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The Family Breakfast

Family Dinner Not Working? Try Family Breakfast

By Rachel Meeks

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?

Published April 19, 2011. Last updated June 27, 2018.
About the Author

Rachel Meeks

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 b...

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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