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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?

Wuldric Sat 07-Sep-13 18:26:54

My DCs eat school lunches because there is no packed lunch option. Not in any event that I would pack one for them (not being a great believer in sandwiches). Their lunch options look pretty good actually.

Ragwort Sat 07-Sep-13 17:48:17

Waldric - I think if there are two working parents getting home tired at the end of a long day, it is very tempting not to cook. The temptation is to get a ready meal out or to do a sandwich. But I think we all know this is a product of tiredness/laziness. Sandwiches are not that appetizing. As an evening meal they are a pretty horrid solution really

That is a hugely judgemental statement, sandwiches might not be to your taste but a lot of people enjoy eating sandwiches.

My meal of choice is sandwiches, (or 'naice' bread and cheese) with salad/fruit/yogurt - that sort of thing. DH and DS also enjoy that sort of food. I am a SAHM so I have plenty of time to cook, I enjoy cooking but I don't particularly want to eat 'proper dinners' every night.

As has been said, numerous times on this thread, nutritious food does not have to be hot.

I am another one from the era when going to tea with a friend after school meant sandwiches and cake. smile.

ToysRLuv Sat 07-Sep-13 12:05:40

applebread: Have replied on your thread of a thread.

stealthsquiggle Sat 07-Sep-13 11:26:45

applebread - in our case at least, the children only get a different meal if they are eating at a different time - so if I am home early and DH is late, I will feed DD at 6:45pm, for 7:30pm bedtime, DS when he gets in at 7:40pm for ASAP bedtime and then DH and I will eat whenever he gets home.

If we eat together, we eat the same thing.

forevergreek Sat 07-Sep-13 11:09:44

Can I ask how to make risotto in 15 mins? We make it a lot but risotto rice takes 35 mins to cook alone. Do you have a super quick cooking risotto rice brand?

wordfactory Sat 07-Sep-13 11:02:46

I've always cooked for my DC in the evening, unless we are rushing off somewhere. Not because of nutrition but because I consider it really important that DC see and respect food and cooking. School lunches however good are prepared for a cleaned up out of sight. I wanted food and cookin to be far more intergral in our lives IYSWIM.

BigBoobiedBertha Sat 07-Sep-13 10:48:45

Wuldric - well done you for cooking a hot dinner every night but sandwiches and cold meals are definitely not a last resort as you keep saying. Hot meals are not necessarily better that sandwiches and when you hear, or have seen first hand as I have, how bad school meals are, then your 2 hot meals a day seem don't seem so great. The cooked meal in the evening is a way of making up for the fact that your children are not being properly fed at lunchtime. If the school lunches were worth eating your children wouldn't need more hot food. To me, and probably everybody else who takes the trouble to make a packed lunch or a decent cold tea, getting your children to suffer school lunches when you know they don't satisfy their children is the lazy thing to do. I don't think you, or people like you, have any room to be quite so smug as you are coming across.

bakingaddict Sat 07-Sep-13 09:10:01

I think a cold dinner of sandwiches or such like one or two nights a week seems OK. I wouldn't do it but we all have different situations so not for me to judge but surely making absolutely sure that your kids get and eat nutritious meals trumps the convenience of making sandwiches each night.

My DS has a very small appetite and can come home from school after only eating half of a half of a sandwich. The point is in a school setting nobody will police how much your child is actually eating but if you provide the main hot meal you know exactly what and how much your child is eating on a daily basis

makemineamalibuandpineapple Sat 07-Sep-13 09:00:07

My son gets a hot meal every evening. He is 10 now and usually eats everything at lunchtime but after school he often goes out to play for 2 hours so is hungry because of that combined with school. When he was younger, I couldn't guarantee that he had eaten everything so it was important to me that he had a decent dinner.

applebread Sat 07-Sep-13 08:45:28

I don't understand this thread. Why do the children get a different meal to the rest of the family. I expect mine would be cross if we sat down to dinner and dh and I had lasagne and freshly baked bread and they had a cheese sandwich. Isn't preparing two separate eveningmmeals more hassle and cost than eating together? I certainly wouldn't want a cheese sandwich for my dinner. Having a two or three course meal of appetising food is the norm in my background and we don't believe in snacking except one gouter after school.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 08:32:22

I agree there's not a lot of logic to what the dcs (and us) "count" as a meal. e.g.

veg soup +bread = meal
plate of raw veg = not a meal

beans on toast=meal
peanut butter on toast=not a meal

Parmarella Sat 07-Sep-13 07:21:31

Kmc111, I get that you don't get it.

