The message to parents: You play an important role in your child’s motivation to live healthy. Kids need help to stay focused and on track. Research shows that parents who set a healthy and active example tend to have healthy and active kids. The benefits of regular physical activity and a healthy diet include lowering the risk of becoming overweight, maintaining healthy muscles and bones, increasing energy levels and decreasing risks of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends no more than 2 hours of screen time per day for school-age children, and children under 2 should have none at all.
Here are some helpful ways to curb your family’s screen time and encourage family fun activity instead:
1. Make up a family screen time schedule with your children.
Let them have a say and post it where everyone can see.
Did you know that Canadian children spend more than 35 hours in front of a screen every week, and that more than 90% began watching TV before their 2nd birthday?
2. Be a good role model.
Set a good example by limiting your own screen time. You are the most important role model in your child’s life.
3. Get active as a family.
Go for a family bike ride, plant a garden, or stay inside and have a family games night with an active game like Twister.