Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
University of California
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education

Lesson 2.6: Turn off the TV

Background: Television and other screen devices, grab the attention of today’s children. Though computers and the internet play an important role in learning and sharing ideas, health professionals, teachers, and parents have also expressed concerns about too much exposure among children to screen devices and social media. Too much time viewing TV increases the risk of obesity among children possibly due to: 1) less time for physical activity; 2) effect of food ads on children’s food and beverage choices; 3) eating unhealthy snacks while viewing TV; and 4) interference with sleep.

Doctors make these recommendations: 

  • Avoid screen media exposure for children under 2 years of age;
  • Limit the total amount of entertainment screen time to 2 hours or less per day;
  • Move televisions and other screen devices out of children’s bedrooms;
  • Turn off screen devices an hour before bedtime to avoid interrupting sleep;
  • Monitor the media (including web and social media) that children are using;
  • View television, movies, and videos with your children. Use this opportunity to discuss your family values; and
  • Model good parenting by setting a family plan for using media. Reinforce mealtimes, bedtimes, and other healthy routines with reasonable but firm rules.

Teaching tip: The role play exercise is entertaining and also gives participant practice in setting limits. Use this lesson to reinforce earlier messages about the benefits of active play or how to develop fine motor skills through drawing/crafts.

Target Audience: Mexican-origin families with young children, ages 3 to 8 years

Key Message: Use good parenting practices to limit leisure time in all screen devices

Objectives: By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

1) Explain how too much screen time can lead to poor health/social/academic outcomes in youth; 

2) Practice good parenting strategies to limit screen time in children; and

3) Identify at least one other indoor activity (board games, art, reading) to replace television and video games.


Families role play turning off TV at bedtime
Families role play turning off TV at bedtime


Picture of a TV screen


Food and other supplies for the food demonstration (suggested Fruity Parfait)

Handouts: recipes and screen time worksheets

Set-up: For role-playing activity, tape the picture of the TV screen to back of chair or wall and put another chair in front of the TV.


Click here to download the lesson plan Lesson 2.6 Turn off the TV (English verrsion)


Fruity Parfait (English) (Spanish)

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