Monday, June 11, 2018

Day 3155 - The benefits of eating breakfast together

Do you eat breakfast together as a family?

As a kid one of my fondest memories is always sitting down for breakfast together as a family.  No matter what we were doing, where we were at in life, how busy everyone was, or how tired we might have been, breakfast was a sit down meal spent together every single day.

As a mum I have not continued that tradition.  Breakfast for us is a "serve yourself when you're ready to eat" kind of deal.  While we're all in the general vicinity of each other, we're not actually sitting down together in a purposeful way.

My husband tends to drink juice at his computer then grab an apple as he runs out the door to work. 

My son eats cereal at the bench watching You Tube on his iPad as he tries to wake up.  He then showers and sits down to do his morning homework while I scurry about the kitchen packing the lunch boxes for everyone. 

My daughter doesn't start her schooling until later in the day so she usually wanders out of her room as we're getting ready to leave the house. I scream out the "please empty and restack the dishwasher" instructions as I dash to the car. At which point I realise I haven't eaten breakfast and spend the next hour starving until I can get back to the house to make myself a shake.

Anyway, while it might be a bit late in my parenting to change our breakfast habits, I thought I might look into the benefits of eating breakfast together as a family, especially given I have such fond memories of my own childhood family time.

According to CBS News Money Watch even though 50 percent of Americans claim to eat dinner together as a family almost every night, the reality is that only 17 percent actually manage to pull it off consistently. The reality is people are busy with so many extracurricular activities, particularly as the kids get older. 

We are noticing that ourselves right now with the hubster playing basketball, my son's multiple soccer training sessions and my daughter's night time classes.  The CBS News Money Watch idea of "if families want to eat together, family breakfast might be better than family dinner" may actually be worth looking at.

They suggest that breakfast is a great family meal option because: 

  • kids tend to enjoy breakfast food more than fighting over vegetables, 
  • there's less pressure on the parents to cook in the morning, 
  • we tend to be "better behaved" of a morning due to 'fresh focus' and renewed energy,
  • everyone is home
  • the family can strategise together and talk about plans and daily goals
Science Direct looks at eating breakfast together as a family and the associated "sociodemographic characteristics and implications for diet quality and weight status". 

According to the abstract of a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "research has shown that adolescents who frequently share evening meals with their families experience more positive health outcomes, including diets of higher nutritional quality, however little is know about families eating together at breakfast".

"Regression models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, family dinner frequency, family functioning and family cohesion were used to examine associations of family breakfast frequency with dietary quality and weight status" and it was found that "eating breakfast together as a family can have benefits for dietary intake and weight status."

No shit Sherlock.  I mean, if it works for dinner it's a no brainer that it would also work for breakfast. 

Anyway, this is a long way of saying that I think my parents had it right.   Eating breakfast as a family seems as though it has a hell of a lot of benefits. 

What are your thoughts?

Do you eat breakfast together as a family?

How do you manage whole-of-family meal times?


  1. Definitely not together, I'm up and out very fast in the morning. I refuse to get up any earlier than I do so I eat breakfast at work.

  2. We always eat breakfast and our evening meal together, even if it's a quick sit down and not a leisurely meal. The only exception is if my husband or I are travelling for work but then it's one of us and our daughter. I think it's a great way to start the day. As I plan my meals I also know what we're having each day so I can make sure it's healthy.

  3. Hubby and I leave for work at the same time, so we have breakfast together too. But who know what will happen once baby arrives!

  4. We are all running in and out in the morning, 6 different start times.. break is not an option for us.

  5. I eat breakfast with the kids every morning before we do the drop-off. When hubster can, he joins us, but he's often out the door long before we are. Ditto dinner!

  6. Impossible in our house with my shift work! It’s nice to do every now and then though :)

  7. We don't eat breakfast together unless we have specifically gone out to do so. We always eat dinner at the table together, and lunch on the weekend.

  8. My husband and I have breakfast together once a week, and usually at a cafe or restaurant. Haha. Our schedules are just too different and you wouldn't even want to LOOK at me that early in the morning. That said, we LOVE our brunch times and find it a get place to touch base with each other and stay connected.

  9. No, never sat down to breakfast as a family as an older kid or even in our family. I might have sat down to feed a child cereal trying to grab something for me. We have had family breakfasts on holidays and they are great. I admit I like my solitary breakfast time (always have) with the daily paper and right now, bowl of weetbix. Cannot wait to get some toast back into me. We did have family dinner together most nights though as a kid and as a mother. My daughter and her adults/teens/schoolkid eat dinner together mostly.
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Share Your Snaps 5. A 'show off your photos' post! Denyse

  10. Re-visiting you from IBOT! Denyse #teamIBOT

  11. We all tend to operate differently in the morning. One kid likes to get ready first and then grab something small like a banana or cereal, the other eats when she wakes up. I do coffee first and usually take it back to bed with a book and then eat breakfast when I am more human. Hubby gets up and out the door!


I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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