Ready meals for children

(35 Posts)
nellyjelly Mon 29-Apr-13 13:44:25

Do you or would you let them have ready meals? Am talking small children, not teens. Also talking the M and S kids meals not any old crap.

Only ask as I give my two ( 3 and 7) one appx twice a week. I add extra veg and a fruit pudding though. Do this on nights when it is too tricky to fit in a meal ( when DD goes to Brownies and isn't back til late for instance)

They love the M and S sausage and mash and the shepherds pie one. The rest of the week their diet is OKish. DS eats varied stuff at nursery and at home they eat beans, fish fingers etc. kiddy food but I do enourage them to eat fruit and veg. They are getting better at this.

Feel a bit guilty about the ready meals but they don't eat takeaway pizza or anything.

mrsvilliers Mon 29-Apr-13 14:04:29

I think a one off is ok but personally I wouldn't on a weekly basis. My worry would be that it gets to be habit and then they move from the healthier kids' ones to the not so healthy adult ones. Do they eat pasta? It's quick to cook and you can make up sauces in advance, freeze and then blast from frozen in the microwave. That's what I do when I need a quick meal.

moogalicious Mon 29-Apr-13 14:08:20

No. I usually cook extra when doing chilli, curry, pasta sauce etc and save a portion or two in the freezer for days when we're in a rush.

A stir fry and noodles only takes 10 minutes and you could prep in advance.

I don't mind one every now and again, usually those filled pasta ones.
on the busy night I tend to serve leftovers from yesterdays meal, defrosted meal I froze earlier, or tomato soup/beans/eggs on toast. But each to their own, I'm sure some would be aghast that I serve beans on toast as meal, but it works for mesmile

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 29-Apr-13 14:33:52

SIL's kids grew up eating these every weeknight and they're fine.

I wouldn't, because I save extra portions and freeze them. But I'd have no problem doing it once a week if it made my life significantly easier!

nellyjelly Mon 29-Apr-13 14:48:46

Hmmmm would save extra portions of stuff I have cooked if they would eat it. Neither of them really like pasta unfortunately.

nellyjelly Mon 29-Apr-13 14:53:43

Also laughing at the idea mine would eat noodles and stirfry. Am starting to realise just how fussy they are tbh.

We have fishfingers, sausage, oven chips, mash, beans, spag hoops, bolognese, brocolli, carrots, homemade pizza, cheese on toast, scrambled eggs. In various combinations. Anything else disappears onto the bin. I give raw carrot, pepper and tomato with nearly every meal. They also eat banana and apple.

Am not sweating it though. My appetite and repitoire of foods got better as I got older.

LeaveTheBastid Mon 29-Apr-13 15:04:26

If it works for your family them do it. No sense stressing about making extra nutritious meals to freeze if they won't even eat them first time round. M&S ready meals are hardly a Big Mac meal are they? At least they're getting fed.

nellyjelly Mon 29-Apr-13 15:12:40

True. It is amazing how anxious parenthood makes you. I ate utter rubbbish as a kid and still survived. I now have a healthy and varied diet. Probably just envious of those parents whose kids eat anything!

moogalicious Mon 29-Apr-13 15:59:07

grin nelly, mine are a bit older than yours at 6, 8 and 10. It sounds like yours have a good variety anyway. My kids certainly don't eat anything, far from it. I work so I like to do stuff that's quick and easy.

My appetite and repitoire of foods got better as I got older totally agree with this.

FWIW dh grew up on crisps and cola, and he's fine.

snoworneahva Mon 29-Apr-13 16:16:19

I don't see much difference between M&S ready meals and "fishfingers, sausage, oven chips, mash, beans, spag hoops" this is all mostly processed food. I wouldn't feed my kids processed food on a regular basis but loads do.

