For my children to not have two cooked dinners?

(219 Posts)
mrsnw Thu 05-Sep-13 16:51:29

So from next week my two, dd 4 and ds6, will be school dinners everyday. Am I being unreasonable to not cook them a dinner in the evening and just give them a sandwich or beans on toast?? What do others serve up?

FatalFlowerGarden Thu 05-Sep-13 17:12:34

I think people are getting confused between 'nutrition' and 'cooking'...

mrsjay Thu 05-Sep-13 17:12:57

the poster didnt say a sandwich every day she is talking about small lunchtime type meals at dinner time I really don't see the issue, and to say about school providing nutrition as if the op was neglecting her children well hmm

Sarnie or a bit of quiche. Cherry toms, cucumber, grapes, few bits of pepper, chunk of naice ham, babybel, handful of crisps = picky tea. It's called a cold collation. I learnt that off Mumsnet when a post exactly like this came up a few months ago grin We're very proud of our cold collations in our house.

Eastpoint Thu 05-Sep-13 17:14:27

When they are starting school they often don't eat much of the school lunch. What they are offered & what they actually eat are two completely different things. When my children were in primary school they had a nutritious balanced meal I knew they liked in the evening, this helped counterbalance the 'half a potato & a slice of cucumber' level of nutrition they had at school.

mrsnw Thu 05-Sep-13 17:14:31

Well firstly I was going to try and reduce my shopping bill. Two of them for the term is working out to be £300. We also pretty much do an activity every evening so will be short for time. A mixed response form you guys. I guess I should wait and see if they ask for a cooked dinner. My sons appetite is huge and would eat non stop. He's a rake though 😀

PoppyWearer Thu 05-Sep-13 17:14:33

YANBU, my 5yo is often too tired for a cooked meal after school and prefers to flop on the sofa with a sandwich or a plate of "picky bits". (She has school dinners.)

At most, if she is up to sitting at the table all she wants is some beans on toast or spaghetti hoops. Anything more complicated than that is spurned.

NoComet Thu 05-Sep-13 17:14:48

YANBU
School dinners are perfectly adequate for 4-6y DC with a good cold tea or hot snack as long as you put some fruit or salad with it.

Yes I cook for us, but DD2 is such a fusspot and eats so little it's often easiest simply to give her a snack. On the few days she will eat the school lunch.

With older DCs, perhaps 9 or 10, I'd check. School portions are not up to many Y5s and most Y6.

Secondary lunch seems to consist of random junk and I always cook tea.

Ragwort Thu 05-Sep-13 17:15:50

Ive always wondered what this issue with having 'two cooked meals' is. Is it an english thing to not have a hot dinner in the evening? I'd never heard of it before MN

Yes, I think this is totally a British thing, many people are obsessed with 'hot dinners' as if they are more nutritious than a 'cold' meal.

My DS is of the age when he is rushing in from school and then out to sports/scouts/whatever - he just needs a quick meal, sandwiches/yogurt and fruit is abosultely fine - and no, he doesn't have a 'hot' meal midday either. He is totally healthy.

Blu Thu 05-Sep-13 17:16:45

I would guess that a sandwich made with good wholemeal bread, some good quality protein, served with salad, or fruit is easily as balanced and nutritious as a school lunch and far better than pasta with pesto sauce, or white pasta with a slick of bottled Dolmio sauce for e.g.

Chicken salad sandwich, egg and cress, smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and salad, with a glass of milk.... all good options for a nutritious meal!

If you are considering jam on processed white sliced with a glass of squash then maybe not so great.

Altinkum Thu 05-Sep-13 17:16:46

No one is saying that mrsjay, however it would affect the children's nutrition daily.

By giving them sandwiches, which is high in carbs and salts for a meal everyday, and beans which is full of sugar, really isn't going to replace say a chicken dinner with fresh or frozen veg, or fish and cous cous (which are regulars in this house) .

Akray Thu 05-Sep-13 17:17:39

I always cook a dinner at night ~ enjoyable for all the family to sit round the table and discuss our day ~ it's something we look forward to.

Mine all have a packed lunches thou as they don't like school dinners! smile

LegoAcupuncture Thu 05-Sep-13 17:20:46

I wasnt suggesting that the Op was neglecting her children. I was simply saying that school dinners might not be as big as the op thinks.

