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Smart Choices For Managing Family TV Time

bigstock-Young-Boy-Watching-Tv-49324541Did you know that watching television is the one activity that we do that burns the fewest calories? Studies have also shown that children (and their parents) who tend to sit for long hours in front of a television will more likely snack between meals and crave the foods advertised in the commercials.  This can’t be good for the young and old in the family. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that children are limited to two hours or less of screen time – which includes television and video games. It is important, not only for your child’s intellectual health but more importantly to take advantage of other activities that will build their heart, bones, and mind!

Here are some tips for you to consider as you make smart choices for television time for you AND your family:

  • Decide as a family what television programs are worthwhile to watch.
  • Make sure your child has finished his/her homework and chores before relaxing in front of the television.
  • Set a time limit for watching television each day and stick to it.
  • Replace television time with some other fun family activity like a walk around the block or a board game. This not only gets you moving but allows you time to talk to your child about their day.
  • Stay away from the television during the dinner hour.  This is a great time to talk as a family.
  • Set the remote in a “hard to reach” spot in your house so there is less temptation for your child to grab it when they get bored.
  • It’s very easy for parent or child to eat a whole bag of potato chips while watching their favorite show. If a snack is a must, limit the portion size by pouring a serving into a bowl.  A healthier option is to skip the snack until the television is turned off.
  • Make sure that the television is in a common area of the house, allowing you to see and hear what your child is watching. It is wise to remove the TV set from your child’s bedroom.
  • Do not use television as a reward for a job well done!

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