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Engaging Preschoolers in Food Tasting and Movement Activities Using Mobile Applications

Published:September 20, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.08.002
      The ubiquity of mobile devices and their use in daily life create new paths for health promotion interventions, such as promoting healthy behaviors among families.

      Pew Research Center. Mobile fact sheet. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/. Accessed February 24, 2022.

      ,
      • Haibach-Beach PS
      • Reid G
      • Collier DH
      Motor Learning and Development.
      The preschool years are an important stage of development when children begin displaying independence while still requiring guidance to help them develop healthy eating and physical activity (PA) behaviors.
      • McCloskey M
      • Johnson SL
      • Benz C
      • et al.
      Parent perceptions of mobile device use among preschool-aged children in rural Head Start centers.
      ,
      • Johnson SL.
      Developmental and environmental influences on young children's vegetable preferences and consumption.
      At the same time, preschoolers are engaging with screens, with 98% of young children having access to digital devices and 42% owning a tablet.
      • Kalati AT
      • Kim MS.
      What is the effect of touchscreen technology on young children's learning?: a systematic review.
      The increase in the use of technology can pose both challenges and opportunities, particularly for parents who must define time limits and the type of media children access (ie, educational vs entertainment) while also balancing screentime with other activities, such as developing literacy skills (both reading and numeracy), engaging in play (active, dramatic, social, etc), and developing social-emotional skills, all of which are essential for healthy growth and development. Mobile applications (apps) can serve as tools that help parents positively engage with their children and assist them in developing skills needed for optimal development, including eating and movement skills.
      • Laranjeiro D.
      Development of game-based m-learning apps for preschoolers.
      Digital strategies, such as mobile apps, can substitute some of the time spent engaging in entertainment with education about foods and eating while also potentially replacing some sedentary screentime with active screentime, thus, moving children closer to respective recommendations.
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      REFERENCES

      1. Pew Research Center. Mobile fact sheet. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/. Accessed February 24, 2022.

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