@Anonymous Dear parent, You’re right in being worried. Screens and mealtimes don’t make a good combination, because of the harmful effects they carry- screen distraction does not allow your child to focus on appetite cues such as taste, texture, flavours, quantity. The ads tempt children into wanting processed and junk food items. To pave the way for lifelong healthy eating, you need to lay the foundation for good eating behaviour starting now: · Start by removing all screens during meal times, even for yourselves. Don’t give in. Your child will initially fuss, maybe throw tantrums, but stick to the rule. If you give in, your child will learn to never eat without the screen. Initially, your child may not eat at all. But if you’re serious about making the change, don’t give in; your child will definitely not starve himself. · Make mealtimes a family activity, with all the family members gathering at the dinner table. If your child needs to eat earlier than other family members, sit with him while he eats, talk about the different foods on his plate, make up stories about them. · Offer the child what you eat as a family; don’t prepare separate meals especially for him. If he refuses to eat, respect that decision. When he gets hungry after some time, offer him the same food item again. · Don’t store up snacks that are processed and thus unhealthy. For example, don’t keep any chips, biscuits, chocolates, instant noodles, etc. in the house. When your child gets hungry, offer him fresh fruits, raw veggie sticks with homemade dips, or home-made fresh snacks. This will ensure a full tummy even if he refuses meals without a screen. Breaking any unhealthy behaviour pattern takes time and patience, but remember only you have the power to break it! All the best.
@Sportyze Thank you for sharing! This is something I also follow for my kid and it really helps. My elder one was so attached to the computer and gadgets and I was determined to start spending more time with him and distract him from using gadgets. Slowly he also started enjoying these and became more interested in outdoor games, events, books etc,