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Is 6pm too late to invite UK family for dinner?

(98 Posts)
Maia290 Fri 17-Jul-15 21:52:10

I have invited some English friends for dinner to our house for a Saturday at 6pm, now my friend says their boy (4 years old) would have had his dinner at their home already.
I am wondering what to do, should I suggest at 5pm instead, but isn't this way too early for adults to have dinner??
Doesn't all the family eat dinner at the same time?
Do you normally invite friends with children for dinner, if so what time do you all normally eat? I am wondering if it easier to suggest lunch instead.
As it is strange they are coming for dinner but the boy has eaten already...
We live in England but we are foreigners.

FarFromAnyRoad Fri 17-Jul-15 21:54:31

I'm not sure I'd invite adults with a 4 year old for anything except a late lunch/early BBQ type do. I know the English are thought to prefer eating early - and I suppose compared to the Italians that's true - but 6pm is silly early IMO! Are you committed to 'dinner' or could you make it a late lunch thing?

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 17-Jul-15 21:54:34

Are they staying over?

StayGoldPonyBoy Fri 17-Jul-15 21:57:07

6pm -7pm is dinner time for us. Not unreasonable at all

TheHouseOnBellSt Fri 17-Jul-15 21:57:37

We have dinner with friends this late...it's not late at all! Some people might get all "Ooh but he'll be tired" or "He usually eats at 5.00" as though there's no wiggle room....if your friends have accepted then assume they are happy with the arrangements.

itsaruddygame Fri 17-Jul-15 21:57:56

6pm is definitely fine as far as I am concerned and DS is just 2. I wouldn't offer any earlier personally - 6 is child friendly enough in my view. Some people are very uptight about their children's routines which makes socialising ver hard!

mugglingalong Fri 17-Jul-15 21:59:56

We would be perfectly fine with all of us eating together at 6. Some parents do have separate mealtimes for children, but we usually eat as a family to try to instill good table manners. I guess that arriving at 6 might mean that they think that they might not eat until 6:30 or 7.

It may be that he won't eat some foods so they find it easier to feed him before. I don't think that it is easy to give set English rules so you are probably best to ask them whether they would rather eat at 5 or lunchtime or stick with original arrangement.

museumum Fri 17-Jul-15 22:00:10

My child eats at 6 (2yr old) and we sometimes eat with him but don't expect normal adults to eat that early. I'd be a little worried at going to a friends for 6 that it would be closer to 7 before food was served and my son would get grumpy and needs to sleep by 8 at the latest.
Much much easier for us to socialise as a family at lunchtime.

IWorshipSatin Fri 17-Jul-15 22:01:37

6-7pm is fine for a 4 year old especially for a special dinner at friends. I used to be really strict about routine when they were 1 and 2 but I think by 4 you can have some flex!

DonkeyOaty Fri 17-Jul-15 22:02:52

When mine were wee they had their tea about 5ish and I had supper with DH later. Now they're older we eat together.

Why not suggest you provide little one with a snackette and a DVD in next room whilst adults eat?

TheRealAmyLee Fri 17-Jul-15 22:04:14

My 5yo would be fine with food at 6 but I would ask them if they think it will be too late if you are concerned about it.

paddyclampo Fri 17-Jul-15 22:05:45

My kids are a bit older but wouldn't think twice about eating dinner at 7 or even 8 o'clock. Would probably give them something at 4ish to keep them going!

KindergartenKop Fri 17-Jul-15 22:05:57

My son is 3 and eats at 4 30 and is in bed by 6. He doesn't nap at all and if he was expected to be hungry and well behaved I'd be concerned that there might be a tantrum. I'd suggest inviting them for lunch.

BuildYourOwnSnowman Fri 17-Jul-15 22:06:08

We don't accept dinner invites with the kids as they both are in bed asleep by 8. Much prefer late lunch etc or leave kids with a babysitter and have an adult dinner!! I am a big believer in a good nights sleep for kid though!!

We eat 6-7 but on school nights they eat around 5 as they are starving by then and as we aren't home by then we prefer to eat once the kids are in bed.

EastMidsMummy Fri 17-Jul-15 22:06:31

We never eat as early as 6, but if you invited us for 6, we would be delighted and eat lunch early or have a smaller lunch!

hideandseekpig Fri 17-Jul-15 22:07:50

My dd eats at 5 30 but if I was invited for dinner at 6 I would still go!! I'd just give her a snack or later lunch. We had dinner at friends at 7 tonight and i just gave dd a snack at 5.30 to keep her going and she went to bed later! I'm all for a routine but you need a bit of flexibility too

Seriouslyffs Fri 17-Jul-15 22:07:50

Which friends said about him eating before? The friends who are coming or some other friends?
It might be more to do with bedtimes tbh. 6pm is normal for many children, but swiftly followed by bath and bed. Lunchtime is definitely more usual with families with toddlers.

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 17-Jul-15 22:08:54

You do need to ask them what they would want to do. If their DS has eaten before hand then what are you expecting the parents to do with him whilst you eat?

My DS could probably cope with a 6pm tea and staying up a little later on a Sat, but not all children would be ok with a change in routine.

bberry Fri 17-Jul-15 22:12:24

No, it's not too late, it's perfectly reasonable

My 2 & 3YO's usually eat at 4.30/5 so I would give them a snack at about 4.30 (banana/raisins etc) to keep them going and not grumpy/hungry

Pico2 Fri 17-Jul-15 22:21:44

My 4 yo seems to go to bed quite late compared to friends with lights out at 8pm. Bedtime starts at 7pm. Dinner is normally about 5pm. While she could wait until 6pm we'd have a hard job getting her in bed on time after that and she is horrible the next day if she stays up to late.

We don't go out as a family in the evening.

Artandco Fri 17-Jul-15 22:27:34

That's fine. At home with two small children we rarely eat before 7.30pm, usually 8pm due to work schedule. We all eat together and have done since babies. Weekends we have lots of dinners at friends or ours and usually it's 8pm dinner. Ours sleep 9pm school night, but any time weekends. They have fallen asleep on many friends sofas when tired and adults carry on

Artandco Fri 17-Jul-15 22:28:21

Ours are 4 and 5 years btw

MuffMuffTweetAndDave Fri 17-Jul-15 22:33:51

6pm is very early for adults, but its true lots of kids would've eaten by then. However I would have thought at the weekend, it would be easier to be flexible. Some children need routine much more than others though.

DisappointedOne Fri 17-Jul-15 22:57:31

We've always eaten at 8-9pm and DD always did too. We even took her out to restaurants. shock

Now that she's 4 and in school she's in bed between 8 and 9pm and so dinner is at about 7pm most nights. We all eat together. (Except one evening a week when she has a swimming lesson and we eat out afterwards - so eat at around 6-6:30pm).

DisappointedOne Fri 17-Jul-15 22:58:57

I'm sure
One of the reason British kids are apparently so unhappy is because they (mostly) get to eat alone and go to bed early. We much prefer the European/Mediterranean approach.

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