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Meals as a family with a toddler - how?

(28 Posts)
Jooni Thu 23-Feb-17 19:56:04

Does anyone with very young children manage to have an evening meal together as a family? If so, please share your routine!

I have a 17-month-old DD and a DS due soon and I'd really like to get into the habit of eating together in the evenings. DD eats at 5 at the moment and then we eat around 8 once she's in bed. DH gets in from work around 6. Curious to hear what other families do?

Hatemylifenow Thu 23-Feb-17 19:57:13

Yes I have the same issue with my one year old. In bed 6.30 latest and DH isn't home til 6.30.

Hatemylifenow Thu 23-Feb-17 19:57:37

And he has his dinner at 4.30 otherwise he's extremely grouchy.

Starman16 Thu 23-Feb-17 19:58:43

On weekdays we don't - both work full time so DS eats tea at nursery then snack when he gets home. At the weekends we all eat together around 4:30/5ish.

museumum Thu 23-Feb-17 19:59:56

We eat at 6. Dh doesn't always make it in time but at least 6 is a reasonable time for us adults at weekends and when he does make it. We just adjusted ds's routine till he started to expect dinner at 6.

WishUponAStar88 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:00:26

Similar to above - if neither of us are working we all eat together at 5. If DH working we eat at around 7 once she's in bed.

Artandco Thu 23-Feb-17 20:01:16

We have always all eaten together since weaning around 7-7.30pm.

DorotheaHomeAlone Thu 23-Feb-17 20:01:44

We do dinner at 6 on weekdays sometimes, just as DH gets in, but nursery days they eat there. And always eat together at the weekends.

Hobbitfeet32 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:01:59

5 and 3 year old in my house. We try to eat together whenever possible. Not always able during the week as husband gets in about 6.30/7pm. Whichever one of us picks the children up will eat with them around 5.30pm. If husband not back until later he will just warm his portion up. On weekends we always eat as a family around 5.30/6pm. During the week as we both work there is usually 1 or 2 nights per week where the children will be fed something simple around 6pm and we will eat together later. Normally this is if we are back late.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 23-Feb-17 20:02:01

I think it's not realistic for most families to have a regular family dinner time at this age. But I try to eat alongside my toddler where possible - breakfast and lunchtimes are easier and at dinner I sometimes serve myself a small portion of what he is eating (so I end up having a bit of fish pie instead of a biscuit about 5pm!).

SquedgieBeckenheim Thu 23-Feb-17 20:03:32

Dinner times in our house vary. DH works 12 hour shifts, so isn't home till after 8pm when he's working. When I was working (now on mat leave) DD and I got home about 6pm.
When we're all at home we eat together at 5.30pm.
When DH is at work but DD and I are at home, we eat at 5.30pm then DH reheats his dinner when he gets home.
When DD is at nursery she eats there and DH and I eat when DD is in bed.

Jooni Thu 23-Feb-17 20:05:59

OK, thanks for the responses. DD's bedtime is usually around 7-7.30 and I don't really want to move this any later since I relish those few child-free hours!

Maybe a substantial snack for DD at 4ish and a light lunch for me and we could all eat together when DH gets in. I'll do a trial run tomorrow!

umberellaonesie Thu 23-Feb-17 20:06:49

High tea at 3.30/4 pm for and then eat together at 6.
At family meal baby gets a taste of what we are eating as they have already eaten earlier

Eminybob Thu 23-Feb-17 20:07:03

DS has tea at nursery at 4.30 when I'm at work and then DH and I eat when he has gone to bed.

On my days off we all eat together at 6 as this is when DH will be back from work (although we do it this time at weekends too) DS then goes up to have bath and bed at 7.
We have worked it this way since weaning at 6 months and he's 2.5 now.
It doesn't seem to bother him at that he eats later some days. TBH he naps so long in the afternoon when he's at home that we couldn't really eat much earlier than 6 anyway!

Pinklady1981 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:07:26

Hi i have a 7 yr old and a 19 month old. I am a SAHM. Hubby works shift work. I sit down with my kids every teatime at 5pm. Kids are bathed at 6.30pm. Youngest goes to bed at 7.15pm and eldest 8pm.

MrsDc7 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:08:46

Our two eat together at 5 in the week and we eat when they're in bed. At the weekend we all eat together at 5:30/6

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Thu 23-Feb-17 20:13:00

We all eat together around 6pm. All finished and table cleared by 6.30pm, usually a game of pairs and then we do some dancing (Cha Cha Slide confused ). We usually start bedtime routine - bath if needed, songs and stories - around 7.15, kids are in bed by 7.40 and all asleep by 8. I have 3 aged 1, 3 and 5.

Hatemylifenow Thu 23-Feb-17 20:17:04

How do you get them to stay up later 😭 My 1 yo is a monster by 7 - he can only do 4 hours awake time.

JellyWitch Thu 23-Feb-17 20:19:06

We eat 6-7. Kids asleep 8-9. Ages 2 and 7 (the 7 year old is a night owl anyway)

MummaGiles Thu 23-Feb-17 20:21:02

We try to eat together at the weekends but during the week it just isn't practical.

Brighteyes27 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:29:23

When ours were very little DH's home time varied between 6-6.45 and my two were always famished early on so for an easy life I fed them around 4.30/5pm Mon-Fri. This was easier as I also found they were quite crotchety on the run up to bed time. DH and I ate much later once they were in bed and settled. This carried on until towards the end of junior school if I am honest. We always eat together and often eat out together on weekends though.

chloechloe Thu 23-Feb-17 21:18:51

DD1 is nearly 2 and DD2 is 2 months. The toddler has a snack at nursery at 3pm, then we tend to eat as a family at 6:30pm as soon as DH comes in. Bedtime at 8pm for the toddler.

I try to get dinner ready during the day when DD1 is at nursery, so will make a pot of soup or pasta sauce or prepare something to go into the oven. DH texts me his ETA so I can get dinner on the table as soon as he comes in as I don't like DD1 to eat and go to bed too late.

To be honest it is hard with a baby as well, as she's quite overtired and fussy by 5pm. I've started putting DD2 in the sling so she goes to sleep while I make dinner and we eat. Some days it all goes wrong and I just give DD1 porridge or bread, cheese and fruit for dinner!

Whilst DD1 doesn't eat much at dinner and is generally quite tired we all really enjoy sitting round the table together so despite the downsides I think it's a good habit to get into.

Artandco Thu 23-Feb-17 21:25:16

HAte - later nap when small. At 1 year mine would sleep something like 10pm-8am, 11-12pm nap, 3-5pm nap. Now youngest is 5 years, he just sleeps 9pm-7.30/8am. We don't get home until 6.30/7pm so could never have done 7pm bedtimes . plus I would rather they sleep in until a reasonable time in morning, as not bothered if they were awake in evening when we were anyway

KatharinaRosalie Thu 23-Feb-17 21:27:18

kids 1 and 3. We eat together most evenings around 6.30-7. Bedtime 8.30-9

Hatemylifenow Thu 23-Feb-17 21:29:29

Ah I like our adult evening time. Just wish we could get him to 7 but he won't go down later than 6.30 whatever time he naps.

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