Tag Archives: childhood obesity

The TROUBLE With Technology

Today’s Post is a guest post from Dr. Denise Sellers, a child psychologist and childhood obesity expert from Baton Rouge.  Enjoy!

Ah, technology! Where would we be without our computers and cell phones, video games and instant messaging? We would probably be playing outside or interacting with real people in real life! We can all agree that technology is great. It saves us time and is entertaining-but, it can also mean TROUBLE, especially for our children.

Most children love to play games, text, and watch television. Spending time doing these things can be OK, as long as it is done with limits. Too much “screen time” can lead to problems. The more “screen time” a child spends, the more likely he/she is to be overweight. More time spent playing video games or watching television is also related to learning problems and falling grades. Children are often exposed to more violence and sexual content, which can lead to fear, aggressive behavior, and acting out. When the child is engaged in screen time, less time is spent on physical activity- just playing outside- which we know helps build both a healthy body and mind.

So, what can we do as parents? The answer is- a lot! First, set rules. Limit the amount of time per day your child can spend on all “screens.” This includes television, computer, phone, and all video game systems. It is recommended that children spend NO MORE THAN TWO HOURS PER DAY on screen time. Monitor what your child is doing and who they are “talking” to on-line and on the phone. Require that they give you all passwords- and check at least once a week. Watch your child play- and watch to make sure he/she is not sneaking to play or turning off the screen when you walk into the room. Make sure your child understands he/she is NEVER allowed to give out personal information such as real name, age, school, or phone number. Help you child make up screen names that don’t include this information. Teach your child about cyber bullying, and what to do if someone says something mean or that makes him/her feel uncomfortable. Teach your child how to use technology the “right” way, so you can both enjoy the benefits!

less than 2 hours of screen time

Fit FAMILY Digest – March Edition

The March edition of the Fit Family Digest is hot off the press and packed with great information to start SPRING off right.  Click through for great tips on incorporating more fruits and veggies into your day, more sleep into your nights, and more time outside into your life.

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Are You a “SNACKTIVIST”? You SHOULD be.

RMN-snacktivist-3501My fellow family health advocates, Susan Hayden and Patrick Fellows recently turned me on to the fantastic concept of “Snacktivism” through the blog Real Mom Nutrition by Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD.

Click through to find out exactly what “Snacktivism” is and for some great snack ideas to help you be the “Snacktivist” your kids need you to be. Continue reading

Do You KNOW What Your Kids Are Eating?

The food industry in our country has become so complicated that many times it’s almost impossible to understand what’s in the food that we and our children are eating. 

Most of us already know this is true for processed foods.  For instance, sodium tripolyphosphate is an ingredient in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.  I’d bet money that the average person has no clue what sodium tripolyphosphate is much less what it does!  Turns out it acts as an emulsifier and helps the food retain moisture.  It’s most common use, though, is as a water softener in detergent.  Other uses include antifreeze, leather tanning and flame retardants.  I’m suddenly wishing I hadn’t looked up sodium tripolyphosphate!

But what about our fresh food: fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and grains?  Surely they’re safe since they aren’t processed.  We buy these in their original form.  Right?  Maybe not. 

Click through for an amazing TED talk by Robyn O’Brien on why we should, at the very least, be informing ourselves before making decisions on the foods we feed the most vulnerable and most vital people among us, our children.

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