“I'd never let my kids have raisins as snacks.”
I know parents give their kids raisins thinking they're a healthy snack but they're full of hidden sugar that can destroy kid's teeth. Fruit juices are the same.
It's fine for kids to have a few sweet things a day but always with, or at the end of a meal, so their mouths aren't under constant acid attack.
It's so important to look after your kid's baby teeth. They do fall out but if they decay and fall out early that can cause massive issues with adult teeth when they come through.
- Cassandra Wee, Dental Surgeon, ABC Dental
“I'd never give unlimited screen time.”
Too much screen time makes kids lethargic, it reduces their face-to-face social time and leads to less physical activity. It also increases the likelihood of screen addiction and that's a powerful force for parents to reckon with.
I've found the more screen time I give my children, the more they want. To be fair I use screen time as a reward and a one-off so there's less expectation and sense of entitlement around it.
My six-year old has a screen time limit of 30 minutes a day and for an under five I'd suggest five minutes or less. Children under five are prone to screaming tantrums when screens are taken away and this can make it very stressful for a parent. In my experience, it's better to encourage children to go without, rather than have stressful battles enforcing screen time limits.
- Kimberley O'Brien, principal child psychologist, Quirky Kid Clinic.
“I never let my kids eat on the run.”
After seeing the results of kids choking on food, my kids have to sit down when they're eating. Grapes, cherry tomatoes or anything round and smooth that fits perfectly into the windpipe is the biggest concern. Food with jagged edges means air can still get in but a grape provides the perfect seal.
I would also never, ever leave my children unsupervised around any body of water. I've seen kids who have drowned in a bucket of water. It takes just seconds and the results are horrifying.
- Dr Kevin Swill, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist
“My kids will never get pudding as a reward.”
We talk about foods being 'bad' or 'good' for you and that's something I want to avoid with my kids. I don't want them to be preoccupied with what they should and shouldn't be eating. It makes some kids afraid of food and I deal with child food phobias on a regular basis.
For me food is food. It's not a treat, a reward or something to bribe your kids with. As long as you're providing wholesome, nutritious meals that's all you need to be doing as a parent.
- Kate Gudorf, accredited nutritionist