Distracted Eating

Picture of a family sitting down for dinnerA literature research on distracted eating was conducted by the Penn State 5210 Research Team which lead to the publication of a new tool sheet to explain the negative effects of distracted eating. This sheet will be added to the 5210 Families Toolkit soon.  You can see the new distracted eating tool sheet by clicking here.  The 5210 Healthy Children version is also available by emailing us at 5210@psu.edu.

5210 Highlight – Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

5210 Healthy Military Children is flourishing at Scott Air Force Base (AFB). One of the many successful programs is the 5210 Great Outdoors Challenge.

Designed and implemented in 2016 by Darla Klausner, Program Director for 5210 Healthy Military Children at Scott AFB, the 5210 Healthy Military Children Great Outdoors Challenge encourages families to stay active and reduce screen time during the summer by participating in activities in the community. Families register and take their National Park Trust Buddy Bison and 5210 Great Outdoors Challenge Passport with them all summer.

Participants earn stamps on their passport and can submit photos of their Buddy Bison while participating in activities. Both on-base and off-base businesses and units have teamed up to provide areas and activities where children and families can earn stamps. Registered families have an opportunity to win prizes, including ‘best photo’ with Buddy Bison.

For more 5210 ideas, visit us at 5210.psu.edu, or email us at 5210@psu.edu, and don’t forget to check our monthly boosters!

Picture of the 5210 Great Outdoor Challange at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

Growing Up Digital – Managing Children’s Screen Time

With the rapid growth of technology, parents may find it challenging to manage or limit their children’s screen time. Screen time is free time spent sitting or reclining in front of televisions, computers, tables, and similar screens. Too much screen time is linked to behavioral problems, obesity, irregular sleep, impaired academic functioning, aggression, and less time for structured play. Parents should manage and set limits around screen time and become involved in children’s screen-time use – just as you monitor and engage in other activities. Here are a few tips on how to manage and put limits on screen time.

  • Keep Track of Screen Time. Make a daily log of the amount of time your child spends on screens and the types of content he or she is viewing. The quality of the content is just as important as the amount of time spent using screens.
  • Set Limits. When it comes to setting limits, you want the limits to be reasonable and attainable. You also want to set limits that are developmentally appropriate for your child. Develop a plan with your family to limit screen time, and discuss the reasons why it is important to set limits.
  • Be a Role Model. Try to limit the amount of recreational time you spend on your devices. During the periods when you allow your child to use screens, become more involved by co-viewing, such as playing apps together or watching a television show together. Talking with your child about what you are viewing can help facilitate learning.
  • Create Screen-Free Zones. Consider designating certain times of the day as screen-free, such as when completing homework (that is not on a computer), during dinner, a few hours before bedtime, or during family time. You can also designate certain areas of your home as screen free, such as bedrooms.
  • Kids Will Make Mistakes. Limiting recreational screen time could be challenging for your child especially if he or she has not had any prior limits set. Most importantly, be consistent and reasonable. Set realistic expectations and, if your child makes a mistake, help guide him or her back on track.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created a resource you can use to develop a Family Media Plan: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx

Additional Resources:
Screen Time and the Very Young

Television Tunnel Vision

Reid Chassiakos, Y., Radesky, J., Christakis D., Moreno, M. A., Cross, C. (2016). AAP Council on Communications and Media. Children and Adolescents and Digital Media. Pediatrics, 138(5), e20162593

Gingold, J. A., Simon, A. E., & Schoendorf, K. C. (2014). Excess screen time in US children: Association with family rules and alternative activities. Clinical Pediatrics, 53(1), 41-50.