Avoid screen time during meal times and using food as a reward or to soothe. This recommendation for toddlers is among a new set of guidelines rolled out after previous studies found that young children here are not getting enough sleep and have too much screen time.
The guidelines, set by a workgroup led by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), are aimed at supporting parents to instil better daily habits from birth to improve their children’s health and well-being in the long term. The workgroup included doctors, allied health professionals, academics, educators and researchers.
Singapore’s first set of integrated 24-hour activity guidelines for children under the age of seven outlines advice in four main areas – physical activity; sedentary behaviour; sleep; and diet and eating habits.
The report, released in January, noted that early childhood is a critical period for growth and adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours can impact habits later in life.
Dr Benny Loo, chairman of the workgroup, says it had made reference to several local studies in coming up with the guidelines.