Watching TV during mealtime.

@ellie26 (4128)
Malaysia
May 21, 2007 2:41am CST
A few days ago I went to visit a friend of mine. Her children were having their meals and at the same time watching TV. We sit and chat for about 20 minutes or so and her children were still eating. I can see that they were watching TV more than eating their food. Its make me wonder whether is it okay to let children watch TV during meal time? I dont allow my children to watch TV during meal time because I believe that it will make them eat less. It takes them more time to eat and the food will get cold. When this happens, the food will not be tasty anymore. Do you let your children watch TV during their meal time, mummies?
8 people like this
32 responses
• India
21 May 07
I think it is better to allot a time slot to children to watch tv and ask them not to do so while having their lunch/dinner. Its true that if children watch tv while eating, they tend to eat less. Although my daughter is quite small, just nine months, I have decided not to allow her to watch tv while having meal.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
I agree with you. Thanks for your respond.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
Eating while watching TV is not a good practice. It is not eating less but eating with no limit and can cause obesity among children. They are too obsessed with the programme that they forgot they have exceeded their intake of food.
2 people like this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
Agree with you zandi. What about children who are not a good eater? Do you think we should let them watch TV during meal time? I think it will spoil their appetite further, dont you think so?
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
What choice have I got, if they are poor eaters put on the best cartoon show and feed them at the same time. They will totally forget that they are being fed. Thats the only bribe to get them to eat.
2 people like this
• United States
22 May 07
Eating in front of the T.V. should only be a once in a while, special occasion type of thing. Dinner should be a time to bring the family together and get reacquainted about the day. Good time to find out what has been going on in your kid's lives.
1 person likes this
@abroji (3247)
• India
21 May 07
This is a very nice question ellie. But unfortunately I cann't give you a reply since I don't have any children at home. But in my opinion we should not allow children to eat before the TV. Eating should be done in a systematic way. Watching TV will keep the children from eating properly. So we should insist that children should not wath TV while eating. Thank you, ellie.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
It is good that you know in advance. Thanks for your respond abroji.
2 people like this
@abroji (3247)
• India
22 May 07
You are welcone ellie.
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
21 May 07
Sometimes I do if we are watching a movie during dinner. We eat at the coffee table together. Usually having take out meals such as pizza or sandwiches. My daughter is sure to eat her meal and quickly though, so I have not had too many problems with her watching t.v. and not eating. Most often I like to have dinner at the table and discuss the days events.
2 people like this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
Hello mamasan34, I think some children do eat more while watching TV. Thanks for your respond.
2 people like this
• India
21 May 07
Yes watching TV while taking meal, does slows up the eating process. Also child concentrates more on the show, and eats less. I am not a mother but have practical experience in it. Actually I myself had this habit of watching TV while eating meal, and had this habit for long years. After I came to 6th standard, I had left it.
2 people like this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
Some children just forgot about their food altogether when they are put all their attention on their favorite program. Thanks for your response.
• United States
21 May 07
Meal time in our house is family time. We are busy during the week and this is our chance to sit down and catch up. There are times during the summer that I let them eat their lunch in front of the TV just for something different, but never supper.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
Ok, thanks for your respond.
1 person likes this
21 May 07
I used to allow my son to watch television during mealtimes as it was often the only way I could get him to eat. He would be distracted by television and would eat what was on his plate without looking down and realising that he was actually eating the foods he would refuse under normal circumstances. As he got older I found that we didn't need to have the television on at mealtimes, so we didn't bother
2 people like this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
Hi recyclegoth, I think some children will eat more while watching TV, just like what zandi458 said.
1 person likes this
@rapolu_cs (1184)
• India
21 May 07
no, i never allow my little one to watch t.v while having his measls or dinner as i think in the same way as yu do and i belive in the same what yu have mentioned in your disscussion.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
21 May 07
Yes, it is better to be strict about meal times. No TV during meal time. Thank for your respond.
1 person likes this
@rojane (500)
• Philippines
22 May 07
hi ellie! im not yet a mommy but i do have a niece and a nephew in our house. in my opinion, it's not good to let your kids watch tv while eating. i dunnoh if this is true but they say that we have to eat at most 20 minutes so the food nutrients will be distributed evenly in our body system. in that case, if kids do eat while watching tv, it'll take more than 20 minutes to finish their food. hence, the food nutrients will not be properly distributed aside from the fact that they also might lose their appetite some time in between. i sometimes do that, watching while eating meals, and i end up not feeling full for i eventually lose appetite. and that's not good especially with kids who still need a lot of growing up.
