Oh TV! That blessed time waster and entertainer of the masses. I will be the first to admit that I like to watch the old boob tube, and there are some programs I would not give up easily. My husband and I try to limit our viewing time (except for sports!), and have in the past only allowed ourselves 3 programs each week. I like to believe this is a relatively healthy attitude to TV watching. So does our baby get 3 programs a week too? No way!
We have a total TV ban for our (nearly) one year old. She has never actively watched a TV program in her short life. There was one day, when she was about 3 months old, that I cracked and put a kids show on. She turned away and cried out for a cuddle. The TV has stayed off ever since.
‘Oh you are SO mean, TV doesn’t do any harm. It’s good for them’. The amount of times I have heard this. People are very upset at my decision to have a TV free baby. For some odd reason this simple household choice, gets a huge negative reaction from family and friends. But do you know what? The research shows that TV DOES do harm to the developement of under two’s. It’s not good for them at all! And am I really depriving my daughter? Hell no! Do you know what my baby gets instead? She gets me! I sing, I dance, I entertain! We interact and play together, and sometimes she even plays by herself! No TV required. I think is is a much healthier way to raise my little girl than plonking her in front of the TV, and the research agrees with me.
‘But how do you get things done’? The truth is I don’t know any different. And things do get done. I work, I cook, I clean, and things still continue as expected in our house.
The link below is a nicely written article in the NY times about the recommendation of no TV for under two’s. What is really surprising, and more challenging to our household, is that fact that background TV and computer screens also affect babies. Now I am pretty fond of my tech toys, and we often have the TV on at the weekends (again, the sport!), so this has really got me thinking. From now on there will be no TV during the week, unless it is one of our three shows. We will try not to watch together, so one of us can play with bub in another room. The biggest challenge for me is limiting my phone, iPad and computer screen time. So I am giving myself two slots a day to check emails, Facebook and blog. There is nothing more important to me than raising my daughter in the most healthy way possible. So if that means unplugging, I’m there. I even suspect this might be good for me too! Wish me luck!
The other night I watched a TV show that was truly shocking. Fast food baby aired on ABC2, and followed three children under three who ate fast food at every meal. EVERY meal! One child even had 6 cups of coke a day!
This type of diet for a child is nothing short of abuse. We were all outraged by the ‘smoking baby’ in Indonesia, but fast food for children does not elicit the same response. Why? In Australia, obesity has now overtaken smoking as the leading preventable cause of death. A diet consisting of only takeaway or convenience foods, will lead to obesity in nearly all cases. Yet people remain apathetic about food choices for children.
I see diet as one of the most important aspects of parenthood. Nutritional needs are massive in the growing child, and this should only be met with high quality nutritious food, filtered water and a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. All additives should be removed from the diet of young children; they just are not safe, especially in the quantity and variety consumed in a modern diet (additives are only tested for safety individually, there is no data available on the effects of combining additives. Information on safe amounts is also not released, so the consumption of multiple foods with additives may in fact be exceeding the safe daily level).
We all want our children to be healthy, and most of us would never deny our children an important medicine if they were very ill. Good nutrition is the medicine that ensures good health. A good diet gives nutrients for growth, energy for play, helps build a healthy immune system, ensures good brain development and makes for happy, energetic kids. Fast food gives nothing but a lifetime of health issues.
If you have trouble choosing or preparing healthy foods for your kids, get some help. See a naturopath, nutritionist or your local child health centre. There are plenty of resources for parents out there. If you have a picky eater, check out this book http://www.mangetoutkids.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=74&Itemid=50
Good food can be prepared easily and affordably. I find it so satisfying to see my daughter eat a beautiful, healthy meal I made with love for her. I know you will too.
Link to fast food baby program http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=3399586#/series/3399586
My baby girl is well on the move now, crawling and standing and into everything! It is so lovely to watch her little face as she examines new objects, plays with doors and explores her world. Her expressions change from wonder to puzzlement and back again as she finds new things to learn about. It’s such a precious time 🙂
It’s also a time of lots of little accidents though. Bruised knees are ever present, fingers have been jammed, and her head takes knocks all day long. So far for us the biggest problem is the bruised knees. Baby girl loves to explore the paved area outside, but this leaves her with sore, inflamed and bruised knees, which she then avoids crawling on. For the most part I like to allow her body to heal unaided (it needs to learn!), but I have been using some over the counter creams on her knees. My favourite is traumeel cream- a homeopathic cream that helps the soreness and swelling. I have used arnica cream on her too, which is specific for bruising.
Little cuts and scratches are also becoming common (normally on the face to advertise to the world that I’m a bad mother who let her child fall on her face *sigh*). My very favourite remedy for these? Wait for it…. Breastmilk!! Yep that’s right, I express a little milk on my hands and rub it into her cuts. It is amazing stuff! If that’s too weird for you, or you are no longer breastfeeding, then calendula ointment works really well. For older kids, or under dressings, manuka honey is another great option.
All of these things are super simple remedies available from health food stores. They are brilliant for minor oppsies and totally natural.