Oblomov Mon 29-Apr-13 16:17:06

Sometimes I do a roast on a week night - a cheats roast - chicken, roast pots that haven't even been peeled, carrots , broccoli and cauliflower and aunt bessies yorkshires, with gravy.so quick and easy.
What about a fillet of fish in breadcrumbs?
Chicken drumsticks? We live of spag bol, chilli and curry. Fajitas? Sometimes I use filled ravioli and a pasta sauce and garlic bread.
You do seem to have quite a limited selection of food . Is there anything else they will eat?

Oblomov Mon 29-Apr-13 16:18:15

mash is processed?
I make mine from scratch. I make lasagne and shepherds pie.

I think one thing to be wary of for small children is the salt content in ready meals, but apart from that I wouldn't worry too much.

Oblomov Mon 29-Apr-13 16:23:02

snow, what does your weekly dinner menu consist of?
maybe you could inspire op?

How about making some little shepherds pies and sticking them in the freezer? I can get quite a bit of veg (pease, carrots, parsnips, celery, mushrooms) into a shepherds pie.

We tend to have an 'oven' meal once a week and on the other days I cook from scratch. Sometimes dd doesn't eat it but she can have bread/toast and a yoghurt and fruit.

For us that's not a diet I would be happy with but it seems like you get as much fruit and veg into them as you can smile dd is awful with veg!

I give my son the little fish meals I think they are called. He likes the fish pie and I cant stand fish so only way I can get fish in him. He has the lasagne too.

Not often but its great for when you just cant be arsed grin

nellyjelly Mon 29-Apr-13 18:41:59

Well the mash, fruit and veg isn't processed. Nor is the cheese or scrambled eggs. Yes their diet is fairly limited but it is not all processed. I have no problem with sausages or fish fingers, I buy good quality ones. These only form part of the meal. I make my ownpizza when I have time.

FWIW I do 't have the space for a freezer. There is a small compartment on top of the fridge we have so we freeze little bits but no way have I the room for portions of meals unfortunately.

nellyjelly Mon 29-Apr-13 18:43:42

Am actually amazed at people that can cook from scratch all the time. I work almost fulltime and realy struggle to fit it in.

I only ever do quick home made meals 30 mins max unless it's the weekend. It's a shame you don't have freezer space. Tbh dd eats a lot if rubbish in the day sometimes blush so I try and make up for it with fruit and decent evening meals!

Without a freezer I can confidently say that mine would get ready meals weekly. How do you cope?! Hats off to you.
I cook from scratch 6 out of 7 days a week, and if mil didn't insist on cooking for me on the 7th I'd cook then. But that's made a whole lot easier when I have batches of homemade tomato sauce, basic mince mix, and frozen bread dough to hand. Anyone who cooks from scratch regularly does so because they enjoy cooking, I find it relaxing, it's my hobby.(or they're a martyr mummy) If it's a chore, don't do it. You don't have to cook fron scratch, to feed your DC well, that's sanctimonious crap fed to us to make mothers feel yet again more guilt.

riverboat Mon 29-Apr-13 21:52:19

I ate tons of ready meals as a kid. Monday to Thursday it was pretty much ready meals every night because my mum hated cooking, and then when my dad took over cooking at the weekend we ate 'proper' home cooked food.

Anyway it didn't really bother me at the time, and I don't think it has done me any harm in the long run. I'm never ill, and haven't had a lasting addiction to the things. I do a lot of home cooking myself now, though certainly am not against using the odd ready meal here and there when busy. If you're adding extra fruit and veg and keeping an eye on the nutritional contents I don't see the problem.

nellyjelly Tue 30-Apr-13 08:57:06

Thanks all. I know I need a freezer but space is very limited. It would certainly help though.

TheChaoGoesMu Tue 30-Apr-13 09:01:58

I give them to my dc sometimes when I cant be arsed to cook. I think they're ok.

saycheeeeeese Tue 30-Apr-13 09:06:05

Mu mum never cooked anything from scratch except chips and Sunday dinner. She just didn't have very good cooking skills, I've lived to tell the tale as have my brothers and sister.

OP I give my DD these when ny DH are having something we love and she hates, she gets her fair share of fresh fruit and Daily and her multi vitamins.

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