not to know if I'm supposed to give DS a cooked tea?

(127 Posts)
atticusfinchatemybaby Thu 22-Sep-16 11:05:08

DS1 used to have cooked lunch at nursery, followed by tea there at 4pm (mostly bread and butter, dips, cheese, fruit etc). Then he'd come home and eat some more at 5.30 - sometimes virtually a whole cooked meal, sometimes almost nothing. He's just started Reception so now has cooked lunch there (but I have no idea what / how much he's eating) and a snack on way home. Do I cook him dinner? Give him toast? Some days he seems hungry, some days he isn't and I can't predict. What does everyone else do? I can't be arsed cooking yet another meal if it doesn't get eaten but I don't want him to go hungry.

2014newme Thu 22-Sep-16 11:07:05

Give him a meal. Whether that is a picnic type tea, beans in toast or gourmet cuisine is up to you.
Sandwiches tea is popular here.

5BlueHydrangea Thu 22-Sep-16 11:07:40

Kids in my experience are usually starving after school! My dd (6) always has a healthy appetite. She has school dinners, a snack straight after school then usually whatever we're having for dinner too. She is not overweight yet seems to eat loads!

Dadstheworld Thu 22-Sep-16 11:08:55

We used to have a cooked dinner as a family every night. Now he's year one. If he has a cooked lunch we just make a sandwich/Toast. On some days he has a jacket potato for lunch he has whatever we're having.

I guess it depends on the appetite of the child.

slightlyglitterbrained Thu 22-Sep-16 11:09:01

Are there quick meals you can do if he says he's starving? DS likes omelettes, or beans on toast. Early days yet but some days he just wants cheese & crackers, some days more. Past 6pm tho and nothing is right (used to eat later before but now he's too tired).

BarbaraofSeville Thu 22-Sep-16 11:14:18

If you cook something and he doesn't want it, can it be saved for the next day?

Could you ask him what he wants before your prepare it?

Hot food is not necessarily more filling, or 'better' than cold food - the hot food could be beige crap and chips and the cold food could be tuna and bean salad.

Cold food is not necessarily 'lighter', healthier or lower calories than hot food - compare the calorie/carb content of sandwiches and crisps with a hot meal that is made from lean meat and vegetables.

Hot food is not necessarily more time consuming than cold food - it is probably quicker to do egg or beans on toast than it is to start chopping up a load of salady bits.

People are weird about this, do what suits you and you don't have to do the same thing every day. I mostly eat hot food, because that's what I prefer. Others like cold food better and cook as little as possible. Horses for courses.

formerbabe Thu 22-Sep-16 11:30:00

I give my dc a cooked meal after school...they have school dinners but they are always hungry when I pick them up.

strawberrypenguin Thu 22-Sep-16 11:33:08

Why wouldn't you give a meal? You eat two meals (and breakfast) a day don't you?
My DS is starving after school so he has a snack and then the cooked family meal at dinner time.

roseteapot101 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:36:23

i give my daughter a cooked dinner sometimes she eats all of it sometimes she does not.

Maybe if he says hes not that hungry just cook something easier like scrambled eggs on toast or beans on toast or baked potato

ohnoonoo Thu 22-Sep-16 11:42:16

Why would you not? Surely he'd be starving having not eaten anything from lunch to the next day, minus a small snack?

phillipp Thu 22-Sep-16 11:44:20

Sorry but you can't just give him toast.

He needs 3 meals a day. Sometimes he may not eat it all but still needs 3 meals on offer.

user1473282350 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:44:50

I'd give him a well-balanced meal and make sure I was covering for the possibility that he may not have eaten any fruit and veg during the school day.

Do you see a school lunch menu plan?

VioletBam Thu 22-Sep-16 11:45:53

A "tea" every night is a habit you should get into. It's not something you don't do because you can't "be arsed" but it's a part of parenting. A basic part.

Doesn't have to be meat and two veg every night. Mine like easy meals like pasta with pesto and sliced sausages or bacon mixed in. Baked potato and ham or cheese with a bit of salad....super easy.

Children need to have a regularly offered evening meal. A toastie and some fruit is also good enough if they're not very hungry. I generally do 3
"proper" cooked meals a week and 4 light/easy ones.

Proper ones include a roast, spag bol. curry, chicken legs with some kind of potato and veg.

