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3yo wants a late evening meal - what's best?

(22 Posts)
Thurlow Wed 15-Jul-15 09:40:51

Since starting in a nursery a few weeks ago 3.5yo pretty much wants 4 meals a day. I suspect it is dinner being earlier than she's used to at home, and possibly she's just not eating too much. So she's having breakfast at 8, lunch at 12, dinner at 4 - and then at 6-6.30 she is ready to eat a whole meal again, no bananas fobbing her off. I don't really blame her as at home she probably won't eat dinner until 5-6ish, so being hungry 2-2.5 hours after her last meal isn't much of a surprise.

So far we've been giving porridge or weetabix, which she'll eat a massive bowl of and sometimes still want fruit or cucumber or something similar afterwards (which means she genuinely is hungry, not trying her luck for a biscuit). This doesn't seem very exciting though, but at least it's quick to make.

Any other suggestions?

greenhill Wed 15-Jul-15 09:52:13

Cheese on toast; scrambled eggs; baked potato; cheese and crackers etc. follow it with Greek yoghurt and either a spoon full of honey or some soft fruit such as blueberries, raspberries etc and that should fill her up.

You can bake potatoes in the oven in a batch, then reheat from the fridge or freezer when needed.

bigkidsdidit Wed 15-Jul-15 09:57:53

Mine are the same. We have sandwich + fruit and a big cup of milk.

Thurlow Wed 15-Jul-15 10:06:05

Cheese is off the menu, strange child grin She's also not a fan of sandwiches. Doubly strange child. And no microwave, which ruins the jacket potato idea!

Scrambled eggs, though, I hadn't thought of that.

greenhill Wed 15-Jul-15 10:22:57

Does she like gnocchi or pasta? Mine love it with pesto or a carbonara sauce.

Thurlow Wed 15-Jul-15 10:26:31

She does, yes. I think it's because she has probably had one bread based meal and one potato/pasta based meal already at nursery, I've been trying to imagine something more interesting. Which probably doesn't exist!

greenhill Wed 15-Jul-15 10:32:11

True, nothing is interesting or exciting with repetition! Does she like crumpets or plain muffins, rice pudding or a savoury rice with peas and mushrooms (any veg combo will do) or noodles with some soy sauce and spring onions?

chandelierswinger Wed 15-Jul-15 10:37:31

Tins of beans/spaghetti? We've always done cereal or toast, like you, and my DCs know these are always options for a 4th 'meal' every day. It's made my life a little easier knowing I can literally just grab the cereal and have it ready in 30 seconds without thinking! Unless your DC won't eat it, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to make it more exciting on nursery days.

FrancesHaHa Wed 15-Jul-15 10:44:11

We tend to do crumpet, bagel or wrap, yoghurt and fruit and/ or dried fruit. Or dippers such as breadsticks with hoummous or cream cheese. Cheese or ham with crackers. Occasionally I've heated up some soup in winter, but generally stick to snacky food, but lots of it.

The tea provided at my dd's nursery seems to be quite small, so she's most definately hungry at this time, but doesn't seem too keen on sitting down for another hot meal. We often have a picnic, in or out the house.

Thurlow Wed 15-Jul-15 10:47:12

Crumpets, bagels and English muffins - thank you, I can stock the freezer with those

But nice to hear other people do similar plain things. Cereal is so quick and easy and at least with porridge or weetabix there's not a load of salt and sugar. And nice to hear someone else's kids are starving too, Frances, I was wondering if it was just our gannet!

RhubarbAndMustard Wed 15-Jul-15 10:49:50

We offer cereal mainly, fruit, sandwich, maybe a cake as a treat. Nursery tend to do their main meal at lunchtime, so tea is often early and small.

WorkingBling Wed 15-Jul-15 10:53:20

DS always needs something after nursery. Sometimes we let him have a little snack bar, other days he has some home made smoothie. But usually he has peanut butter toast or cheese and apple slices. If DH and I are eating early, he'll have a small bit of whatever we're having, especially if the meal includes potato! grin

purplemurple1 Wed 15-Jul-15 10:54:24

pancakes are quick easy meal, you can add bacon or what ever if you want too.

TendonQueen Wed 15-Jul-15 11:31:12

Nothing wrong with porridge - IMO it's a nice comforting thing for the end of the day too - so I think that and fruit as you have been doing is fine. You could do egg fried rice with finally chopped veg on days when you have a bit more time.

Thurlow Wed 15-Jul-15 11:34:57

Peanut butter! That would be good protein before bed too.

Some days DP does pick her up earlier and will have time to make something, so the savoury rice is a good idea too.

But maybe on the days when I get her home at 6.40 it'll just be porridge!

greenhill Wed 15-Jul-15 17:48:16

Mine were still hungry after homemade vegetable soup tonight, fortunately I'd cooked a packet of sausages last night, but we'd not eaten them all, so they could both have a cold sausage from the fridge. Lots of protein and easy to have a few cold ones in the fridge, as long as you don't snaffle them first smile

Radish9 Wed 15-Jul-15 21:57:40

My preschooler just eats a normal family meal with us in the evening (also his fourth meal!). Sometimes he's starving and had a decent portion, and sometimes he barely wants anything, but it's always offered. If we're having something he doesn't like he has crumpets/ toast/ sandwich, and sometimes he only really wants pudding (fruit or yogurt). The downside is that he eats (and therefore goes to bed) later than we'd like, or we eat earlier than we normally would, but it's nice to all sit down together.

Forgetmenotblue Wed 15-Jul-15 22:04:02

My Ds who is 8 has a 4th meal still...he really needs it, he only eats small amounts at a time and is very active/sporty.

After school he has yoghurt, sandwich and fruit and then his family meal at about 6pm.

Just before bed he has another yoghurt/fruit/toast type snack and a glass of milk. Thin as whippet and on the go all day long.

Forgetmenotblue Wed 15-Jul-15 22:06:52

That's 5 meals really isn't it?

I offer

Crumpets, wraps with grated cheese in, bagels, hot cross buns, toast and butter
Plain yoghurt
Scrambled egg or beans
Cold cooked sausage
Ham and cheese toastie or panini

It's even worse with DS1 who is teenager with hollow legs!

dietcokeisgreat Thu 16-Jul-15 20:20:19

Our ds is now just 4, been at nursery since 9mo. He has always had dinner with us 6.30-7pm - just whatever we are having or occasionally a sandwich instead. Tha tis on top of breakfast, lunch, nursery tea. He seems hungry most evenings - i think anything you give is fine!

Thurlow Thu 16-Jul-15 20:26:45

We have dinner a lot later, once she's in bed, especially if it's a day when she has been at nursery all day because we've both been at work.

Porridge and weetabix and crumpets it is!

Highlove Thu 16-Jul-15 22:06:28

I make a batch of muffins - savoury or sugar-free banana ones. Take one out the freezer in the morning and it's ready for DD after nursery. Or scotch pancakes - again savoury or sugar-free sweet - they freeze well and only take a few mins to defrost in a dry pan. Crumpets with peanut butter and favourite here, too. For a treat maybe some malt loaf. Toast and houmous or philly with a bit of carrot or something grated in it. Maybe a babybel. Always followed by fruit and maybe yoghurt if she seems extra hungry.

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