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Should Screen Time Be Allowed While Eating?

Parenting is always an act of balancing. Parents almost always have to keep making choices between everything associated with their child’s well-being and growth. And why not, choosing the very best for the kids remains the primary motto of every parent! But in the current times of pandemic, when it is necessary for the kids to stay at home instead of venturing out, it has been seen that kids are becoming more dependent on gadgets for entertainment and time pass. And it has indeed become quite challenging for the parents to keep their little ones away from the mobile screen or TV screen. The problem particularly surfaces at mealtimes as most kids have become habitual to sticking to screens while eating.

We understand that several parents allow kids to watch TV or play with their smartphones while eating as they want the kids to finish their meals without any fuss. But while ensuring adequate nutrition for your child might be the reason behind such an arrangement, in reality, this will only be harmful to the kids. At JP International School, one of the leading schools in Greater Noida, we believe that eating, like any other activity, requires attention and focus. The digestion process begins as soon as we start eating. But when kids remain stuck to the screen while having their food, it might end up hindering the physiological process altogether. On that note, we are throwing light on some of the reasons today why we insist on not allowing screen time to kids while eating.

Eating while watching TV may lead to obesity

Science suggests that eating gives the best results when done within a certain period of time. When you allow your kids to watch TV or a video on their smartphone, their attention remains on the video and not on their food. Even though they do not fuss as they remain engaged in watching the content, they either end up eating more or take a longer time to finish their meal.

This reduces the nutritional intake impact substantially. You might be content with the idea that your child is eating well. But what is the use of merely making them chew some food items when the gross nutrition derived from the meal is not reaching its optimal value? Moreover, the slow digestion process encourages obesity, as the metabolism becomes slower with sluggish digestion.

Robs the opportunity of interaction with family

A lot of conversations and discussions happen over the diner tables. Since most families these days have both the parents working, it is the meal time that offers an opportunity to get involved in family bonding for most children.When the TV goes on or the child remains glued to the smartphone screen enjoying videos or animations, you lose a chance of strengthening the family bond. At JP International School, we firmly believe that learning to interact socially is also an integral part of growing up. And the basic lessons of social interaction begin with family interactions only. It is hence important that instead of staying glued to screens, children indulge in family discussions during meal times.

Allowing the kids screen time while eating imparts a wrong lesson

When you allow your kids to watch TV while eating, you unconsciously impart a lesson that eating is an act that needs compensations. If your child is not amenable to certain food items like vegetables, fruits, etc., try more good-looking, attractive, and lip-smacking recipes to tickle their interest, but do not simply allow them a distraction. Let your child understand the importance of eating. Do not lure them to the dinner table; instead, let them come on their own.

At JP International School, a renowned school in Greater Noida, we firmly believe that food is one of the most important elements in staying healthy, and thus needs due care and consideration. Hence, no matter what the age of your child is, when it comes to nutrition, no compromise shall be permitted. Be it the screen time or picky eating habits, try to manage the kids strategically without giving in to their tantrums, and they will soon head on to the right path.