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Mealtimes!

(24 Posts)
mhorne Sat 20-Aug-05 12:24:48

Hi, I have just enrolled my DD into a Busy Bees nursery for 2 afternoons a week. I was astounded to hear that they serve tea at 3.30pm. Does anyone else eat their tea at 3.30? This means I will have to give her a snack of some sort when she gets home (around 5pm when she normally has tea) otherwise she will be starving be the morning.Is this normal for nurseries, and if so does anyone know the thinking behind it. Very interested to hear others thoughts.

colditz Sat 20-Aug-05 12:27:02

Ask them if it just a snack? Or tell them not to bother. This seems absurd! I don't know anyone who eats their tea at 3;30. Maybe it is to give working parents a chance to prepare the evening meal without the child becoming too hungry?

nailpolish Sat 20-Aug-05 12:36:56

i would have assumed its just juice and a biscuit, maybe im wrong though.

mhorne Sat 20-Aug-05 12:40:35

No its definitely not just a snack. They have a 2 course lunch at 11.30 which my DD won't have, then the tea is usually something like beans on toast, that sort of quantity. I do think it is only 2 days a week, so we should be able to muddle through. I just can't stop wondering about the thinking behind it. I'm going in on Monday, so I might have a chat with them about it.

nailpolish Sat 20-Aug-05 12:42:26

that is a bit strange! if i was you i would give your dd is big supper, cos as you say shell be hungry in the morning

how old is she?

mhorne Sat 20-Aug-05 12:49:05

She's 21 months. I thought I would give her something like soup or pasta for lunch, then she can just have some toast or cereal when she comes home.

nailpolish Sat 20-Aug-05 13:03:33

that sounds just fine! (hey, in the end it might save you a bit of work cooking something!)

littlerach Sat 20-Aug-05 13:37:47

I'd have thought it would be a main mealk at lunchtime, then a light 'afternoon' tea at 3.30pm. Maybe some sandwiches and cake.

When I worked in a nursery we did this (though at 4pm), the idea beinbg that the parents can then still eat a meal with the children when they get in.

HandbagAddiction Mon 22-Aug-05 12:29:45

This is completely normal. If you think that some parents will pick up their children at 5pm and that for a class of 12 it will probably take 45 mins to an hour for them to serve and clear up tea, then if they did it any later than 3:30, they would be struggling to get it all finished.

Our nursery have always had tea followed by fruit at 3:30pm the main meal being at lunchtime. It does mean that you will need to give your dd something when you get home - but I find this quite easy. We normally just have a mixture of yoghurt, toast or bagels, more fruit, cheese, chopped up bots and pieces like cucumber or avocado, etc. It's nothing major and never anything that requires cooking but just something to ensure they don't go hungry

SleepySuzy Mon 22-Aug-05 12:35:18

My daughter has her tea at about 5pm or just before at nursery. And it is sandwiches and fruit. I have sometimes arrived just after 5 to find her still eating.

Saying that, she is still hungry when we get home!

popmum Mon 22-Aug-05 12:54:54

my nursery (leapfrog) is the same. Works fine for us - lunch at 11.30 followed by naps and then tea at 3.30. I don't feed her when we get home, though she may have a snack. When we are at home she has tea at 5-5.30, no problem
Agree it is due to varying pick up times and they think you are going to have family dinner at home.
I would be annoyed if I went to pick her up and they were still eating - I just want to get home!

SleepySuzy Mon 22-Aug-05 12:57:55

The thing is, nurseries are never going to please everyone, as if mine ate too early, I would feel like I wasn't getting my money's worth! I like the idea of a mid-afternoon snack and then a meal at tea time.

littlesteppers Mon 22-Aug-05 13:03:03

i have worked in a nursery for 8 years and all the time i was there, yes tea was at 3.30. the variety changes, some times its soup, or sandwiches, salad or crumpets.

but also seeing the amount that the children get, then i would probably say dd wouild need a snak when she comes home.

RachD Mon 22-Aug-05 13:06:45

It is the same at my nursery.
Lunch at 11.30.
Tea at 3.30.
Like handbag says, it does take time to actually feed the children & get everything cleared away.

It first struck me as a bit odd, but when you think about it, I suppose it makes sense.

I mean, if you are having lunch at 11.30, you would probably fancy a snack/ tea at 3.30.

My ds still woolfs down his dinner at 5.30-6pm !!!!

So, obviously, although it struck me as odd, it wasn't a problem to him !!!!

MascaraOHara Mon 22-Aug-05 13:10:47

dd has tea at nursery around 3:30 -4pm (I think) she doesn't eat anything then until breakfast the next day. She has milk before bed and sometimes if she says she's hungry she has some toast as a supper.

Can't imagine trying to cook her dinner at 6:30 and get her into bed at a decent time. I never thought that parents might go home and cook another tea for their children, I will have to ask the other parents at dd's nursery.

<had a mild few seconds of panic before realising she's 3 and it's done now harm so far!>

elliott Mon 22-Aug-05 13:15:15

Yes this is completely normal in my experience of nurseries too. But I have always given my children a full tea at home as well as their nursery tea - they certainly needed it and would have never got through the night without it! In fact its only now ds1 is older that I notice any difference in his appetite on a nursery day compared with a home day (when he would be having a mid afternoon snack at a similar time to nursery tea).
I think its a perfectly reasonable timetable for little ones - I don't see how a nursery could offer a tea much later and still have them ready to be picked up at 5pm. Even if they ate at 4 or 4.30 I'd be wanting to give them something else before bedtime.

ninah Mon 22-Aug-05 13:32:22

Mascara snap! never occured to me to feed ds again, he's now 3 too!

RachD Mon 22-Aug-05 13:52:23

ninah & mascara - chill girls - I am sure just as many mums don't feed their children again, verses do feed them again.

My ds would eat continuously, given half a chance, whereas our nephew -14 mths only likes 3 meals a day and refuses all snacks offered.

I am constantly astounded by how much my ds eats & yet there is nothing of him !!

ninah Mon 22-Aug-05 13:53:13

oh, I'm not panicking! just amused
he's enormous!

RachD Mon 22-Aug-05 14:03:01

as littlestepers says
"seeing the amount that the children get, "

have you seen nursery portions ?

Even a gnat would think he was on a diet !

My ds has seconds every day he is at nursery, and regularly has thirds !!!

MascaraOHara Mon 22-Aug-05 15:25:02

Snap Ninah - my dd is tall and 'big' hence my thread the other week..

"How fat would you child have to be.."

iota Mon 22-Aug-05 15:28:48

ds2 has nursery tea at 3.30pm and I serve a cooked dinner at about 5.30 to 6 pm at home - -sometimes hea eats loads, sometimes he doesn't.

Hulababy Mon 22-Aug-05 15:31:09

Both nurseries DD has been too serve lunch around 11:30-12 noon, and then high tea around 3-3:30. This is normally cold - cheese and biscuits, homemade sausage rolls, home made pizza slices, sandwiches, etc and always with milk or water, and fruit. Fruit is available all day through too.

I don't mind this as I like us to all eat together at night anyway - so her having a light meal then means she is ready to eat with me and daddy again around 6:30pm. We've had similar thing since her being very tiny. She's now 3. Whjen at hoeme I also tend to give her some snack tea at that time too - infact about to do that very soon

Hulababy Mon 22-Aug-05 15:38:53

Also, DD's nursery actually serves pretty good portion sizes. Was quite impressed when I saw one one lunchtime.They have a policy of serving every child a half portion, and then the child opts to have more or not. Same with dessert. Mind, DD loves her food and always has seconds of both courses - plus more if any left

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