This week, we talked about screen time during meal times – a boon or a bane? We also talked about managing meal times with infants and our fussy, bossy toddlers.
Screen Time During Meals
How many of us automatically turn on a video or k-drama when we’re alone breastfeeding or eating?
It’s relaxing, entertaining and gets us through the boredom of loneliness.
We talked about the distinction between children who are older, who have already established their relationship with food, versus very young children, who are beginning their relationship with food.
For the very young, screen time deprives them of opportunities to observe and learn from important social interactions and create a proper relationship with food during meal times.
Moreover, for young children who lack impulse control as their pre-frontal cortex is still in its early development stage, they are vulnerable and easily addicted to high stimulation activities, such as screen time.
Easing the Meal Time Workload
We acknowledged the very real difficulties and time-consuming nature that meal time prep, meal time supervision and post-meal clean-up has on parents and caregivers. How can we make it easier?
If you’ve caught our previous podcast on hacks on how to be more productive at home, read the blogpost here. Or check out our curated list of toys, activity books and some free worksheets that will make your parenting journey, a little bit easier.
We also discussed the value of investing in tools such as the Isa Uchi ISMART Digital 6 in 1 multi-function baby food processor that can steam, blend, warm, sterilize, keep food warm; and do its own self-cleaning with the descaling function.
The great thing about such tools is that it frees up your hands and eyes to spend more quality time with your child.
My Bossy Toddler
Do you have a toddler who keeps throwing food? Or a toddler who refuses to try new food?
We talk about how understanding what developmental stage your child is at is crucial in understanding how to best manage their meal times.
For example, throwing is a fundamental movement skill that all children begin to experiment with; and it helps develop their hand-eye coordination, visual perception, strength control and understand science concepts such as gravity and object properties.
Interrupting that behaviour could be extremely frustrating for your child because at that moment, he or she is completely caught up in learning; and is naturally excited to do so. Preventing a child from throwing could result in poor visual and depth perception (smashing into walls, sitting on other people, walking into others, etc.), inability to control strength for certain tasks; and difficulty understanding the properties of objects.
We’ve got a guide to help parents navigate this difficult phase by identifying behaviours that are unique to this developmental stage, with recommendations on how parents can help their children explore the world; and still eat well.
My Fussy Toddler
We’ve spoken many times about how essential variety is to a balanced diet!
How do you work around a fussy child? Each child is unique, so different approaches may be required. For example, some children would only show an interest in a food if it inspires their imagination in some other way – e.g. reading a book about it, or talking about the cultural significance behind it. Others get curious when they see an adult’s reaction to it.
I certainly remember being fascinated by the idea of pizza after watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid!
Nutritionists believe that it takes 10 to 15 exposures before a child is willing to try a new food. This could be in the form of it being offered to them directly, or seeing others eating it.
Talk to us!
Questions? Comments? Hit us up in the comments below, or hop on over to our Facebook Page or Instagram.
Or share your stories and hacks with our mummy community!
Next week, we’ll be talking about the impact that diet has on our children’s behaviour and skin. Does the trendy new paleo diet truly resolve eczema? We discuss, next week on Mummy Matters.
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