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TV in the kitchen?

(22 Posts)
auntyspan Thu 05-Jul-07 17:15:44

DD gets very distracted at eating times and after a few spoonfuls refuses to eat, just wants to play. MIL suggested a TV in the kitchen to distract her - she has one in her house and DD ate like a dream when we went to stay.
Don't want to get into bad habits though?

NoodleStroodle Thu 05-Jul-07 17:17:18

I think she will be even more distracted by the TV. DS & DD sit with food halfway to their mouths when they are allowed to eat in fornt of TV for special treat

purpleturtle Thu 05-Jul-07 17:18:33

I'd be much more inclined to cut any snacks between meals, so that she learns to eat at meal times or go without.

Occasionally we eat in front of the TV as a treat - but I'd hate to have one in the kitchen.

NotQuiteCockney Thu 05-Jul-07 17:20:47

Eating while watching TV is a very bad habit indeed.

auntyspan Thu 05-Jul-07 17:23:57

Well that's my instinct too - but DP thinks we should give it a try..... will stick to my guns I think.

NotQuiteCockney Thu 05-Jul-07 17:26:08

If you eat while watching TV (or doing anything else) you aren't paying attention to your food, so you aren't listening to any signals of fullness from your stomach etc.

How old is your DD? Is she underweight? How is her diet, generally?

FrannyandZooey Thu 05-Jul-07 17:28:12

I think is crap idea

there is more to meal time than how much food gets shovelled into her throat

3littlefrogs Thu 05-Jul-07 17:50:31

Most important thing is to sit down and eat together. Even if it isn't your meal time, sit down and have a cup of tea or something - so that you are sitting at the table together. Bad idea to have the TV on unless you are actually watching something as your primary activity IYSWIM.

auntyspan Fri 06-Jul-07 17:04:02

I'm not "shovelling food into her throat". I'm genuinely concerned that she's not getting enough fruit and veg (she's not underweight, but prefers stodgy things like toast, sandwiches, t-cakes etc and has a very sweet tooth). I've cut out her afternoon snack completely. If she's hungry I offer her raspberries or something similar.

Basically, at every mealtime, she eats a few mouthfuls and then when her immediate appetite is satisfied she looks for something else to do. She's very active, has a max of a 30 minute sleep during the day and is constantly moving from one thing to another.

I always sit down with her and have a drink when she's eating. She's good with finger food but still not confident with a fork / spoon, so I help her out.

She's 17 months.

purpleturtle Fri 06-Jul-07 17:10:56

You say she ate well at your MIL's house. Were you all eating with her then, rather than just sitting with her? Could that have been a factor?

auntyspan Fri 06-Jul-07 17:19:31

Hmmmm possibly - she wasn't snacking as much which I'm sure had something to do with it - she was definitely more hungry.

I usually let her have a few toys etc at the table - do you think I should just have food and nothing else, so she can focus on that? The times I've tried it she gets frustrated and starts crying and starts chucking food everywhere.

3littlefrogs Fri 06-Jul-07 17:34:20

Why not just end the meal when she has had enough? She will probably then eat more at the next meal. The worst thing you can do is turn meal times into a battle field. If she only wants 4 mouthfuls that is fine. No snacks in between, except maybe a piece of fruit.

FrannyandZooey Fri 06-Jul-07 18:29:56

Auntyspan sorry if you took the wrong impression from my post. I wasn't suggesting that you were shovelling food into her mouth, but I think that's what your MIL is suggesting.

theStallionOfSensibleness Fri 06-Jul-07 18:30:33


imo of course

purpleturtle Fri 06-Jul-07 18:33:51

I did once see Dr Tanya Byron remove a toy from a child in the House of Tiny Tearaways, because "a mealtime isn't playtime".

It's not difficult to see how she might get distracted if there are toys on the table. Ds2 is only 10 months, and is happy to play with a spoon or fork if he's fed up with eating (or, more likely in his case, has dropped the rest of his food on the floor).

auntyspan Sat 07-Jul-07 22:22:54

Well breakthrough tonight - no toys, no distractions. She had a couple of mouthfuls, started wriggling & shouting to get down. Didn't pander to her, just sat with her. She calmed down and ate almost 2/3rds of the her meal once she'd had her paddy....

Thanks for giving me the confidence to stick to my guns ladies.... seems to have worked.

Franny - sorry, did misunderstand your post, and yes MIL was inferring that's what I should be doing... but then DP went to boarding school when he was 7 so what does she know.....!

Stallion... I'm just ignoring you.....

Thanks ladies - what would I do without MN .....

northender Sat 07-Jul-07 22:30:55

Well done for not giving in to mil. TV when at mealtimes can only be a bad thing imo

purpleturtle Sun 08-Jul-07 18:36:00

Great news, auntyspan. May it herald a whole new era of good eating in your house!

justgivemeoneminute Sun 08-Jul-07 18:46:04

I do have a tv in the kitchen but I never have it switched on at mealtimes. I've taught both my kids to each as much as they can (they both tend to clear their plates) and wait until both have finished before they ask to leave the table, together. The youngest is 3 so I'm obviously very pleased!

However, if they have been good all week (ie school nights etc) I let them have a picnic on the floor of the lounge, with whatever they want on tv, on a non-school night - that way they are rewarded for being so good during the week and it proves to them that I've noticed.

I always sit with them at tea-time, at the table, and we chat about school, playgroup, friends etc. I see it as good quality family time and they enjoy telling me what they've been up to.

TV would only distract them, they would probably be so engrossed in what they're watching their teas will go cold, they won't want to eat it, and it doesn't help them to chew and digest their food properly....and I expect most of it would miss their mouths and end up on the floor!

maisemor Mon 09-Jul-07 15:15:55

It is probably just me being thick here but do you not eat at the same time as her?

justgivemeoneminute Mon 09-Jul-07 19:42:15

Maisemor - is that for auntyspan? ....

I don't eat with my kids...I wait till dh comes home and we eat together. My kids eat their tea at 5pm - too early for me and I prefer to catch up with dh and his day over tea.

moondog Mon 09-Jul-07 19:44:51

Tv at meal times very bad idea.
As Franny says,more to it than shovelling it in automatically.

I wouldn't worry about getting enough to eat either.Seriously how many kids in Western hemisphere are malnourished.

As a salt ,my colleagues and I are v v concerned about tvs destroying mealtimes.

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