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Family Dinner Not Working? Try Family Breakfast

Apr19

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I aspire to family dinners together, but all too often they bring out the crazy side of my family with all of our quirks and challenges. I bury my face in my hands and tell myself that this is one of those things that will be easier when our little kids (ages 4 and 1) are older. It will.

We press on and continue to try having family dinners, but while our dinners are a work in progress, breakfast has become a win!

Maybe if we think about a family breakfast, we imagine that it’s something you do only on vacation or on Saturday mornings at a leisurely pace with waffles. It might seem hard to do together on a daily basis when you’re busy getting ready for a big day ahead, but I am convinced that breakfast together can be easier than dinner.

If dinner as a family isn’t happening at your house, give family breakfast a try.

1. The kids are rested in the morning. In the evening at dinner time is when my kids are most likely to misbehave, and I expect them to sit still in their chairs for twenty minutes or longer? Sometimes they do, but not always. It’s hard. They’re tired and worn out from the day, and their attention span is too short for now. Breakfast time is when they are at their sweetest, when they use their softest voices, and when they are looking forward to the day.

2. Kids generally like breakfast food. Instead of convincing kids that they’ll like the asparagus and “just try two bites,” the kids cheer when they see their familiar foods at breakfast.

3. Breakfast is an easy meal. It’s fast, so you can sit down at the table sooner. There is no thirty-minute minimum preparation time or recipes to consult.

  • Scrambled eggs = 4 minutes
  • Toast = 2 minutes
  • Frozen waffles = 3 minutes
  • Yogurt = 10 seconds
  • Banana = 15 seconds

4. The kids wake up hungry and ready to eat. It is so much easier to feed a hungry kid in the morning than a kid who doesn’t feel like eating dinner. Sometimes they might just eat a light snack before bed. As my kids are growing and their metabolisms change, it can be hard to predict what time they’ll be hungry for supper, but breakfast is a sure event they never miss.

5. A family breakfast helps set the tone for the day. When we start the day by sitting down together as a family, the kids are reminded that we’re with them. Better to connect with them first, to fill them up socially, instead of making them wait all day before we sit at the table together.

Does your family have a hard time sitting down to dinner too? I know there are different challenges as kids get older and have more complicated calendars. Do you eat breakfast as a family?

About the author


http://smallnotebook.org
Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it's so much easier to be a parent when you're not surrounded by a ton of stuff.)


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7 Responses to “Family Dinner Not Working? Try Family Breakfast”

  1. Zoot Apr 19 at 2:01 pm Reply Reply

    This is great…especially during baseball season when evenings are INSANE.

  2. With four kids and all their various extracurricular events and activities, we had no choice but to institute family breakfast a while back.

    Getting the six of us together for family dinner happens probably fewer than three times a week!

  3. Julia Apr 23 at 12:02 am Reply Reply

    My husband is a preacher and is gone most evenings with Bible studies, so mornings are our family time. And breakfast tends to be just as big of a deal for us as most people’s family dinners, and I love it that way for all the same reasons you mentioned!

  4. Amy Apr 23 at 11:02 am Reply Reply

    This is such great advice! My husband is a pastor, and while that means we spend more nights away from home that in it, I’m blessed that he can set his own schedule and go in to work late in the morning. I had a fellow pastor’s wife give me this advice earlier in our marriage, and I’m so glad I took it. We love having breakfast together!

  5. My husband tends to work late at night, and the mornings are our family time.  I’ve never thought about using the actual meal to be a place we center on, but I really think this might work for us.  

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Good Reads: Lost in Venice Edition - Apr 22

    [...] Family Dinner Not Working? Try Family Breakfast [...]

  2. Weekend Links - Apr 23

    [...] You know I’m in favor of family meals.  Dinner can be difficult though.  This idea from Rachel Meeks focuses on the importance of family, but substitutes breakfast for dinner. [...]

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