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Do you give your kids 'dinner' after they've been to nursery/school? or just snacky things?

(9 Posts)
lynniep Tue 16-Aug-11 16:07:36

I'm just wondering really. Its nice to know what others are doing. Can't say it will really change what I do, but someone may give me some ideas!

My kids (21mo, 4.5) are at nursery 3.5 days a week.

They are given a hot meal at 11.30 (apparently they both eat tons).

They are also given a snack mid morning, and at 3.30 they have 'tea' which is a sit down cold meal - e.g. pita bread with dippers & dips OR sandwiches OR croissants plus fruit. That kind of thing anyway.

I pick them up at 6pm on the three full days they are there, and give them usually a toast based 2nd 'tea' such as egg on toast, crackers and cheese, pb on toast. plus fruit if they want it. Plus a bottle/glass of milk or hot chocolate in DS1s case. They dont usually want to eat much.

I've spoken to a few mums who more often than not make a full 'dinner', by which they mean a hot dinner like stew/bangers and mash/chicken pie etc etc. This sounds lovely, but mine go up for a bath 45 minutes after we get in the house, followed by bedtime (which starts around 7.15 not including reading time) How does anyone fit dinner in for littlies? On a weekend I try swapping things around, so they dont get much in the afternoon and have a bigger meal around 5.45.

Do you think chopping and changing their routine like that is a big deal or not? I tend not to think so whilst they are still so young. We dont eat together at all right now apart from lunchtime weekends. (we as in the grown ups vs the young'uns) Do you think not filling them up might be affecting their sleep (not so much the 4 year old -but the one year old still wakes once a night and often only more milk will settle him back to sleep) Should I be attempting to give them a 'proper' meal after nursery, or just leave as is until they themselves ask for more food.

Oh I dont know what I'm rambling on about really I dont...

JetLi Tue 16-Aug-11 21:32:47

I think what they are having now sounds fine. The nursery meal layout sounds pretty similar to DD1's nursery - main meal at lunchtime, and then something lighter for tea. I tend to offer further food when we get home but she doesn't usually tuck in with much gusto. I'm not so strict about bedtime though & DD tends to eventually go down nearer 8pm, so that does allow for her to refuse a cooked meal wink

CMOTdibbler Tue 16-Aug-11 21:39:52

DS has rarely wanted any more than a snack in the evenings when he was at nursery. Now hes at school (fruit snack in morning, full cooked lunch, sandwich at 3, sandwich and fruit at 4.30) he sometimes wants a bit more to eat in the evening, but not always. Mostly, he is ravenous to eat something when picked up from afterschool club

RollingInTheAisles Tue 16-Aug-11 21:46:09

I do the same as you're doing now (nursery has same routine as yours) and they usually seem to want something light. Sometimes I do yogurt and fruit or the same things you mentioned. We do porridge in the winter sometimes. Occasionally we've ended up having a larger meal because other people are here at tea time but often they don't eat much of it. Usually I only do a big (normal) tea if I've picked them up prior to their mid afternoon snack and just given them a normal smaller snack, if that makes sense.

I'd love more ideas for the small dinner after nursery though as we're a bit stuck in a rut.

nannyl Wed 17-Aug-11 11:21:19

Rolling in the aisles

how about a slice of quiche / omlette / a small portion of pasta with sauce (hot or cold) savoury muffins, cheese on crumpets, a slice of pizza / soup and bread to dip in?
with cherry tomatoes / cuecumber / sliced pepper / raw carrot etc etc
& fruit / yogurt / raisens / piece of cake

OP what you are doing sounds fine to me smile

Mandyville Wed 17-Aug-11 11:27:29

I do what JetLi does and have done since DD was 9 months and started nursery. Works for me, but I realise after asking around that I am in a tiny minority. If your toddler were hungry, she'd eat more toast, wouldn't she? Not sure you'll fix the sleeping through thing with hot food... Although might be worth upping the protein to see if that helps. Is she more likely to sleep after egg on toast than after beans on toast? Sorry - not much help am I?

If you want to try it, I recommend using a slow-cooker. Slow-cooker chilli has saved me on soooo many occassions! Bung it in at 7am, serve it up at 6.10pm!

gorionine Wed 17-Aug-11 11:33:02

I do a full "dinner" in the evening and always have BUT it means eating later than 6pm (both me and DH are Mediterranean and eating early does not computesmile). If my routine was like yours, I would probably do exactly like you and give them something light. If they were still hungry they would let you know I am sure.

RollingInTheAisles Wed 17-Aug-11 13:53:34

Thanks Nanny, those are great ideas smile

lynniep Wed 17-Aug-11 18:41:22

thanks for all the input everyone. I'm glad it sounds ok. Ideas are good nannyl as it does tend to get a bit 'samey'. Although neither of them entertain quiche for some reason (DS1 loves scrambled eggs though) Will make some muffins and get some variations of bread in like crumpets. Today they were with me all day, and for tea we made 'pizza' ie decorated toast with whatever I could find in the fridge (including jam!) . What a bl**dy mess. But they loved it!

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