Although I’ve worked with children for some time now, I have recently learned a lot as co-chair of a new group of community partners called Healthy Families Prince George. For example, did you know on average, children are spending six hours a day in front of a screen? This includes watching TV, or playing with non-active electronic devices such as video games, tablets, computers, and cell phones. Looking back to my own childhood, I remember playing outside until we were called in to eat…boy, times have changed!
Healthy Families Prince George formed in the fall of 2011 in order to discuss the importance of physical activity and healthy eating for children ages 0-6. Community partners involved include Success by 6, the City of Prince George, Northern Health, School District #57, the Prince George Public Library, Pacific Sport Northern BC and the Child Care Resource & Referral…just to name a few. Our goal is to empower families, educators, and community service providers to support children in Prince George to eat healthy, be physically active and reduce screen time.
Depending on their age, children need between 60 and 180 minutes of daily activity for healthy growth and development.
Being physically active can help children:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Improve movement skills
- Increase fitness
- Build healthy hearts
- Have fun and feel happy
- Develop self-confidence
- Improve learning and attention
- Improve language skills
Here’s a few ideas on how to keep your little ones active:
- Create safe spaces for your children to play, indoors and outdoors
- Play music and learn action songs together
- Make time for play with other kids
- Get where you’re going by walking or biking
And remember there is nothing more your little one likes than participating in physical activity and healthy eating with you, their role models!
How do you help keep your kids active?
For more info on guidelines around physical activity for children, visit our position statement webpage and specifically our snapshot on sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity.
About Jenn Tkachuk
As the Children First Manager, Jenn works with the communities of Prince George, Quesnel, Mackenzie, McBride and Valemount to promote the importance of the early years, increase community planning and coordination, and improve service delivery for children, youth and families. Jenn has worked in the area of early childhood development for 10 years and holds a master’s degree in social work. To stay active, Jenn enjoys working in her yard, walking her dog and snowshoeing in the winter.