But you see food in terms of calories and vitamins.

Wheras I see food as something tasty and enjoyable.

Surely, cold quiche and dome raw veg would "do the job", but A hot meal go me is more satisfying and delicious.

Yesterday we all had steak, chips and green beans gor dinner, to me that is nicer than a cold snacky meal. Not healthier, not better, but nicer.

notanyanymore Sat 07-Sep-13 00:44:55

Mine are having 2 school meals a week, they get a full meal (I get to choose they're 'veg' items) and a pudding and can have an extra helping if they like. No way will I be giving them a cooked meal in the evening too! Boiled egg and soldiers, beans and cheese or porridge and banana will be their options!

echt Sat 07-Sep-13 00:27:54

At the risk of sounding eeh when I were a lass...

When I were a lass growing up in the 60s and early 70s we had a hot lunch - main and pudding every day at school, and a cooked meal at night, but no pudding. Portions were a good size. This was entirely usual. We were whippet-thin.

One thing, though, we were on a low income, so never any biscuits or soft drinks except at Christmas. This might well explain the big meals yet slim children.

kmc1111 Sat 07-Sep-13 00:17:51

I find the hot/cold thing really strange. As far as nutrition goes, you're much better off eating most vegies raw, and while a hot meal is comforting if you're freezing, I'd assume more often than not the people posting on these threads are eating their dinner inside their heated homes. Where I'm from you just eat what you feel like, regardless of what temperature your other meals of the day were or what temperature it is outside. I do remember my grandparents having a thing about hot food being a meal and cold food being a snack, didn't matter if the hot food contained 200 calories and the cold food contained 2000, but I just assumed that was their own personal weirdness. Guess not!

However, I do find it odd what passes for a 'good meal' in Britain. I would consider a ham and cheese sandwich, beans on toast, plain jacket potato etc. 'can't be fucked' foods, along the same lines as 2 minute noodles. I'm not judging, I eat like that at least once a week because I can't be bothered making something better for myself or because I fed the DC all the healthy stuff left in the fridge, but I know it's a million miles away from ideal.

For me a decent cold dinner would be a big salad with lots of vegies (not just salad leaves), cheese and some form of protein (chicken, chickpeas, lentils). Or some healthy dips, small amount of pita or turkish bread, lot's of raw vegies for dipping, some cheese, maybe a boiled egg and/or some cold meats. Or a big salad sandwich made with naice bread, absolutely brimming with veg. Maybe a cold slice of leftover roast vegie quiche/slice with some salad on the side. None of these meals take long to plate up and you can prepare them in advance, it's just a matter of having access to plenty of veg. It usually takes me a maximum of 5 minutes to put those sorts of meals together for a few people, so still quicker than cooking.

Whatever I'm eating or giving the DC, hot or cold, one meal or lot's of smaller bits and pieces on a plate, generally I'd want to get at least 2, hopefully more like 3-4 serves of fresh veg in at dinner, and if I or they were eating an average British school dinner or the equivalent for lunch, that would become really important because I wouldn't count whatever stodgy potato mess was being served that day as a serve of veg.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 06-Sep-13 23:10:03

It probably depends on your children's appetite and also things like time of year. In the summer, I might easily have a sandwich for lunch and then a big salad with bits and bobs for dinner - so two cold meals. But for the rest of the year I would often have soup / leftovers for lunch and a hot meal in the evening - so two hot meals. As long as there is a balance of nutrition over the day/week, there's no problem.

ToysRLuv Fri 06-Sep-13 23:03:22

I wonder where the "holiness" of hot food originates? I would think that it comes, probably, from when not everyone had facilities to cook, so hot food was rarer and more appreciated. Also, of course, central heating didn't exist and houses were cold. Some ingredients used to be stored in a way that required cooking (drying, etc.), or were going off, but the bad taste could be disguised in hot food as pies and stews, so they didn't have to be thrown away. None of those problems exist now. But I guess it's an easy way to gauge parental "effort", thus cookers calling occasional non-cookers "lazy", and feel better about one's parenting.

