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Can TV watching and Feeding Go Together

Want your child to finish that vegetable fast? Think switching on his favorite cartoon will help you finish what is on his plate?

Think again!

You are actually establishing a faulty eating habit that may lead to health problems for your child in future.

How? Read on!

Studies show that watching TV while eating can:

  • Either reduce or increase your child’s food intake

  • Reduce your child’s sensitivity to internal cues to satiety
  • Lead to poor eating habits
  • Restrict meaningful communication between you and your child at meal times

Not just that, too much TV watching otherwise is also linked to:

  • Childhood obesity
  • Increased risk of high blood cholesterol in children
  • High chance of getting children tempted to high fat food items that are advertised on the TV
  • High chance of eating disorders in teenage girls who get impressed by thin models seen on the TV

You may wonder why worry now, my child is too small. Remember, old habits die hard. What seems like an entertaining activity while eating is actually sure way towards faulty lifestyle and poor health. Curb that habit, now!

Experts advise that children should be discouraged to eat while watching TV so that they can learn self-control of how much they eat at meals.

Here are some ways to discourage TV watching in your child:

  • Spend as much quality time with your child as possible.
  • Keep your child occupied in constructive activities that involve the active participation.
  • Set specific time for TV viewing and never combine TV watching with meal times.
  • American Pediatric Association recommends that children below 2 years should not watch any TV.
  • For children above 2 years, limit the TV watching to quality programming for not more than 1–2 hours in a day.
  • Be a good role model and enjoy your meals without any distraction from screens such as TV, phone etc.
  • Use mealtime as an opportunity to bond with your child.

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