Avoid TV HEADS! by Two Peds in a Pod

We love our friends at Two Peds in a Pod! They always offer such valuable content to parents and kids fitness professionals! Below is a great article they wrote on how to limit screen time in your home! ENJOY!

We know that winter break often finds kids spending more time in front of screens: watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet. Today we repost our suggestions to help limit screen time in your home.
Drs. Kardos and Lai

“Mom, can we do screen?”

My kids ask me this question when they are bored. Never mind the basement full of toys and games, the outdoor sports equipment, or the numerous books on our shelves. They’d watch any screen whether television, hand-held video game, or computer for hours if I let them. But I notice that on days I give in, my children bicker more and engage in less creative play than on days that I don’t allow some screen time.

Babies who watch television develop language slower than their screen-free counterparts (despite what the makers of “educational videos” claim) and children who log in more screen time are prone to obesity, insomnia, and behavior difficulties. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of television watching a day for kids over the age of two years, and NO television for those younger than two.

Over the years, parents have given me tips on how they limit screen time in their homes. Here are some ideas for cutting back:

  • Have children who play a musical instrument earn screen time by practicing music. Have children who play a sport earn screen time by practicing their sport.
  • Turn off the screen during the week. Limit screen to weekends or one day per week.
  • Set a predetermined time limit on screen time, such as 30 minutes or one hour per day. If your child chooses, she can skip a day to accumulate and “save” for a longer movie or longer video game.
  • Take the TV, personal computer, and video games out of your children’s bedrooms. Be a good role model by taking them out of your own bedroom as well.
  • Turn off the TV during meals.
  • Turn off the TV as background noise. Turn on music instead.
  • Have books available to read in relaxing places in the house (near couches, beds, etc.). When kids flop on the couch they will pick up a book to relax instead of reaching for the remote control.
  • Give kids a weekly “TV/screen allowance” with parameters such as no screen before homework is done, no screen right before bed, etc. Let the kids decide how to “spend” their allowance.

Not that I am averse to “family movie night,” and I understand the value of plunking an ill child in front of a video in order to take his mind off his ailment. In fact, Dr. Lai lives in a house with three iPod Touches, two iPhones, a Nintendo DS and three computers. But I do find it frightening to watch my otherwise very animated children lose all facial expression as they tune in to a television show.

For more information about how screen time affects children, see the American Academy of Pediatrics web site (www.aap.org) and put in “television” in the search box.

Learn more from our friends at Two Peds in a Pod at www.twopedsinapod.com

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
© 2010 Two Peds in a Pod®

4 STAR GOALS For A FIT-YEAR!

Make 2014 A FIT YEAR With 4 Simple Star Goals!
Don’t take the typical approach of most people! 

Making a long list of 20 goals, getting too overwhelmed and then giving up!

Start 2014 by following these simple 4 Star Goals and it will make a huge difference in you and your child’s health throughout the year!

 

 

 

 

 

STAR Goal #1

Eat 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day

What does a total of 5 servings look like?

3 servings of vegetables + 2 servings of fruit = 5

2 servings of vegetables + 3 servings of fruit = 5

Or any combination that equals 5!

A quick cheat sheet to measure your serving sizes!

Vegetables:

1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)

1/2 cup of other vegetables

1/2 cup of vegetable juice.

Fruits:

1 medium fruit (medium is defined as the size of a baseball)

1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit

1/2 cup juice

 

STAR Goal #2

Limit Screen Time to 2 Hours per day

 What is screen time?

Screen time is when you are watching TV, using the computer, phone, or other touch screen devices for games or social media outside of school or homework. Our youth today spends an average of 7 hours of screen time a day!

Limit screen time to 2 hours OR cut down on screen time by at least 1 hour and incorporate physical activity, music, reading, or arts and crafts in it’s place!

 

STAR Goal #3 

Exercise for 60 minutes a day

60 Minutes a day you must play and be active! 

This goes for parents and kids! Remember that 60 minutes does not have to be done all at once, it can be done throughout the day and equal 60 minutes by bedtime!

Some examples of daily activity:

Day 1: 30 min bike ride + 15 min Active Wii Game + 15 min walk after dinner = 60

Day 2: 20 min flag football game + 20 minute KFIT Health DVD + 20 baseball pass = 60

Day 3: 40 min hike with family + 10 min bike ride after school + 10 min swim = 60

Be sure to keep track and hit a goal of 60 minutes everyday!

 

STAR Goal #4

Consume Zero Sugary Drinks 

(water and low fat milk instead)

Why are sugary drinks bad?

Sugary drinks are considered one of the leading causes of weight gain for kids and adults these days! We are drinking our calories and storing that sugar as fat! If you set one goal this year, it should be to eliminate SODA from your home and your diet altogether! Avoid bottled drinks with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving! Most soda has about 32 grams per serving and other drinks like Gatorade are almost the same around 20grams per serving. WATCH OUT!!

 

  • Natural fruit juices should be not be a daily habit and limited to 1 serving size of 8oz when consumed. Low fat milk is a much better choice because it has protein, fat, and vitamins kids need.

  • Water is always your best option for continuous hydration throughout the day! Adding lemon, lime or orange slices will make it extra fun and delicious!

 

Be sure to improve your fluid intake but cut down on sugary drinks and eventually you can eliminate them altogether!

Happy FIT-YEAR,

KFIT Health, LLC
Dr. Pat and Anna
GET READY GET SET & GET FIT!