Many Canadian children are in front of a screen for an average of 7.5 hours every day. Time spent in front of a cell phone, tablet, or television screen takes away from time spent being active or with the family.
Eating well and staying active are key to lifelong health, and creating these habits early in life will help your family develop the skills and knowledge they need to lead a healthy future! It can seem challenging to tell children to power off their screens, but having activities that the family can do together will make kids quickly forget about their devices and build strong memories of quality family time.
Below are some tips to get everyone involved in healthy activities, whether it is being active as a family or getting your kids in the kitchen.
Getting Kids in the Kitchen:
- Get your kids involved in meal prep at every stage of the process
- Have your kids look through flyers for healthy foods on sale
- Get your kids to help write out the grocery list
- Bring your kids to the grocery store to help pick out healthy meal ideas
- Allow your kids to pick an entrée or side dish options throughout the week
- Help your kids put together a folder of their favourite recipes
- Go to a farmers market near you on the weekend
- Eat together as a family whenever possible; leave the screens behind
The Fun Way to be Active:
- Get the whole family moving after dinner by walking, biking, or going to the park
- Keep active outdoors in any season - garden, rake leaves or shovel snow
- Let your kids make a playlist of their favourite songs and play freeze dance on the weekends (parents - feel free to add in some of your favourite songs too!)
- Play basketball at a local community court
- Go on family hikes or trail walks
- Encourage your kids to bring a friend along for family activities
Parents play a big role in modelling healthy behaviours, and it is important to lead by example. One way to do so is by giving your family positive feedback will continue to build strong and healthy traditions.
Positive attitudes and behaviours are contagious!