Healthy holiday viewing

Summertime and the living IS easy - but often operating at a full-roar.

Trips to the beach, play days for kids with friends and family, outings to concerts, movies, theme parks and more. Spending time being active outdoors at play, is essential and healthy for the entire family.

However - there is also a need to pause and just collapse at home or at your holiday location during the heat of the day and in the evenings. Time to do very little if not nothing ! - watching the latest or old favourite movies on DVD's or video.

The guilt factor usually associated with entertaining the kids or family with back to back Video/DVD viewing can more or less get thrown out the window during the holidays - if you find you and your family just need to sit and "chill-out".

Based on the fact that the media plays such a significant role in children's early development, Walt Disney Home Entertainment in Australia produced a Healthy Viewing Guide. Commonly asked questions are answered about safe viewing, repetition of certain titles, children watching DVD's alone and how to enhance the creativity of your children through the videos and DVD's that they watch.

Tips for Healthy Holiday Viewing include:

•    Age appropriate movies to accommodate the youngest family member watching.
•    Most of the family classics, such as Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, are rated G therefore appropriate for all family members.
•    Prepare healthy snack foods to nibble on throughout the movie/s, rather than mountains of fairy floss, chocolate and lollies. EG

Serves: 4


4 English muffins, split and lightly toasted
1/2 cup pizza sauce or tomato puree
1 cup grated Australian Mozzarella Cheese
4 slices thinly sliced ham
1 tomato, sliced
3/4 cup pineapple pieces, drained
1 tablespoon sliced black olives
1/2 small green capsicum


1.    Spread muffins with pizza sauce and cheese.
2.    Arrange remaining ingredients decoratively on top to make 'funny faces'. For example, tomato face, pineapple smile, ham hair and olive eyes.
3.    Grill until heated through and browned slightly.

Tip: A great recipe to involve the kids - they can put their own funny faces together.

Nutrient analysis per serve:
Energy: 586 kJ; Protein: 9 g; Total fat: 4 g; Carbohydrate: 18 g

If the weather prevents you from going out as much as you would like, you can extend the entertainment level of your movie watching by:

  • Playing charades - each family member acts out a scene from the movie/s and the others guess which the scene is.
  • Playing charades - each family member acts out a scene from the movie/s and the others guess which the scene is.
  • Extend the movie experience with your kids by creating your own mini-play/movie to act out. For example, if Peter Pan is a classic video that your children love, you could write a play based on an adventure that Wendy has in the 21 first century. Wendy could now be an astronaut who wants to visit the moon and you could create a fantasy play around that theme. Let your children's (and your) imagination run wild for this play. Once you have written your play, rehearse your lines and act out the play.

Holidays are about taking time out. Meals can be quick and easy - yet healthy. Likewise the activities your children undertake during the lengthy holiday break both with you and on their own are intended to be fun - but not a chore for you. You also need down time to regenerate and reflect on the year. Movies at the cinema and at home provide a top opportunity for everyone to chill together.

Recipe - Endorsed by the Diary Australia Test Kitchen