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To not want to eat at the same time as my 2-year old?

(47 Posts)
mowmylawn Wed 19-Mar-14 23:42:39

I've always been a late eater - breakfast around 10/10.30, lunch around 2/2.30 and dinner whenever I can be arsed to make it (we save some each night for DD's dinner the next day). My 2-year old eats at 5.30pm (well I say eats...) and I'm still full from lunch then. Either my husband or I will sit with her of course but she doesn't see us eating except for the weekends. Apparently she will become a feral runaway since we don't have a family meal together every night. AIBU to think that's a load of crap? I'm pregnant and if I eat at 5.30pm I will want to have a second go at it before bedtime.

NoodleOodle Wed 19-Mar-14 23:46:55

You didn't eat every time DC took the boob/bottle, so I just see this as an extension of that - your family meals will sync up as she grows up. I would make an effort to sync them up though. Even if you're only having coffee and an apple at breakfast, but definitely make more effort to have evening meals together once your children are older and you spend more time apart, as these are great times to bring the family together and talk.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 19-Mar-14 23:47:09

Yanbu. We very rarely eat together. And we're a super close family. I don't think for a second it will affect our lives negatively.

Artandco Wed 19-Mar-14 23:47:29

Why don't you just move her onto your time table?

When she wakes and if hungry give her some milk and a banana at 8 or so, then main breakfast together at 10am. Give her lunch at 2.30pm and dinner at 7pm or something

tumbletumble Wed 19-Mar-14 23:50:08


My DH gets home from work around 8 ish so we only eat with the DC at weekends (they're 4, 6 and 8). They are all good eaters and not very feral.

attheendoftheday Wed 19-Mar-14 23:59:26

YANBU as such, but I don't see why you have to eat at those late times. If you want to eat with your dc then you could pretty easily move your timetable and get used to it in a few days. If you prefer to eat separately that's fine too.

My only thought is that if you're having trouble with a picky/non-eating 2 year old (I have one too) that eating together might help.

NormHonal Thu 20-Mar-14 00:07:37

I've just found it easier to eat with my DCs. And often just eat the same as them anyway, as my DH works late and often doesn't eat at home.

Changing the DCs' mealtimes is ultimately not an option, as they will become wedded to their nursery/pre-school/school meal routine. During the holidays I have tried "going with the flow" but actually the early and set mealtimes seem to work best for my DCs and many others I know.

FWIW, eating earlier rather than later in the evenings works much better for me in terms of weight loss and control!

bellybuttonfairy Thu 20-Mar-14 00:09:25

Maybe shes a picky eater as she would prefer a later breakfast and lunch?

Dc(3) aged 2, has to eat the same time and food as everyone else as I have enough to do

But he never eats breakfast so I have started to give him toast and fruit after the school run for older children. He eats it with gusto, where he wouldnt have a couple of hours previously.

whitedoor Thu 20-Mar-14 00:09:39

YANBU. I do eat dinner with 2.5yo DS around half the time, but it is so much nicer to have mine once he is in bed so that I can actually eat mine hot, without having to stop multiple times to fetch ketchup / pick up his thrown cutlery / sing fireman sam theme tune / stop him scraping contents of his plate onto the floor once he has "finished". Also it is handy if you want to eat something non child friendly or a dirty dominoes.

I think we will gradually eat together more as he grows up and mealtimes can become more sociable.

5madthings Thu 20-Mar-14 00:13:27

See I can't be arsed with doing two meals, I am not a bfast eater tho so tend to just have a cup of tea then, but we all eat lunch together at 1ish or earlier on pre school days and dinner is at 6pm ish.

I generally like all eating together but every now and then we feed the kids and get ourselves a take away when they are in bed.

But having five kids even if we don't eat with them there is still a table full anyway!

aufaniae Thu 20-Mar-14 00:16:43

I do think it's important for your DC to see you eat, but like you I prefer to eat late myself. The solution that worked for us was when DS was little, I used to sit and eat a light snack with him, while he had his dinner.

IMO it is important for DC to enjoy the social aspect if eating, and to see you eat so it's something normal that people do IYSWIM, although that doesn't mean you have to do it religiously every time either IMO.

SummerRain Thu 20-Mar-14 00:19:08

Depends on what I'm cooking for dinner, sometimes we eat with the kids at 5/6 other times we eat when they're in bed.

Depends whether I'm working too, sometimes I'm not home til the kids are in bed and dp waits to eat with me.

We don't really do breakfast and lunch, the kids have cereal, which at the weekend is whatever time they can be arsed getting it themselves so anywhere from 6am to midday really, dp and I don't eat early in the day but might grab something in the afternoon.

Family meals are a nice concept but they don't always work with the rhythm of a busy family, and sometimes I just can't be fucked trying to eat with the kids as it's usually stressful and irritating tbh.

wigglesrock Thu 20-Mar-14 06:30:10

I don't eat at the same time as my kids - they're 8,6 & 3. They eat at 5·30 - 6ish, I eat later. My husband works shifts, so he's not about at a lot of meal times & I don't like to eat that early.

I sit with them, have a cup of tea. On Sundays we all have a big extended family dinner at my Mums, but apart from the odd breakfast, lunch when they're off school we are all sitting together but not all eating at the same time.

toomuchtooold Thu 20-Mar-14 06:56:41

YANBU. I eat separately from my 22m twins because a) they have dinner unfashionably early and b) I like to eat my food in peace. Having said that maybe I am a bad example to follow. At the nursery yesterday where they have recently started they asked me "at home, does DT2 signal she's finished her dinner by dropping the plate and cup on the floor?" Yep, that's my baby...