Some people need to have meat at every meal to feel satisfied - some need the food to be warm. Others (like me, dh and ds) do not particularly care, so have an occasional day free from cooking. Good raw ingredients make an excellent and nutritious meal. Cooking sometimes reduces nutrients. As long as a family is well nourished, happy and satisfied, does it matter if tea is a piece of wholemeal seeded bread with cheese, tomato and basil, or a cheese and tomato pizza? People fancy different things and value different things. For me food is fuel for life, not something to tie yourself in knots about.

Wuldric Fri 06-Sep-13 22:36:29

More practically, the OP asked what others served up for evening meals. So here is my list.

Monday - Chicken Fajitas - preparation time 10 mins.
Tuesday - Carbonara - preparation time 10 mins (the pasta was bought and not homemade). We were all late home so the DCs ate a lot of fruit and toast before dinner was served at 7.30
Wednesday - Sausages 'n' mash. They were in fairness naice sausages, and they were served with multiple veggies (cabbage and peas and carrots). Preparation time 15 mins
Thursday - Slow cooked chilli - did all the prep in the morning and stuck it in the slow cooker. Worked well as DS had rugby practice (arrived back at 7pm) and DD had netball practice (arrived back at 8.30 pm) and I was spending the day working in Amsterdam (arrived back at 9 pm).
Friday - Mushroom Risotto but was just me and DD as DH and DS are both out and not back until late. Preparation time 15 mins. Mucho gossip about DD's latest squeeze. Friend arrived to 'help' us finish the risotto.

No sandwiches. All lovely meals cooked in very short time without any need to resort to sandwiches or ready meals.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 06-Sep-13 22:36:26

That's exactly what I said big

What is the point? You can't say you care so badly about your child's nutrition that you provide two hot meals a day and then feed them the school shit. It just doesn't add up.

BigBoobiedBertha Fri 06-Sep-13 22:17:30

If you are so worried about nutrition and your children are so ravenous all the time then school dinners must be an utter waste of time. That being the case I don't think anybody has any room to be smug about providing 2 cooked meals a day for their child. Why do you waste you money on crappy school lunches if you then have to provide a cooked meal in the evening? It is madness. Make them a decent packed lunch (or better still get them to make it themselves if they are old enough) and save your money and save your children from second rate food.

There is nothing wrong with a packed lunch or a cold tea - nobody 'needs' 2 hot meals a day. I don't see either of those being any worse than some of the meals so many of you are quick to call inadequate .

Mine have packed lunches and a hot tea. They are never 'ravenous' but they enjoy and eat the meals that are provided with a perfectly healthy appetite. Maybe some of you should be thinking of doing the same and then your children wouldn't be going hungry.

phantomnamechanger Fri 06-Sep-13 22:05:56

Oh, I do agree it's laziness/a cop out to some extent , I meal plan and shop accordingly- we have quicker but still nutritious meals on the days we are in late/back out again, and I cook and freeze for quick dinners. We don't do bought ready made meals at all because DD cant have gluten.

But I still think its OK not to have 2 cooked dinner-type meals a day as long as the diet is balanced.

HorryIsUpduffed Fri 06-Sep-13 22:04:51

I do angst about what to feed visiting children.

My most hmm day was with a child I knew to be fussy but I'd discreetly talked to his mother to make sure he'd be catered for.

The pizza was All Wrong. I made him a jam sandwich. I've never seen a child look so relieved.

Wuldric Fri 06-Sep-13 21:59:28

And btw, phantom, I think you are looking for validation on the sandwich-as-an-evening meal front. No-one I know (in multiple sets of parents) has or ever would serve a sandwich as an evening meal.

Altinkum Fri 06-Sep-13 21:59:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wuldric Fri 06-Sep-13 21:57:22

I think if there are two working parents getting home tired at the end of a long day, it is very tempting not to cook. The temptation is to get a ready meal out or to do a sandwich. But I think we all know this is a product of tiredness/laziness. Sandwiches are not that appetizing. As an evening meal they are a pretty horrid solution really. Same with ready meals.

There are two FT working parents in our household and we never resort to ready meals or sandwiches in the evening. It's not necessary. You just have to practise being a secret slattern. I can whip up a tasty and nutritious hot meal in the time that it takes to make sandwiches for four. I can really and truly. Anyone can.

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