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Do you eat dinner with your children?

(125 Posts)
Gillian76 Mon 01-Aug-05 18:51:19

Until now we normally feed the children around 5 and have our own dinner later. I have been reading a really interesting book about children's eating habits and the author is quite adamant that children should eat with their parents if they are to learn good eating habits.

Do you do this? How do you manage?

daisy1999 Mon 01-Aug-05 18:53:13

I have my dinner with the children and dh eats when he gets in. At weekends we all eat together.

throckenholt Mon 01-Aug-05 18:55:16

we eat together - but we are lucky enough to be able to work our day so that we are all home at 5pm.

lilaclotus Mon 01-Aug-05 18:56:14

i eat dinner with dd at the dining table at about 5pm. dp works nights, so he eats later in the evening.

lockets Mon 01-Aug-05 18:56:19

Message withdrawn

Gillian76 Mon 01-Aug-05 18:56:27

Normally DH comes in around 6pm. I just find this is stretching it a bit for the LO's!

luckylady Mon 01-Aug-05 18:57:07

we do try and eat with DD ( not so much DS he gets fed in his high chair before we eat), if DS is up when we eat we put his high chair next to the table and give him some finger foods off our plates.

Luckily though DH only works till 16.30 on a Monday and the rest of the week he finishes at 13.30....

Tommy Mon 01-Aug-05 18:57:56

We're like you Gillian. I'm always in a bit of a quandry about it TBH. Normally, my DSs have their main meal at lunchtime as they're normally too tired by 5pm to eat a lot and just have sandwiches etc. I quite like having dinner with DH around 8pm when boys are asleep and evrything is cleared away after the day.
I eat lunch with the DSs (but not the same thing usually). I can see how it is helpful to all eat together but I feel that this sort of advice is based on a rather dated idea that Daddy comes home at 5pm and the whole family eat the meat and 2 veg together around the table to discuss the day's events.
My HV told me that my DS1 would anything I gave him if we all together..... which is simply not true!

littlerach Mon 01-Aug-05 18:58:10

We found a real difference in DD1 when we began eating as a family. She was much 'easier' at mealtimes.

lockets Mon 01-Aug-05 18:58:37

Message withdrawn

Nemo1977 Mon 01-Aug-05 18:58:42

i have lunch and breakfast with ds and about 3evening meals a week at the same time as him. However as dh works late it is sometimes easier to feed ds earlier then he is in bed when dh comes home so i try to split the evening meal between them if oyu know what i mean

trefusis Mon 01-Aug-05 19:02:08

Message withdrawn

Lonelymum Mon 01-Aug-05 19:03:33

I think this is hard to do when they are little as they eat so early and as some people have said, sometimes eat their main meal at lunchtime. However, I have mostly tried to eat with the children as I do believe it is important to eat together, and now that the eldest is nine (and generally sets the timetable and the younger ones follow suit) I find we can eat a bit later (maybe 6 instead of 5) and very occasionally, dh can join us too!

tortoiseshell Mon 01-Aug-05 19:04:00

Hmm, we're really bad about this. Problem is dh generally doesn't get in before 7 or 8, and sometimes it's pushing 10 o clock when he gets in. And tbh it's our moment of relaxation in the day, having a glass of wine and our meal once the kids are in bed. It's just not relaxing eating with the children, you're always being a police force, and invariably they either gobble their food and get down, or take lots of cajoling to eat it. We eat as a family at lunchtime on weekends, and they're pretty good then, but I just don't see why the 'meal times should be enjoyable' mantra should apply to the kids, but the adults can't have a relaxing meal.

swedishmum Mon 01-Aug-05 19:13:45

I used to hate eating with the children when they were younger but do make an effort to do so. Dh is usually away all week so it'sw down to me. When they were younger I would sit down and have a drink and chat to them or sometimes read a book to them. We always eat together at weekends.

