We know that eating as a family fosters much more than just family memories-it helps children build vocabulary, it provides a chance for to parents be good role models for their kids and it even reduces the risk of risky behavior for teens.
BUT--eating together WITH the TV on tends to negate some of the positive effects. In a study conducted by the NY State Department of Health, kids who ate dinner with their families while watching TV ate fewer fruits and veggies than when there was no TV.
Bottom Line: Turn the TV off during meals! The AAP recommends that kids under 2 watch no TV; over 2 should limit to 1 or 2 hours of high quality programming. With an emphasis here on high quality, leave the adult sitcoms, crime investigation and other adult themes for TIVO. When you have little ones, you're just destined to have a television diet more aligned with The Wiggles, Dora and Disney!