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School Wellness Initiative

Can Apps teach your child healthy habits?

Can Apps teach your child healthy habits?

We have heard it for years; computer games and TV watching have played a large role in the rise of childhood obesity. Kids are not as active, and would rather choose to sit at home playing a game than spending time outside, running around. Considering these facts, I have to admit that I was a bit surprised by the recent App competition launched by USDA and Let’s Move. For the competition, App developers had to follow specific guidelines while aiming to produce an educational App that supports and teaches healthy choices for children (winning Apps can be found at www.appsforhealthykids.com).

Personally, I try to severely limit the time the kids spend in front of the TV, playing wii, or Nintendo DS. Not only to promote physical activity, but also to make them aware of things their surroundings. I see so many kids (as well as adults) walking around in the stores, sitting in waiting rooms, and standing in line, always plugged in to an electronic device, and often wonder if they know what is going on around them. Nonetheless, there are times when the use of an electronic device may be welcomed, such as on a long trip or on a rainy day. These are the times when educational Apps and other games become helpful. If your child needs to “play” on your phone or tablet, try to make sure that he or she is learning something while doing so. Although there are plenty of spelling, reading, and math games available for all ages, why not let the kids learn more about eating healthy, and the impact a balanced meal can have on their overall health?

Quoting Oscar Wilde, “everything in moderation”, it seems appropriate to let our kids enjoy screen time every now and then. But when doing so, please maximize the benefits by choosing educational shows, games and Apps. You might even learn something new!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you!

/ Jessica
Posted: March 15, 2013 by Melodie Griffin

Melodie Griffin

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