The free DinnerTime app can show children how much time they have for dinner and then locks their phone.

Once the parent activates the DinnerTime function on their kids' devices, everything from apps and the internet to texting and calling friends is temporarily disabled.

"I noticed children find technology to be addictive at times and are easily distracted by their devices at dinnertime and bedtime," its creator Richard Sah from the firm ZeroDesktop was quoted as saying in a company release.

Children can even see a countdown clock so they are aware of exactly how much time remains before they are able to access their device again.

"Simply install the app on the parent's device (Android phone or iPhone) and child's Android device, and DinnerTime can be activated anytime, anywhere," Young Song, CEO of ZeroDesktop, added.