As stated in the Ayurveda, तन्मना भोजनगतः चित्तः। Concentrating one’s mind on food while eating should be the mantra for life. Are our thoughts positive or negative? And how is our attitude toward the food on our plate? Everything impacts our psychology and digestion. Now imagine practising silence while eating to expose ourselves to the world of information while having meals, and how technology has impacted our lifestyle.
With the fast pace life and changing scenarios at home where family members are busy working it has become inevitable for parents to aid distractions while feeding their kids. Kids watching TV and mobile during meal times is a very common scenario nowadays.
It might be a victory for parents when their child eats without making a tantrum. But is it sustainable? Most parents are unaware of the long-term consequences of the same and it has become an addiction for kids as well as adults. Recent studies by BMC Public Health have also observed that Parents act as role models for their kids. And the ignorant behaviour of parents becomes a part of personality when it comes to their kids.
Let us see why watching TV and mobile while eating is a bad idea
It leads to overeating – When we are not conscious while eating, it is very much possible to not listen to our stomach whether it wants more food or not. The simple science behind this is that our stomach sends us a signal right before it is full and if we stop eating at that time, digestive juices are secreted in a very balanced manner. But since our mind is busy processing the information we are watching we tend to ignore the signal. The result is nothing else but obesity.
Unhealthy eating habits – In the long run, children become habitual to eating while watching and watching while eating. Now not only they do overeat but also tend to munch on a lot of unhealthy snacks while binge-watching.
With that, a lot of other side effects like lower metabolism and indigestion problems are observed in children who are having screen time while eating.
What is the way for Parents?
Children follow what they see. This should be the first thing that parents should keep in mind. Right from the beginning parents should try to avoid any kind of distractions while feeding kids.
It is difficult in the initial phase to keep the child engaged and focused while eating, but once it becomes a habit, it is a cakewalk for them to swear by this habit.
Parents can try to initiate engaging conversations with kids and if they are still not listening, they can even play calming music while eating. This helps them to stay calm and pay attention to the food they are eating. After all “our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food”