We all know keeping children active and eating well is the basis of a happy child.

But one worrying survey released this week has shown children’s hobbies are being replaced by gadgets and the internet. And a second shows 12 per cent of eight-year-olds are spending more than four hours online each day.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying all sorts of activities available to children.

The odd piece of cake and pizza and chips for tea on a Friday night are an essential part of the week.

And who doesn’t check the internet for news or catch up with their friends?

The problem comes when the internet is getting in the way of life for our children.

According to Sainsbury’s this week, watching TV or YouTube is more popular than playing with toys for seven to 12-year-olds.

And building dens came only ninth in the top ten current children’s hobbies.

In an age where the internet and screen time rule what are children want to do, it can be difficult to get them to do anything else.

And we all know how hard it can be to get a teenager to try anything they don’t want to.

It is why it is so important for exercise, hobbies and activities to be instilled in children from a young age.

Schools do a fantastic job offering clubs from football and tennis to indoor cricket and trim trails. Sports centres and groups also do their bit to give children something fun and active outside of the classroom, with rugby, gymnastics and trampolining popular.

But we shouldn’t underestimate our influence as adults and parents. And not everything has to cost money.

Take a trip to your local park, grab the bikes and head to the woods or have a go at building your own den with whatever you can find close to home.

Together, we can make a difference in giving our children the best start we can.