For as long as my daughter has been an independent eater, we've allowed her to watch cartoons on an iPad during dinner because otherwise she would be too distracted to sit still long enough to eat. And then we let this habit go on a really long time because many times we'll be fried from a full workday and will zone out on our own phones/reading during dinner. We really need to break this habit because my daughter is becoming less attune to her body and is eating more than she really needs to (by her own admission - she has said multiple times in the past few weeks that she's too full/uncomfortable/etc) because she's distracted by the TV, and frankly we just need to stop being zombies at the dinner table all around. However, she is still fairly easily distractible and without conversation or some kind of engagement, she just won't sit long enough to eat, so I also don't want to create the opposite problem of her bouncing off before she's eaten comfortably because she'd rather do something else.
So, wondering if folks have any ideas for how to make dinner time engaging enough that she will eat thoughtfully but not be a full-on distraction? I have tons of conversation prompts that I can call upon, but she's a big talker and gets really excited to tell whatever story and again, doesn't eat and then dinner drags on for hours. I'd love to find some balance between not being fully distracted and not distracted at all, especially being an introvert myself who's usually really fried after a workday too. Thanks!