Diana Bone MSN, FNP-C.
During the past year with COVID-19, many playgrounds are closed, team sports are on hold, and less kids are out in the neighborhood playing. Instead they’re watching YouTube videos, online gaming, and attending school on Zoom. They’re more sedentary than usual.
Studies have shown increased screen time goes hand in hand with childhood overweight and obesity. This is due to a lack of exercise and mindless eating.
10 Ways to Reduce Your Family’s Screen Time
Here are a few simple tips for you and your children to start getting healthy together:
- Be a role model. Children who see their parents eat healthy and enjoy physical activity are more likely to do it themselves.
- Drink more water. Ensure your child is drinking water and avoiding sweetened beverages like fruit juice and soda.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Give your kids fruit or veggie snacks instead of crackers or cookies.
- Keep healthy snacks accessible. Keep fruits and vegetables washed, cut up, and in plain sight in the refrigerator.
- Plan meals together. Go over recipes together and plan out meals and snacks. Meal planning will save you money, help your child eat healthy, and get them involved.
- Have fun with physical activity. Find out what activity your child is interest in like Tag or hide and seek. Get the whole family involved and play in your backyard.
- Leave out toys for playtime. Provide active toys such as balls, jump ropes, bikes, or scooters.
- Walk or hike. You can maintain social distancing by walking around the neighborhood or hiking a trail together.
- Download fitness apps. Get a fitness app or streaming service with workouts, running, stretching, or yoga. The whole family can enjoy it together in the safety of your own home.
- Make time for physical activity. Plan the activity. Agree on a time, place anLimiting your child’s screen time may seem like an impossible chore or it may seem like a battle that is too difficult to fight. But it is worth fighting.
Incorporating just a few of these steps into your family routine will help. The more you turn it off the screen, the easier it becomes to keep off and limit the screen time for kids.
You’ve got to start somewhere, why not now?
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