A new study featured in the American Academy of Pediatrics found that pre-school kids eat what they see on TV, even when they’re not hungry. The study concludes that this could lead to weight gain and poor long term eating habits. Pediatrician Dr. Sheena Banerjee of AllKids Urgent Care visited Channel 3 to tell parents what they need to know.
Media, which includes television, video games, and other online entertainment, can influence children with subliminal advertising causing them to crave snacks and other food items even in the absence of hunger. Children are developing food habits for life, so it’s important to make sure they aren’t mindlessly eating and ignoring their hunger cues.
Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics
- 1-2 years old: Restrict media time, introduce high level programming
- 2-5 years old: Limit child to one hour of quality media or TV a day
- Turn off the TV and computers when not in use
- No screen time during meals
- No screen time before bed
It’s important to keep screen time to a minimum, but especially during meal times and bedtime. You don’t want your child distracted while eating as this will also cause them to ignore hunger cues and eat mindlessly. When you expose your child (or yourself) to screen time before bed, you are inhibiting an important hormone that your body needs to produce for a good night’s sleep.
Moderation is the key to everything including media time and snacks. Dessert is a sometimes food, not an every day event and you should never give a sweet as a reward for good behavior.
Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care
AllKids Urgent Care believes that all kids deserve the best. Both our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care are open from noon to 10 pm daily, including holidays, so we are available when kids (and parents) need us most. For more information on our pediatric urgent care clinics, click here for more information.