compo Mon 01-Aug-05 19:15:54

Just to add that when I was young me and my 3 siblings always ate together when we got in from school @5pm and my parents ate later in the evening. We only ever had Sunday lunch together, and breakfast. Sometimes Saturday lunch at the weekend. None of us were/are faddy/problem eaters.

happymerryberries Mon 01-Aug-05 19:17:19

The kids have their tea at 5, dh and I eat later at 7.30. On the weekend we all eat together.

jessicaandbumpsmummy Mon 01-Aug-05 19:25:16

We try to feed jess before we eat together, but she wont usually eat a lot, then she sits in her booster chair while we eat and tends to eat a lot more then, bits off of my plate! We TRY to eat at about 5.30-6pm but some nights it has been later.
This week I have been really good and done a menu plan so i can have most of dinner prepared and ready to be cooked once DH is home from work (about 5.15-5.30).
If DH is off, we still try and all eat together. The only meal jess has on her own is breakfast as I cant face food at 7.30 in the monring and DH ddoesnt eat breakfast at all!

RachD Mon 01-Aug-05 19:27:36

I think alot of families feed their children at 5 and then eat themselves later.
My sister-in-law does. Her son is one. Starving at 5. Tired by 6. In bed by 6.45 !!

Because alot of husbands/partners get home after 5.45, because you are probably exhausted, this makes sense.

We have always eaten together. We are in the enviable position of my husband starting work at 6.30am, being home by 3.30pm. We eat together at the table, as a family 95% of the time. My son has very good table manners, eats like a trooper and 5.30-6 is fine for him.

But I apprecaite that its not very easy for everyone !!

Funnily enough, the dated view that Tommy descibes is exactly what we are !!! My husband & I both grew up in a family where coming together for dinner, to discuss your day was very important. And it is still very important to us both. We wanted that, very strongly, for our family.

We are very dated and VERY , VERY proud of it.

Jacks nursery say his table manners are very forward for his age.

I completely agree with you book - in my opinion, eating with parents is great.
My only suggestion is that you try to do it when you can - at weekends etc. Its not the most important thing in the world, don't stress about it, but if you could maange it every now and then ,it can do nothing but good.

Blackduck Mon 01-Aug-05 19:29:44

Dp has lunch with ds, but dinner usually on his own (we eat late because I don't get into work until 6.30ish...) Having said that ds has just eaten his tea, most of mine, and had a bash at his father's......(he's 2+)

jessicaandbumpsmummy Mon 01-Aug-05 19:29:53

and i will also add that 90% of the time while i was growing up we ate at the table as a family. My dad did work shifts so some nights he wouldnt be home and it was a luxery to have tea on our knees in front of the telly!

Now dad is widowed he still eats at the table just himself!

Jess loves sitting at the table with us and i hope it continues. For me, nothing beats that special family time.

helsi Mon 01-Aug-05 19:30:59

we do it the majority of the week, however, as has already been said its not always possible for us. I don't finish work until 5 and so when I get dd home she is hungry. We usually eat as a family on Wed, and Fri-Sunday.

Gillian76 Mon 01-Aug-05 19:34:24

Pre-children I really hoped we would sit down together as we always did. Like some of you have said, it was such an important social time for us.

DH is a teacher but likes to get everything done before he comes home. He is generally so tired that anything left til after dinner doesn't get done. I am wondering if it's worthwhile asking him to make an effore a couple of days a week so we can all eat together.

FWIW, I do enjoy that time sitting down just us 2 when the kids are in bed and the "decks are clear"! The children are on the whole good eaters. I have noticed myself lately resorting to fish fingers, however - hence the book

Gillian76 Mon 01-Aug-05 19:35:11

WE being my sisters and parents!

paolosgirl Mon 01-Aug-05 19:37:36

Whenever possible. I'd rather eat with the kids, than waiting till DH gets home, as I firmly believe it is very important to sit and eat with them, hear about their day etc. If DH is not home in time to eat with us, I'll sit and have a coffee while he eats, and chat to him then.

Eating together as a family is something we are absolutely determined to do whenever possible.

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