Words can’t describe all the joy and happiness that a family feels when expecting the arrival of a new family member. Babies are the cutest treasure for parents. They teach us to behave, act, be kind and good, and be full of love.
They rule our world.
We can’t imagine our world without their cute voice, small hands, and sparkly eyes. Their presence makes us feel calm and happy.
We prepare everything for our little ones, from various bottles and pacifiers to books, toys, and of course, our biggest friend (or enemy), smartphones.
Why Reducing Screen Time is Important During Meals
Most parents are confused and don’t know how to act when setting rules for their kids. Time is essential in providing habits.
With the consultation of a pediatrician, we should organize our day and night to raise our toddlers.
Toddlers often don’t respect rules. We need to teach them, but somehow we don’t. They refuse to sleep, so we play calming music, read stories, and never leave the toddler (like we don’t need sleep).
They refuse to eat, and we include smartphones as a tool in the feeding process.
We play our toddler’s favorite video on the smartphone and feed them. They don’t enjoy the food or the taste. Instead, they only open their mouth and swallow without even acknowledging that they’re eating.
The sad fact is that toddlers eat just because of the video they watch.
Negative Effects of Excessive Screen Time on Toddlers During Meals
We must limit screen usage time to protect our toddlers from the negative effects of tech overuse. The dangerous risks children are exposed to if you don’t lower their screen time are:
- Gaining weight because children eat more while using tech;
- Eating for hours only to watch or play on their phones for hours;
- Isolation and no socializing;
- Screaming and crying when parents take the smartphone;
- Watching before bedtime results in insomnia;
- Eyesight problems;
- Mental problems;
- Addiction (according to Common Sense, nearly half of all children are tech-addicted);
Parents, you don’t want to see these negative behaviors in your kids while they are growing up. So let’s get to work and develop healthy meal habits.
Tips for Reducing Screen Time During Meals
Creating Mealtime Routines
To start, it’s important to teach our kids how important food is. Food contains vitamins, minerals, and proteins that our body’s immune system needs to protect us from diseases.
But children often don’t accept some meals, no matter how healthy they are. We must persuade our kids into eating yummy, healthy food.
Talk to your kid about the contents of the plate and make a story. It is lunchtime and, for example, you have chicken breast and corn, tomato for salad, and orange juice for drink.
Introduce to your kid that chicken breast comes from an animal called chicken, show them how corn looks, and point out that tomato is a vegetable and orange juice comes from the squeezed orange fruit.
It is fun, motivating, and educational at the same time. Kids accept these interactions because they communicate with their parents and enjoy their food.
Practice this with all meals, and your kid will be pleased, interactive, and eager to learn about fruits, vegetables, meat, and of course, sweets!
Let Kids Discover Food and Develop Healthy Habits
Stimulate your kids to eat by themselves and get in touch with the food, and explain the use of healthy ingredients. But also set good hygiene habits like washing your hands before eating.
Another healthy habit is having family meals together. You can involve children in preparing the meal (you can use smartphones to listen to music while cooking), setting the table, and then enjoying delicious food.
Books and Toys as a Daily Routine
When kids are bored, they usually take their smartphones and get into action. We can’t expect little kids to understand the negative impacts of tech usage, which is why we should engage them in tech-free activities.
You should make time and play with their toys. It is interesting because we transform our kids’ room into a playhouse. Don’t mind the mess! Dive into the beautiful world of toys, imitate characters, and invent stories.
Also, read books to your kids. Stories are always educational and develop thinking, evaluating, and understanding skills, improving children’s vocabulary and ways of expressing themselves.
Bed stories are a must thing to do. Your kid will fall asleep calmly and peacefully. To watch your kid sleep is a priceless feeling.
We, parents, can achieve reducing screen usage time if we use proper tactics and spend enough time with our kids. Radical treatment will fail at the start.
Planning our kids’ time, managing their meals in a fun and educational way, and talking and sharing experiences with our kids will limit screen time without arguing.
We can implement our screen time limits if we allow kids to explore and learn while eating and make them know to value the food. So, make the rules habits instead of forcing them.
Be a role model to your kid.
Don’t use your smartphone on the table or when you interact with your kid. Also, you shouldn’t push your kid to respect rules. Instead, be with your kids because time flies and toddlers will become teenagers soon.
How can I reduce my toddler’s screen time during meals?
Communication and interaction with your kid will provide the chance to reduce screen time.
How much screen time is too much for toddlers during meals?
Every screen time over half an hour or hour is too much time for toddlers during meals.
What are some healthy mealtime activities to replace screen time for toddlers?
Prepare meals with toddlers, introduce them to the portion content through stories and games, and let your kid get messy and use their hands while eating (but don’t forget to wash them before).
Should I limit screen time during all meals or just some?
Limiting screen time during all meals will be the best thing to do. But it always depends on you and your way of thinking.