4 Times Breakfast in Front of the Television Is OK

Eating food in front of the television gets a bad rap. And for good reason. Teaching children good eating habits usually involves mindful eating and the television makes that impossible. Of course, this fact makes eating in front of the TV the holy grail of special treats.

My children who are 3.5 and 5 get ridiculously excited when we do family pizza and movie night. It usually involves a movie we all want to see, a large pizza, and many laughs. Sure, it isn't something I would do every day and for every meal, but as a special treat, my kids love it. And so do I.

Breakfast, on the other hand, is another story. It's the most important meal of the day and one I really want my kids to eat well. Additionally, we are almost always pressed for time in the morning, so a TV show is pretty much out of the question. Still, there are times TV and breakfast go hand in hand. These include:

  • When one child wakes up super early: Most mornings my kids are late sleepers, but there are the occasional 5:30 a.m. wake-up calls for no reason. This is a great time to pull up a movie for the kiddos, slap a couple waffles in the toaster, and let them eat and watch TV while mom and dad finish snoozing. 
  • When mom and dad (or child) is sick: There are few feelings worse than knowing you are ill and are going to have to care for a needy toddler by yourself all day when all you want to do is sleep it off. In this scenario, which shouldn't happen too often, the television is your best friend.
  • Weekend mornings: Remember weekend mornings spent reading the paper or a book all leisurely in the bed? You can have them back if you let the kids have an occasional breakfast with Caillou on Saturday morning. It's nostalgic, too. Who didn't love Saturday morning cartoons and eat many a Pop Tart that way? We may no longer feed our kids like that, but there is no reason they can't have an organic yogurt while watching PBS, right?
  • Mornings when mom needs to look good: When mom (or dad) has an early meeting and needs to actually shower/shave/look presentable, there are few better times to let the kids have their breakfast with the television. They are happy and you are dressed. It's a win-win.

The thing about parenting is we have all these rules, and sure, eating breakfast in front of the TV is generally a bad idea. But on occasion, it can be your best pal. Never say never!

Do you ever let your kids have breakfast in front of the TV?

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