Plan your meal and if it's a light one and he turns out to be extra hungry, then later, he can have a boiled egg and toast or something.

atticusfinchatemybaby Thu 22-Sep-16 11:47:45

Wow, loads of responses, thanks. I think I'm going to stick with offering the cooked / 'proper' tea but if he doesn't seem hungry enough to eat it in the long term we'll try cheese on toast etc.
To clarify - I wasn't suggesting not feeding him anything in the evening! Just not sure if it should be a big meal or a light one.

HorraceTheOtter Thu 22-Sep-16 11:48:11

DS is having school lunches. Yesterday he had a bread roll (run out of the main course) and ice cream with fruit compote, this seems fairly typical so far. I'm giving a larger than normal cooked meal and looking in to packed lunches.

user1469095927 Thu 22-Sep-16 12:00:58

I always give a "proper" meal in the evening. My two are always starving from school so can eat a huge snack when they come in from school and still find room for a meal in the evening. That can range from beans on toast, soup and bread/sandwich, pasta, chicken based meals, mince based meals, baked potatoes. It depends on what we have on after school and what we have been doing. I give them a substantial packed lunch when they don't have school lunches and it doesn't make a difference - they are always hungry!

tootsietoo Thu 22-Sep-16 12:06:45

I've battled with this for 5 years now! And come to the conclusion that they have a cooked lunch at school and then a proper tea at 4pm when they get home. And when I say tea, I mean in the traditional sense - not meat and 2 veg, but a selection of snack things, wraps or sandwiches etc. Then they do stuff - activities, homework etc, and they will have fruit/yoghurt/cereal before bed at 7ish.

They always wanted food when they got in, and a biscuit or something was never enough, they couldn't wait until 6pm for a full meal. Plus now they do quite a lot after school, so I usually can't feed them at 6pm, and they need energy for the activities. Also they very often complain about my food and it is so frustrating when I have put time in to cooking something for them to not want it. So I go with the cold tea at 4pm.

ragz134 Thu 22-Sep-16 12:07:38

I generally give mine exactly what we are having, they have a cooked dinner at school but at least two of them only tend to have the jacket potatoes so I make sure they eat some meat and veg (if possible, not easy with fussy kids!) in the evening. They generally all eat a whole dinner and have done since reception. School lunch is quite early and the portions aren't very big, plus smaller children tend to be more interested in playtime and less interested in lunch so you will never know what they have eaten.

Creativemode Thu 22-Sep-16 12:12:03

Are you cooking for yourself anyway? What about other kids/partner?

My son has lunch at school, school dinners. I still make a meal each evening for everyone. Ds is usually very hungry and eats it all.

We don't always have a fabulous meal, sometimes it's just omelette, cheese and ham toasties, beans on toast, shop bought pizza, usually on a Friday the kids have a lazy tea then us adults have a takeaway.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 22-Sep-16 12:12:39

My kids come home from school ravenous, I feed them an enormous dinner as they walk in the door.

Even if he's not hungry at this particular point, that will change as he gets bigger and more active so best to set your evening habits now.

During this period of uncertainty, restrict yourself to food that keeps well and is easily re-heated.

DataColour Thu 22-Sep-16 12:20:11

My two are 6 and 7 and they are very hungry when school finishes. They have a substantial snack after school and they also have a cooked dinner with us at around 6pm. They also often have a small snack like a piece of cheese or fruit just before bed too.

BarbarianMum Thu 22-Sep-16 12:23:31

I give mine lighter quicker teas on the 2 days a week they have school dinners - soup and a sandwich/beans on toast something like that. Rest of the week main meal is in the evening.

idontlikealdi Thu 22-Sep-16 12:30:13

The mine have a full dinner - usually whatever I've cooked the night before for DH and me. Fridays they get a 'picky tea' - basically a picnic.

HandmaidsTail Thu 22-Sep-16 12:34:48

I'm finding this fascinating and confusing.

It's never occurred to me not to make a proper tea for the whole family. confused

If you don't do it now, when would you decide to start? Age 5, 6, 7, 8? Don't you just all have an evening meal as a matter of course?

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 22-Sep-16 12:36:28

The portions of school dinners aren't huge from what I've seen, even with dessert.

We have a 'proper' dinner every night as a family regardless of whether he eats a cooked lunch or takes packed (also yr 1 and we do both)

He has a snack after school of fruit etc, always eats dinner, but isn't forced to eat more than he wants.

I can't be forever making different meals for everybody, the only allowance I make is to ensure what we eat in the evening isn't exactly the same as what he's had at school.

I have to have a cooked dinner in the evening though, even if it's just beans on toast. I would feel ill on cheese and crackers even if I had a big lunch, but everyone's different.

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