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Don't let summertime become tv time for kids

Posted on Jun 27, 2014 by Maggie LaBarbera

It's summertime and kids are out of school.     

So what are they doing to keep busy during what used to be "school time?"

Good question.  You might be surprised (or maybe not so surprised) to learn that most kids increase their television time during summertime.  The average child is watching around 4 hours of TV a day during summer.

Of course, you can replace school time with other activities like day camp, summer school or some other program.  But what if that is not an option?  

Here is why you don't want kids just sitting in front of the television:

  • kids tend to mindlessly snack more
  • they are getting exposed to more food advertisements (and not the healthy foods)
  • may be falling behind in their reading and writing and arithmetic skills over summer
  • are developing poor habits that may carry forward into the school year

Here are some strategies to help kids move away from sitting in front of the television.

  • make a television schedule to limit tv to 2 hours or less a day
  • make a family commitment and have everyone sign and then place it in a visible place
  • avoid using tv time as a reward or a punishment
  • structure some family time that involves local parks or community centers that are free
  • avoid tv in the kids bedroom, it is just to easy to turn on and watch
  • create a list together as a family of activities that children can do each day


Nourish Thought for the Day:  

If you are having a sweet craving, satisfy it with naturally sweet foods like strawberries, peaches or a handful of raisins.


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