Side effects of watching TV while eating

It is a common sight in many households – children watching TV and eating their foods; or parents feeding children while they are playing with mobile or tablet. Many parents resort to mealtime distractions for their children to distract the little ones so that they eat a certain amount of food. Preschool Rolling Hills Estates, CA says distracting children to get them to eat is unhealthy. The habit of eating food while watching TV prevents children from listening to their bodies and understanding when they are hungry or full.

If you allow your kids watching TV during their mealtime you should be aware of its side effects.

Leads to obesity:
It has been proved by various social experiments that watching television during mealtime leads to overeating or obesity. Toddlers tend to eat more while watching TV as they pay more attention to the screen rather than the food.

Unhealthy eating habit:
In today’s device-driven world, children tend to adopt some unhealthy habits and watching television while eating is one of them. According to the teachers of preschool, children should sit with other family members during their mealtime, so that they learn to enjoy food instead of just gobbling them down. Eating together as a whole family is a very good habit and a healthy way to strengthen relationships.

Many medical researchers have proved that the human brain notes the internal processing of different food and sends the message back in terms of taste and palate satisfaction. But if you are distracted while eating, your concentration shifts, and the brain gets distracted and sends out wrong signals which may lead to starvation or overeating.

You might binge on junk food:
The teachers of the Preschool Rolling Hills Estates, CA have pointed out another common side effect of watching TV at mealtime is that kids may choose quantity over quality which is mostly packaged food that is loaded with calories. Moreover, most of the TV commercials are loaded with fast foods and junk foods, which in turn make them, opt for those unhealthy food choices over some healthy options.

Lower metabolic rate:
Watching TV during mealtime does not help in burning calories rather it reduces the metabolic rate, so food gets digested very slowly.

If kids are sitting in front of the TV and eating their food, they may experience indigestion. According to the teachers of Playschool, this happens because they remain more focused on the video rather than what or how much they are eating.

Some tips to keep your kids away from the TV while eating:
  • If your toddlers are already having the habit of watching TV and eating, you need to make sure that they are hungry but not starting at the mealtime.
  • Don't allow them to eat heavy snacks close to their mealtimes.
  • Give them your complete attention during mealtime so that they understand that many times are for food only.
  • In the beginning, start with smaller mealtimes and with foods that they like.
  • To help your kids develop any healthy habits you need to be patient and have faith in them.