Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Health Mistakes Parents Make

Newsweek recently reported the top six mistakes parents make when it comes to their children. I thought these were interesting.

  1. Letting kids eat in front of the television of computer screen. When you do other activities while eating, the brain is too distracted to know when the stomach is full and it leads to overeating. Sit down with your kids at the table for every meal.
  2. Too much screen time. When kids are allowed to play video games or watch tv for too long, it becomes harder for their bodies to adapt to being active. The recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is no tv for kids under 2 and 1-2 hours per day for those older than 2.
  3. Avoiding new foods. Most kids won’t try new things if they don’t look appealing. Rather than giving them a new item and telling them they have to eat the entire thing, have them try at least one bite. Chances are, you’ll find at least one thing they’re willing to eat.
  4. Stocking the cupboard with junk. Experts aren’t saying that kids shouldn’t have any junk food at all, but they’re much more likely to consume it when they open up the cupboards and it’s right there. Try having healthier snacks on hand and saving the junk food for special circumstances.
  5. Prepackaged meals. Not every parent has the time to make their child’s lunch each day, but buying prepackaged meals opens the doors for much higher sodium and fat content. Make a plan at the beginning of each week for what you can prepare for your kids. This will save time the night before, or the morning of, when you’re much more likely to give them something prepackaged.
  6. Negative role models. Parents shouldn’t tell their kids to be active and then sit on the couch watching tv themselves. If you tell your kids to play outside, make sure that you are out there with them for at least some time. Also try to model good eating habits. Your habits should reflect the lifestyle you want them to have.

1 comment:

Justin Lukasavige said...

It's so hard to avoid these things as a parent, but Christine and I do our best. Thanks for the tips.