Screens here, screens there, screens, screens everywhere — in our pockets, on our phones, in our cars, and in our homes.
It’s no wonder National Screen-Free Week was created!
And it’s not just mobile devices, computers, and smartphones — TV screens are everywhere. You see them in the pediatrician’s waiting room, restaurants, convenience stores, banks, and car repair shops. Even movie theater lobbies have TVs running previews of movies!
Preschool age children spend between 2 and 4 1/2 hours using some sort of screen each day. However, according to the “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America” study (published by Common Sense Media’s Program for the Study of Children and Media), 74% of young children’s screen time is television. Although the use of apps and video games is on the rise, for preschool children, TV is still the number one screen of choice. [ more… ]
Teaching Children About Foods That Come From Plants
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (plant-based foods) is an important nutrition concept to teach young children. Re-growing a carrot top is an easy and inexpensive project that captures children’s interest in learning about fruits and vegetables.
Growing carrot tops takes up very little space and offers children nice visual results – a leafy green sprout that usually grows in 7 – 14 days. As children take care of their carrot tops, talk with them about healthy foods like fruits and vegetables which look almost the same when they are eaten as when they were growing.
Note: The following carrot top project is included in the Healthy Al, Healthy Me program, a 7-lesson curriculum that teaches young children about healthy eating and physical activity. Several lessons teach children which foods are healthy choices that will help them grow strong and feel great. [ more… ]
“Get back in the game, buddy!” calls out a dedicated dad when he sees his 4-year old athlete poking twigs in the ground to make a stick house.
Hmmm. Two kinds of play here. Soccer and imaginary twig towns.
Remember “Just Playing?”
Today’s young children certainly play more soccer and t-ball. They jump on bouncers, flap parachutes and scarves together, and clamber through ballpits in “play places.” Our children master video games created just for them and many maneuver a smart phone better than adults! There are fewer twig towns out there these days.
Do children play the same way today as we did when we were kids? [ more… ]
Over one third of American children are overweight or obese. We’ve heard this for so long; the statement has almost lost its impact.
But really – one third?
Not only are overweight children more likely to feel bad about themselves, but they may well be on a path of on-going over-weight and diminished health.
Won’t Young Children “Outgrow” Being Overweight?
Some young children DO grow up and out of being overweight. But not all. Children who are overweight are more likely to be overweight adults. That means one third of our children are more likely to develop diabetes, liver and heart disease, asthma, cancer, sleep apnea, joint problems, and other health conditions.
What Causes Children To Be Overweight?
In addition to larger portion sizes, more processed and high calorie foods – changes in children’s snacking patterns contribute to the hefting of the nation’s children.
This is a short blog, so let’s look at one factor – the snacking – and what caring adults can do to protect children’s health. [ more… ]