think in general the percentage of people who are experiencing consequences [for alcohol abuse] is probably higher than you would expect.”

Retrieved from

Alcohol use in movies influences onset of drinking among 10- to 15-year-olds

Cinema auditorium

Early adolescence is a high-risk period for alcohol experimentation and initiation. Adolescent drinking is linked to exposure to alcohol use in the media. This study examined the influence that movie portrayals of drinking may have on the onset of drinking among 6th, 7th and 8th graders, and the impact that viewing the movie with a friend or parent might have. Researchers also examined movie influence across a spectrum of early-drinking milestones: sipping alcohol (but not consuming a full drink), consuming a full drink of alcohol, and engaging in heavy episodic drinking.

Researchers analyzed data taken from a sample of 882 middle-school youth (52% female; 24% non-White) enrolled in an ongoing study on alcohol initiation and progression. They measured exposure to alcohol content in films (with contemporary movies content-coded for the presence of alcohol), estimated the hazard of initiating alcohol use a function of exposure, and adjusted associations for pertinent demographic, personality, and social-influence factors.

Results showed that exposure to alcohol content in the movies was pervasive. Typical adolescents were exposed to hours of on-screen drinking and this exposure predicted an earlier onset of alcohol involvement that included sipping, consuming a full drink, and heavy drinking. Viewing movies with friends appeared to augment the exposure effect, compared to viewing movies with parents, which did not appear to affect alcohol initiation. Study authors recommended further investigation of the influence of alcohol-exposure in films on underage drinking – especially when viewed with friends and peers – as well as limiting exposure and increasing Federal Trade Commission oversight of movie ratings to prevent underage drinking.

Cultural Values May Predict Alcohol Abuse, Study Says


Contributed by Zawn Villines, Correspondent

A country’s cultural values may affect the willingness of citizens to consume alcohol, according to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology. Researchers found that people from societies that value autonomy and harmony are more likely to consume alcohol. This could affect their risk of developing an alcohol addiction.

In America, alcohol is consumed widely. In the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 86.4% of American adults reported consuming alcohol at least once. Seventy percent drank at least once during the past year, and 56% drank at least once during the past month. Among the adults surveyed, 6.2% had an alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Consumption: Why Culture Matters

The study used online data to assess cultural values from 74 different nations. Researchers also gathered data on alcohol consumption from each country. From there, they performed a ridge regression analysis and calculated partial correlations.

There was a close association between cultural values and alcohol consumption, even when researchers controlled for other factors linked to alcohol use, such as educational level and income. Cultures that valued embeddedness and hierarchy had lower rates of alcohol consumption, while individualistic cultures that prioritized harmony had higher rates of alcohol use.

The study also uncovered differences in the ways culture affected alcohol consumption by gender. Changes in cultural harmony, egalitarianism, autonomy, and mastery were associated with increased alcohol consumption in men but not women. Changes in cultural embeddedness and hierarchy were associated with decreased alcohol consumption in women but not men. The study did not assess alcohol consumption levels in people who identify as genders other than male and female or as nonbinary.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Richard Inman, suggests that international public health organizations “should prioritize tackling alcohol consumption in countries that are more autonomous and less traditional.” Further research may study how cultural values correspond with smoking and drug use.

To read more please visit:


  1. Alcohol facts and statistics. (2017). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved from
  2. Cultural values can be a strong predictor of alcohol consumption. (2017, November 20). Science Daily.Retrieved from
  3. Inman, R. A., da Silva, S. M., Bayoumi, R., & Hanel, P. H. (2017). Cultural value orientations and alcohol consumption in 74 countries: A societal-level analysis. Frontiers in Psychology. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01963

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