When my DC are on hot dinners as opposed to packed lunches they get a hot meal. Doesn't bother me, but then I've never put much thought into it.

farewell yep in germany that's called abendbrot, it's a favourite at our house too smile Seems a bit different from what the OP is mentioning though as it's a pretty balanced meal, a bit of meat, cheese, bread, veg.

ihearsounds Thu 05-Sep-13 17:31:20

School lunches aren't all that great. Not all are freshly made, lots are basically ready meals that are heated up. Then there's the portion sizes. Really small. You can luck out and the meals are fab, but those schools are few and far between. The menus are lacking at times. Lots of carbs, not much protein and little fruit and veg. No where near the 5 a day.

Try it. But you might find that at 2 in the morning your children are waking you because they are starving.

animaniac Thu 05-Sep-13 17:32:02

I wasn't saying that food has to be hot to be nutritious, as other posters have said, you can have a good cold meal, im just not convinced that a sandwich on its own for dinner is quite right.

Wuldric Thu 05-Sep-13 17:35:03

I think two cooked meals a day is important - I wouldn't voluntarily be serving sandwiches for either meal - sandwiches tend not to be that great nutritionally in any event. And they are cold which is never great in a cold climate.

ZingWantsCake Thu 05-Sep-13 17:35:13

mrsnw

when mine were on school dinners I would normally make a hot dinner - but just because the younger children, my DH and I still needed/wanted/felt like a hot meal in the evening.
probably more in the winter than the summer - it's comforting, after all.

but there were times when they didn't have a hot supper, but a sandwich or or toast. it really doesn't matter. whatever you and your kids are happy with is fine!

not that they have packed lunches it's pretty much the same - although tonight they will have cereal as I'm not feeling well and can't be arsed to worry about dinner.

when on holiday the hot/cold food ratio varies from day to day, more cold, if you count ice cream!grin

you can ask the teachers to check if your kids eat finish off their lunches - what matters is that they don't get hungry!
the rest doesn't matter.

I normally give mine a snack when we get home.

ZingWantsCake Thu 05-Sep-13 17:36:54

typo alert! it should have been

*now that they have packed lunches...

idiot55 Thu 05-Sep-13 17:38:26

Depends on the school dinner, here the menu may read spag Bol, salad, garlic bread, fruit salad and yogurt.

In effect it's a small portion of spag Bol, and a yogurt if you are one of the ones last in the que!

We do a mix of proper meals, ie curry, rice, veg , tonight is lentil soup and pizza made with a muffin!

mrsnw Thu 05-Sep-13 17:47:04

We live in Hertfordshire and I think the dinners are pretty good. I do have a menu here, so will make sure they know what to have. They have to select what meal they would like in the morning so the cook provides the right amount of meals. We had a sample dinner and the portion sizes were generous. I know a dinner lady there so will perhaps ask her. I would serve salad / fruit in the evening as well. I like to provide them with a balanced diet. I guess my trail of thought was if they were having a pack lunch they would only have one hot meal so do I need to provide two? Thanks xx

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 05-Sep-13 17:47:05

I would be worried that they weren't getting enough vegetables or a broad enough diet.

And actually making sandwiches can be just as time consuming as cooking a piece of fish and some veg, or doing a quick stirfry or whatever.

I cook a meal for mine , as all 3 are hungry when they get home from school.

But I don't necessary cook a proper meal, dinner could anything from pie and veg, toasted sandwiches and soup to pancakes.

I do find that there is normally one day on the 3 week rota that they do not like at all so I make sure I cook a decent meal that night.

FatalFlowerGarden Thu 05-Sep-13 17:48:32

But why is two cooked meals a day important, wuldric? Genuinely interested! I'm not suggesting dcs should only ever get sandwiches (!!) but equally really don't get this hot meals obsession.

MortifiedAdams Thu 05-Sep-13 17:49:59

Id do a hot meal in the winter, warm them through after activities / trudging through the snow etc. Summer - jacket pots, omelettes, sarnies, quesedillas, all quick and ideal with a salad.

I think it depends to be honest. With my dd its one or the other. If she eats a big cooked lunch she won't touch her tea really so I'd be wasting my time cooking, crackers and an apple would be about as far as it would be worth going.

It all depends on your kids appetites and the quality of the meals.

If the meals are food and your kids are t that hungry then of course sandwiches /crackers and some fruit would be totally fine. If the meals aren't that great I would try and do something like home made soups or French toast with berries and a yogurt.

If of course te meals aren't great and of course tiny I'd do another meal. Even if its just a chicken salad or a tuna jacket.

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