@rojane (500)
• Philippines
5 Jun 07
hi Ellie! Just wanna thank you for the best response! *mwahugzz*
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 07
My toddler is such a picky eater that I will put on her favorite program (ex. Disney DVD's, Caillou, Barney, etc) so she would eat. But usually this happens during lunchtime. But breakfast, she eats with me and dinner time, we sit down as a family and I let her tell her father how did her day went. Hopefully one of these days, she will eat everything on her plate. During dinner, we turn of the tv so that we can talk how did our day went.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
Hello ladymoonstone143, parents has hard time to get their children to eat. I admire the way you handle your daughter during mealtime, especially during dinner time. Thanks for your response.
• Philippines
22 May 07
i wahtch tv when i'm eating and i enjoy it rather than eating alone
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
Ok, thanks for your response.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
21 May 07
Oh oh...I have to admit I am guilty of this. I do know that I should not allow this but I do. I used to eat in front of the T.V. when I was a child as well, so I guess the habit just sort of followed me. This really should be a time in the day when discussions take place and bonds are formed. This post has made me think about that and realize it is time to change my behaviour. cheers
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
Hello golfproo, dont feel guilty. It is only a discussion. Anyway, it is good that you find this discussion contribute something to you. Thanks for your response.
@bindishah (2062)
• India
21 May 07
I actually used to watch tv during my meals when i was a kid too. Actually, even now I do that sometimes. I think its ok to do so at time sbut not all the times. Coz a mealtime should be family time where we can all share our day's happenings rather than watch tv.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
Ok, thanks for your response.
@hezoid (2147)
21 May 07
I personally eat plenty of meals in front of the TV, but that's becuase i'm an adult and like to have something to do while earing my food. However, i'm not so sure it's a good idea for kiddies to eat their meals in front of the TV. They are likely to get distracted by it and forget about their food, which is never a good thing. I think it's a bad habit for a child to get in to. They need a set time when they sit down and have meals properly, so that they know it's 'meal time' rather than 'watching TV' time etc.
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
Yes that what I thought. They cant do two thing at one time. It is either meal time or tv time. Thanks for your response.
@kariliv (16)
• United States
21 May 07
I let her watch TV while she eats all the time. I only put as much as she will eat on her plate anyway. She doesn't have a set meal time, either. I let her tell me when she is hungry, so that when she does have her meal, she is easting from hunger and not from habit.
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
The same problem with me. My son doesnt have a proper meal time. He will tell me when he is hungry. Thanks for your response.
@lynboobsy11 (11346)
• Philippines
21 May 07
Yeah your right its not right for food to wait, as I remember when I was a child my mother told me if were eating and time for meals set aside the work or whatt your doing because food is like a sacred thing that God has given us for everyday living and we must be thankful for that and it is not good that never ever refuse food when its time to eat. So from now on til now that I'm a mom too I told my children what my mothers told to me.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
22 May 07
Yes I agree with you. Thanks for your response.
• India
22 May 07
Watching TV while having food is really a bad habit So this habit is to be stopped Reason being the intake gets lesser and because of lack of concentration the food tat gets in doesnt stick on to the body thereby defeating the basic purpose of having food.
@mkup30 (494)
• United States
22 May 07
it depends on the situation. are they poor eaters? is that the ONLY time they watch tv all day? I think dinners are important for family to get together and talk, really talk and see eachother and know what is going on in eachothers lives. these days things are so busy and hectic we forget and are too rushed to have a meal together to talk and learn about eachothers days and feelings.
1 person likes this
@shinjiao (1464)
• China
22 May 07
Hi,ellie26! I seldom watch T.V. during mealtime.When I was young,my parents didn't allow me to watch T.V. during mealtime and they told me that this was a bad habit.Watching T.V during mealtime is bad for health.You have to pay attention on the T.V.set and it can cause indigestion.Parents should tell their children not to watchT.V.during mealtime.
@rathan (1)
• India
22 May 07
watching tv at the time of meals is bad in my view because by watching tv we become fat
1 person likes this