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Help- everyone eating at different times- is this like your home?

(25 Posts)
skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 15:28:51

We eat at the table as a family probably twice a year.
Five of us, everyone has such busy schedule, that is it hard to plan meals and keep everyone fed.
Today is an example, one needs a meal at 3pm, , another needs food at 4.30pm, DD will come in ravenous at 8pm, who knows when OH will be in and often grabs some crackers and cheese anyway, I tend to eat on the hoof. Weekends are no better, as activities don't stop.

I do stuff in the slow cooker that can be kept warm, but really hard to keep up with the food side of things.
I read about others who sit down to eat at the table 3 times a day- no way could this happen in my house.

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 15:32:14

Breakfast - everyone just grabs their own.
Lunch - weekdays out of the house / weekends the kids are only here 1 day we generally have a fry up eaten together at the table, when they aren't here DH & I eat a snack together.

Evening meal - eaten together at the table with the exception of Fri when ds2 has to eat early before judo, then ds1, DH & I will eat together. Different things happening on different days and meal time adjusted accordingly.

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 15:33:15

chasing- I think that's the thing, there is no such thing as a "meal time" in our home.

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 15:40:22

Well, I don't have a meal time as such - I was more referring to the time at which we eat, which varies according to the day. Ideal it would be around 6.30-7pm but we rarely eat at that time.

So, Monday - kids not here, DH or I would cook depending on who got home first (I worked a long day as no kids) and eat when both home may e 7-8pm.
Tuesday & Thursday - kids gave a club 6-7pm, so again eat 7-8pm
Wednesday - scouts but times variable winter & summer so food earlier or later depending.
Friday - ds2 has soup or pasta or something else quick by 5.30pm then goes to judo and we eat at some point between 6-8pm before he comes home, time depending on when we can be bothered to get stuff ready.

Sat - depends what we are doing, whether kids are here - if not DH & I would usually have gone out. Otherwise before they are home at 7.30

Sun - usually go to my parents for roast, eat around 6pm.

InTheDessert Fri 24-Feb-17 15:41:48

Kids eat breakfast while I make their sandwiches. DH eats before they get up, I eat when they are ready for school, or after I've taken them to school, time dependant - we don't live in the UK, school starts very early, breakfast isn't as late as it sounds, and I'm not getting up earlier - 5.30 is quite early enough.

Lunch - seperate during the week, together at the weekends.
Dinner - all together, 6-7 nights of the week. If DH is working late I sometimes eat with the kids, or eat later with DH.

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 15:42:33

Why does one need a meal at 3pm, 4.30pm?

Ds1 doesn't eat at school, so gets noodles or toast at 3.30pm when he gets home. I class that as lunch and he just sorts himself out.
Ds2 might need a snack before their Tue & Thu club. Again he can sort that out himself.
Neither of these impact on us then eating the evening meal as a family.

likewhatevs Fri 24-Feb-17 15:44:57

We have separate meal times during the week. Its not ideal, but when we're collecting the kids at 6pm they are starving and need feeding immediately. In fact when I collect them earlier on a couple of days, they are asking for food by 5pm. Neither me nor DH want food at that time.

pinkish Fri 24-Feb-17 15:48:06

I would be looking at the schedules and finding a way to sit down together once a week even if it meant dropping a few activities. But if you are happy that's fine.

We eat together three times a week, sometimes five. I'll feed kids early if they are ravenous.

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 15:48:23

3pm- DS about to start a long work shift, needs something substantial before he starts. 4.30pm- elderly parent who goes out for the day and neglects to eat ( she is 83) -, so she will come in hungry and tired, having only survived on a Weetabix from 9am. If I don't give her a meal at 4.30 she will go to bed to sleep and I won't see her until next morning.

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 15:49:42

I would be looking at the schedules and finding a way to sit down together once a week even if it meant dropping a few activities

A lot of it is work related though, not really sensible to drop work patterns for the sake of eating as a family is it?

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 15:50:37

You can't change that then!
Agree with pp - if you are happy with it there isn't a problem, otherwise can you change things round a couple of times a week?
Long work shift = older teens? I guess you start to move away from family life at that stage?

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 15:52:39

When I was a child my dad worked shifts - so we ate together as that allowed, and didn't when it didn't.
So those in the house at meal time eat together, but if schedules are such that you aren't in the house then so be it

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 15:52:43

I guess I was looking for ideas that could fit around catering flexibly.
I am at home all day, I often do a one pot meal , in the slow cooker or a lasagne tray, sometimes food doesn't reheat very well.

Oblomov17 Fri 24-Feb-17 15:54:19

We sit down to eat most days. And weekends. Not if one ds has an activity, or dh is home late though obviously.

But your twice a year, is really really bad. Why is it that infrequent. This is seriously bad.

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 15:59:48

But your twice a year, is really really bad. Why is it that infrequent. This is seriously bad

Is it bad? We are a very happy family.

No-one seems to be around that the same time. Just so busy- DD has school 5 days a week and activities 7 days a week, OH is often away, home late or on call. DS studies and works evenings and weekends, it's only after 10pm that we are all home as a family, and even not then as OH is away for a few nights most weeks.

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 16:02:40

Ah so you want meal ideas that work for your lifestyle - I misread your OP. And I'm crap at cooking so I'll bow out of the thread!

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 16:03:25

Duh - and you put it in Food/recipes - I just looked at the thread title not the section.

ScrapThatThen Fri 24-Feb-17 16:05:28

We have evening meal together 6 days a week, one or two of those might be an 'in front of the telly meal', and Tuesday we all grab something at different times. Lunches are not 'sit down together' unless we have homemade soup or Sunday roast. Our meals are really informal but there is something nice about being together. I think as long as those of you that are there are sometimes having a meal together, and you come together for family events and special occasions, you will probably do ok.

TryingtobePrepared Fri 24-Feb-17 16:52:48

We have a couple of evenings a week like this and my go to meals are frittata, pasta bolognese or similar just cook pasta fresh each time, slow cooker things, jackets and cold filings, salmon noodle parcels. Fresh noodles on sheet of foil, with a smear of seaseme oil underneath, salmon fillet, chilli, ginger lime to taste, pak choi halved soy sauce sprinkled on top and wrapped up name written on to make sure dds don't get dps fiery chilli one about 20 mins in the oven!

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 24-Feb-17 16:56:43

We eat together around the table pretty much every day. DH and I eat lunch together most days, if any of the kids are around they often join us. Round the table is where we connect really.

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 17:00:00

DH and I eat lunch together most days

I would imagine that's quite unusual. Do you both work from home?

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 24-Feb-17 17:06:39

Yes we do work from home. Different offices on different floors but we mostly meet up for lunch.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 24-Feb-17 17:10:45

You sound like you are doing better than many though Skerry. My kids have visited friends where all the different schedules meant that they had fallen into the habit of everyone simply reaching for the readymeal of their choice from the freezer.

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 17:38:17

Thanks tinkly- no haven't resorted to frozen ready meals. Yet!

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 24-Feb-17 18:30:38

The odd one is fine but I wouldn't trust my lot to choose for themselves every day. That would be pizza, pizza and er...more pizza then. grin

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