"Screen time" is a term used for activities done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games. Spending too much time on the screen:1

  • Makes it difficult for your kid to sleep at night.
  • Increases risk of attention problems, anxiety and depression.
  • Increases risk of gaining too much weight.

High screen time increases obesity risk because of 1

  • Sitting and watching a screen is a time that is not spent being physically active.
  • TV commercials and other screen ads can lead to unhealthy food choices.
  • Children eat more when they are watching TV, especially if they see ads for food.

How can you tame TV temptations and promote healthier eating? 2,3

  • Avoid watching TV or any other electronic devices while eating. Eating together regularly promotes healthful eating and family bonding.
  • Gradually reduce electronic devices during meals.
  • Teach your kid about healthy food choices. Help them grow vegetables in your own garden or visit a farmer's market with them.
  • Young children have a willingness to learn and a genuine desire to help. Let them help in the kitchen.
  • Set limits around screen time.
  • Turn off all the electronic devices during mealtime.
  • Consider giving your toddler a little toy to play with at the dining table.
  • Sit with your kid and interact with them during mealtimes.
  • When your children see you choosing healthy foods and beverages and limit the use of electronic devices, they will observe and mimic the same.


  1. Screen time and children [Internet]. Available from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000355.htm. Accessed on 29th February 2020
  2. How TV Can Influence What Your Child Eats [Internet]. Available from https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/eating-as-a-family/does-tv-influence-what-your-child-eats. Accessed on 29th February 2020
  3. TODDLER WON'T EAT WITHOUT TV OR IPAD? HERE'S HOW WE CUT OUT SCREEN TIME DURING MEALS [INTERNET]. Available from https://highchairchronicles.com/cut-out-screen-time-meals/. Accessed on 29th February 2020