WhoAteAllTheCremeEggs Thu 20-Mar-14 07:02:33

I dont eat at the same time as ds because im always on a diet and if we eat different things at the same time he is more interested in what im having, i think he needs more fats than me.
But ds (nearly 2) is on pretty much the same meal times as you, he kicks the day off with milk so no point giving him brekki to pick over, then everything else becomes a bit later too. He eats 3 big meals a day and the last one is right before hes bath.

CrohnicallyChanging Thu 20-Mar-14 07:21:22

toomuch I thought that was fairly standard! It's mentioned as a 'full' signal in the weaning booklets I was given by the HV. DD often sweeps her hand across her tray so that anything on it is flung to the floor- and I do eat with her most times. I am trying to train her to hand me her plate when she's done, and we're getting there slowly, but we still have relapses like yesterday she kindly started flinging rice all over the place.

PrincessOfChina Thu 20-Mar-14 07:23:39

We rarely eat with DD - in the week she is at nursery full time so doesn't need a big meal at dinner time so we eat after she's in bed. At weekends we try to eat with her but sometimes we don't want dinner until later in the evening so just sit with her at the table and chat.

GossamerHailfilter Thu 20-Mar-14 07:25:00

YANBU, I dont always eat at the same time as my DC's.

We all sit down together at the table though, they eat and I have a cuppa and its a nice time to chat about their day.

merrymouse Thu 20-Mar-14 07:30:35

Regardless of when you want to eat, if you don't eat at least some of your meals together you are doubling the time you have to spend faffing around with meals.

However, I think the idea that mummy cooks the meal, sits down to eat the meal with her children, all the time demonstrating correct table manners, enjoyment of food and conversational skills and then clears up the meal (encouraging her toddler to join in with his toy broom) is not realistic at every meal...

harverina Thu 20-Mar-14 07:31:54

Yanbu because it's your personal preference when to eat.

But...I do think it's good for children to sit with adults and observe how they eat. They learn from you and often when everyone is eating at the same time they are more likely to sit nicely and eat their dinner too. This is just my personal experience though.

I prefer to eat later too but instead we all eat around 6.15pm.

MaryWestmacott Thu 20-Mar-14 07:51:07

It's down to you when you eat, but that does sound like making extra work for yourself long term. While I'd make everyone separate breakfasts, so if they are 10 minutes in between or 3 hours, it doesn't make that big a difference, are you really preparing and cleaning up from lunch and dinner twice? Seems a lot of faff.

It also seems to me you might be better having breakfast first thing rather than close to lunch time, then you would be hungry again at lunchtime and then it's been a decent length of time to eat in the early evening. I found with 2 DCs (one a baby and one a pre-schooler), the bed and bath routine can end up taking from 6pm - 7:30pm by the time everyone has had a bath, a feed for the baby, snuggled down to sleep, bath and stories for hte older one, then cleaned up. Starting cooking dinner at that time means you end up eating around 8:30pm, clean up and then straight into the next feed for the baby. Whole evenings are wasted with just cooking and cleaning a second dinner.

Remember with DC2, the whole 'do your housework during their naptimes' doesn't really work as you've got the older one to entertain.

And yes, I do believe children need to learn that in this culture, food isn't just about fuel/taste but a social occasion, but that's your family choice about how you view food.

QueenofKelsingra Thu 20-Mar-14 07:57:14

we only eat all together at the weekend lunches. I sometimes eat lunch with them but not always. like you I cant stomach breakfast until 10ish and then usually not hungry at midday when the kids eat. likewise I cant have dinner at 5pm with them.

I do however always sit with them, talk with them (they are 4 and 22m), usually with a cup of tea. me or DH is always at the table with them. we do all love sat and sun lunches together but it just isn't feasible during the week or for dinner.

obviously as they get older this will sync up more. the important part is quality family time together, learning that meals are social times not shovel in while watching crap on the tv time and they will still get that even if you are not actually physically eating but are sitting with them.

MaryWestmacott Thu 20-Mar-14 07:57:33

Sorry, meant to say above, my evenings, now I've got 2DCs, are my only time to get stuff done in the week in peace, be it sorting bills online, watching what I want on TV, putting buttons back on coats, sorting the washing pile or anything else, it's basically the 10 minutes around now when they are both fed and playing or the evneing, and to start with, losing my whole evneings to dinner prep and cleaning up meant I never felt like I had time to do anything else. Plus I snacked more in the afternoons, because getting up with the baby at 6am meant I was hungry for breakfast at 8ish, then wanted lunch when DC1 ate at 12/12:30 and it's too long to go until dinner at 8:30pm, so would end up having 'a bit' of dinner with DC1, or snacking or picking at bits of food. Eating early meant that often by the time both DCs were in bed, I wasn't hungry again for a lot, and overall, I ate less in the day.

formerbabe Thu 20-Mar-14 07:59:26

We don't eat together except for weekends.

My kids have dinner at 5.30 and bed by 7.30.

Tbh, I'd rather have a peaceful dinner with my dh at 8pm.

firesidechat Thu 20-Mar-14 07:59:57

I possible had breakfast and lunch with my children (it's a long time ago now) but never ate with them in the evening during the week. No way did I want to eat at 5.30 and I preferred to eat with my husband and he had a long commute. We did tend to eat together at weekends as long as the main meal was at lunch time.

They are definitely not feral and we've even complimented on their good behaviour in restaurants.

You said in your post that you are pregnant, so it's not as though your child will be eating alone for the rest of it's childhood. Personally I would do what suits you.

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