Eating as a family without the television in the background is important for children to acquire good eating habits. It helps prevent obesity, promotes communication between parents and their children and is essential for helping children gain self-esteem and self-confidence. It has nothing but advantages!
Studies say that eating together around the same table offers children numerous nutritional benefits. They eat better, eat more fruit and vegetables, consume more vitamins minerals and fibre and learn to chew better.
A lot of these benefits disappear when the television is turned on. If children are watching the screen, they are not paying attention to what they are eating, not tasting their food and it is hard to make them understand that they need to eat their vegetables as well as their meat, even if they don't like them as much. They also don't chew as well, and since they do not eat consciously, their feelings of being full are inhibited and they are not aware of how much they are eating. For children who are slow eaters, the distraction of the TV prolongs mealtime even further. They may also see advertisements for sweets, pastries or soft drinks, which negatively influence their eating habits.
But there are also other reasons for turning the television off: