Breaking Free from Screen Dependency During Family Meals: Strategies and Tips

Date of Publishing:   

03 July, 2023


Daily Living and Independence



Breaking Free from Screen Dependency During Family Meals: Strategies and Tips for Healthy Eating Habits

Has your child's mealtime been replaced with screen time? 

Do you give your child screen time requests every time you give them food?

When you forbid them from watching TV during meals, do they have temper tantrums?

Understanding Screen-Based Eating Habits:

Anyone who consumes food while seated in front of a screen, whether a youngster or an adult, is engaging in a passive activity. A child who eats in front of a television is therefore less likely to be aware of the tastes, textures, and aromas of the meal. Since their primary focus is on the screen, eating happens automatically.

This passive eating method has the drawback of preventing children from learning to:

  • Experience the tastes, textures, and scents of food.
  • Control when their stomachs feel full or hungry, for that matter. 
  • Have good food manipulation and chewing skills. 

This explains why they completely refuse to eat when you try to remove the tablet. There has been no advancement. Essentially no new foods gained. This is an issue not only at home, where kids might spend years eating in front of computers, but it's also a problem whenever your kid has to eat with other people.

Here's how it might be detrimental to them:

  • Children who are engrossed in a screen miss out on interpreting the crucial cues their bodies are giving them.
  • Obesity, poor eating practises, and slowed metabolism.
  • Watching TV or other screen during meals prevents families from having strong conversations. 

Strategies for Screen-Free Family Meals:

To break free from screen dependency during meals, consider the following strategies:

  • Family Dining: Encourage family meals and create a positive mealtime environment.
  • Lead by Example: Set a positive example by limiting screen use during meals.
  • Limit Access: Keep technology, including tablets, out of reach during mealtimes.
  • Make it Enjoyable: Engage in conversations and activities to make mealtimes enjoyable and distraction-free.

Consistency is key to achieving screen-free meals, even though it may take some time.

The Role of Parents in Promoting Healthy Eating Habits:

As a parent, your role is crucial in offering a variety of nutritious food options, choosing when and where to eat, making mealtimes enjoyable, reducing distractions, and setting a positive example for your child.

FAQs: Addressing Common Questions

Q: How can I encourage my child to eat without screens?

A: Start by making family meals a positive and enjoyable experience. Gradually limit screen use during meals to encourage active eating.

Q: What are the potential consequences of screen-based eating habits for children?

A: Screen-based eating can lead to issues such as obesity, poor eating habits, slowed metabolism, and challenges in social settings.

Q: How can I break the habit of screen dependency during family meals?

A: Implement consistent strategies, including family dining, leading by example, limiting access to screens, and making mealtimes enjoyable.

Q: What role do parents play in promoting healthy eating habits?

A: Parents play a crucial role in offering nutritious food, creating a positive mealtime environment, reducing distractions, and setting a good example for their children.

Q: Is it normal for children to resist screen-free meals initially?

A: Yes, resistance is common, and it may take time for children to adjust. Consistency and positive reinforcement can help in the transition.

Contact us

We would love to help you and your child out in every way possible. Fill out the form and lets start a beautiful journey.