A majority of toddler moms complain about how they have difficulty in feeding their babies without distracting them with a video on their smartphones. Children are often very fussy eaters and persuading them to eat healthy food is not easy. Whether at home or in a restaurant, parents often resort to showing videos on their mobiles just to make the baby eat without a tantrum.
How does video-watching during meals affect a pre-schooler?
Just as in adults, distracted or hurried eating can cause a lot of physical and emotional damage in a toddler. Some of the harmful effects of watching mobile videos while eating are:
- Overeating – Video-watching is one of the biggest causes of toddler obesity. Studies have shown that we tend to overfeed the baby because the kid is engrossed in the video and does not indicate when the tummy is full.
- Gulping food – When your child is distracted by a smartphone video he just gulps the food. His mind does not savour the food and develop preferences.
- Slow metabolism – Seeing a video while eating lowers your baby’s metabolic rate. Consequently, the food is digested slowly and excess fat is burned slowly.
- Indigestion – Your toddler’s addiction to videos during meals every day may ultimately lead to frequent bouts of indigestion, colic pain, reflux, constipation/diarrhoea, etc.
- Allergies – Both you and the kid are distracted by the mobile video. So you are also not as alert as you should be in detecting allergic reactions to certain foods.
- Interaction – It is truly said that ‘a family that eats together stays together’! Meals are the best time for parent-child bonding. While watching a video, your pre-schooler does not interact with the rest of the family and misses out on precious quality time.
How to encourage your toddler to eat without a video
Distraction from a video makes it easier to feed your child. In due course, this becomes a habit and your kid may refuse to eat a meal without watching a video. Even if the habit has set in, you can wean your child from the habit. Initially, your little one may throw tantrums and make a huge fuss. But if you persist, then eventually the child will learn to eat without the distraction. These are a few tips on how to prevent toddler from watching videos during meals every day:
- Keep everyone’s mobile devices away during meals
- Take help from other members of the family to keep the child in conversation
- Try to add creativity in the food, in order to make it look a little more attractive
- Avoid texting or browsing on your phone during meals
- If necessary, only play audio music (preferably nursery rhymes) instead of showing videos
- Give more time to the toddler so that your child learns to value personal relationships more than objects.
As you have seen, there are many harmful side effects of a toddler not eating without mobile video clips. Video-watching during meals adversely affects the physical and emotional well-being of your toddler. Your child’s welfare is within your hands and not so difficult to manage.