Nowadays, babies don’t eat their food if we don’t turn on television for them or play some animated video in our smartphone. I believe meal time is the most precious time for everyone and that includes infants as well. The time when we eat food should be happy and peaceful. As we take care of our children’s physical health by making sure that they eat all the nutritious food, we need to take care of their mental and emotional health too. For this we should try to make our children eat in a peaceful environment. You will have to be a little strict with your child, but that’s okay. You must not allow them to watch television while eating. Some tips which I follow for my child:
1. If a child is hungry then he will throw less tantrums and we won’t need a television or mobiles to distract them. If your child throws tantrums, you can make some funny faces and feed her.
2. While feeding I always sing rhymes/bhajans or mantras to my child to distract her. She is easily distracted and opens her mouth to eat. Singing mantras or any religious songs to children helps in their emotional development.
3. I always keep looking for new and innovative ways to get my child to eat because singing songs every day or making faces don’t work. I pretend to talk to the chair, her toys, wall clock, and any thing around me at that time. I usually say, ‘khalo chair! khalo chair! My baby is sharing her food with chair” and then she takes it from my hand.
4. A child’s father should also help. My husband also distracts our child while she is eating. At dinner time, my husband jumps, does yoga poses, or runs slowly to get her interested. He does anything and everything possible to make sure she eats her food without watching television.
5. My baby will turn 11 months old. Up until now, I haven’t made her watch videos in mobile phones at her meal times. But I give my phone to her for about 10-15 minutes every day so as to make her learn poems.
6. Last but not the least, I read story books to my child. We also play with her so that she can learn the value of playing outdoors and physical health.
Using mobiles can be very dangerous for a child’s mental health. It can hamper their physical growth too. Gift your child real happiness. Don’t let them get intoxicated by digital world. Try your 200% to feed your child without turning on the television. My husband and I switch off our mobile phones too before going to bed and keep them far away when our little girl is awake or playing. I hope all the babies stay healthy and happy.
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