#31: Learning to eat without the TV and other mealtime distractions

toddler eating with tv on

In this episode, I’m answering a listener’s question on how to help her child eat, when the only way they can eat is with the TV on. I go over all my recommendations with regards to watching TV, or providing other distractions for your toddler, during mealtimes. Now, if you’ve seen some of my content before, you’ll know that I really love family style meals, mealtime conversations, and minimal distractions while eating. This all helps to promote a positive mealtime environment, and is the perfect setting for teaching mindfulness while eating. That being said, you can probably guess how I feel about screen time during meals…

I know, it’s so convenient to just turn on your toddler’s favourite show and let them zone out in order to get them to eat. BUT – that’s exactly the issue…they’re “zoning out”. They’re paying attention to the TV, and not to their food, or their tummies. In the episode, I give you tips on how to remove the TV from mealtimes, as well as give you recommendations on what you can do instead to fix the issue for real vs. use TV as a bandaid solution.

(PS >> The same will be true for other distractions, TV is just a really great example, and I receive this question a lot, I’m even sharing one of them today!)

As always, if you get value from this podcast, please subscribe, rate, and review it at Apple Podcasts. And – I’d love to know – does your toddler require distractions to eat? Send me an email at [email protected] or DM me on Instagram (@mylittleeater) to tell me all about it. If this is something you’re looking to get help with, I want to be able to provide you with the answers you need!

Additional Resources:

If you’re looking for help with feeding your toddler, you need my Feeding Toddlers online course! This is perfect for parents of babies over 10 months who have already learned how to introduce finger foods and table foods, and are now looking to move onto the next stage – toddler feeding – which is a very different approach than feeding a baby! Learn how to prevent or manage picky eating tendencies, and tackle typical toddler behaviours (ahem – like objecting to mealtimes without their favourite show, book, toy, etc.) Enroll now to get full access to all of my recommendations, and to get the lowdown on how to get the best nutrition for your toddler.

TODDLER COURSE: https://mylittleeater.com/feeding-toddlers/

Check out some of my blogs/podcasts on related topics

THE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY: https://mylittleeater.com/9-the-one-feeding-strategy-that-will-change-mealtimes-forever/

TEACHING MINDFULNESS: https://mylittleeater.com/how-to-teach-mindful-eating-to-your-toddler/

FAMILY STYLE MEALS: https://mylittleeater.com/why-and-how-to-start-serving-family-style-meals/

MEALTIME CONVERSATIONS PT.1: https://mylittleeater.com/mealtime-conversations-part-1/

MEALTIME CONVERSATIONS PT. 2: https://mylittleeater.com/mealtime-conversations-part-two/

Skip To…

What is a mealtime distraction (2:08)

A question from a listener (3:34)

Why we want kids to have the full mealtime experience (4:22)

How distractions affect hunger and fullness cues (6:18)

Why distraction really equals control (8:12)

How to remove distractions (15:20)


meet edwena

Registered pediatric dietitian, mom of two picky-turned-adventurous eater, and the creator of the Texture Timeline™ – an exclusive tool to help move your baby through easy to more advanced purees and finger foods to prevent picky eating.

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