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Old 08-25-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
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Dinner time at your house?

Please tell me about dinner time out your house. How many kids and ages? Do they eat what you eat of do you prepare something special of the kids? Do they sit for the meal? Any tips for getting preschoolers to sit? What time you eat?

I have 2 boys ages 3 and 4. DH works an hour away so dinner is at 6 when he gets home. They usually eat what we eat but I do give variations. The 4 year old sits fairly well. The 3 year old gets up about 100 times during dinner (would love suggestions how to correct this effectively!)

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by reneaumommy
Please tell me about dinner time out your house. How many kids and ages? Do they eat what you eat of do you prepare something special of the kids? Do they sit for the meal? Any tips for getting preschoolers to sit? What time you eat?

I have 2 boys ages 3 and 4. DH works an hour away so dinner is at 6 when he gets home. They usually eat what we eat but I do give variations. The 4 year old sits fairly well. The 3 year old gets up about 100 times during dinner (would love suggestions how to correct this effectively!)
3 kids, 5, 4, and 7mos.

They eat what I cook unless I know they won't eat it, like spicy food or shrimp, then I'll fix them a sandwich or something. I do vary it though. For example, DS doesn't like sauces or gravies, so I don't put anything on his rice.

They sit for the most part. When it was an issue, we had consequences, like no dessert or early bedtime if they got up. I would even go as far as making them leave the table early (and, thus, not getting to finish dinner) if they would not stay seated despite other efforts. I never had to do that...just taking away a treat or book time worked.

I try to have dinner ready between 5:30 and 6:00. This summer it was more like 6:30 or 7:00 but now that the baby is eating and school is in we need to eat earlier.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:43 PM   #3
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Ds1 is 3 & ds2 is 15 months. We eat around 6. Ds1 has a very difficult time sitting- or sitting still. He was getting up multiple times or banging the table... Or trying to kick me... Anyways. Wants to get up I ask him what he needs. If its a drink I get it. If its something else it waits. If he pushes & gets up he knows he's done & his plate will be put into the sink. If he cannot listen at the table- there is no dessert.
I don't like doing the no dessert because then we are using food as a reward.. But if something actually gets the boy to sit, so be it!
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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We eat at 5:00. That's because my kids start bedtime routine at 6:00. They eat what we eat...I do a monthly meal plan and I would say 90 percent of the meals are things they like. I usually also have some cheese chunks and cut up raw veggies they can eat if they aren't fond of the meal.

I don't make a big deal out of meal times at all. We a sit at the table for every meal, but if someone isnt hungry, they don't have to stay. They have to ask to be excused then clear their dishes away. They know there will be no more food until the next eating time. I do three meals and three snacks a day. If someone doesn't eat a meal I don' t worry about it because I know there will be healthy food available again in a couple of hours.

If someone leaves the table early, they have to go play somewhere away from the table...no disrupting those still eating. I don't have consequences for leaving the table early as long as it is done politely.

My girls are 4.5 and 2.5
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:10 AM   #5
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

I have two kids (5 and 2.5) and dinner is at 6:00 most nights. On the weekend we may eat earlier like around 5 or 5:30. I make one meal that we all eat together at the table. The 5 year old eats in a regular chair and the 2 year old was doing the same but she is having problems staying seated lately so she went back to the high chair a couple weeks ago. I give her 3 chances to stay seated and if she can't do that then back then the high chair comes out no discussion. It's not punishment, I just stress that it is not safe to keep jumping down and food is eaten at the table. It's a restaurant style high chair so she still is at the table with us.

They can choose to eat or not but they must try everything and must be asked to be excused. They can only get down once everyone is mostly done since dinner is not necessarily just about eating but going over the events of our day and bonding. We don't have a lot of food struggles. DD is a little picky but that's normal for the age and DS was too but he grew out of it. They don't have to finish but there will be no alternate meal or anything else after dinner. We don't do dessert. If they are hungry later they can finish the dinner they didn't eat, which DD will almost always do right before bed.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

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We eat at 5:00. That's because my kids start bedtime routine at 6:00. They eat what we eat...I do a monthly meal plan and I would say 90 percent of the meals are things they like. I usually also have some cheese chunks and cut up raw veggies they can eat if they aren't fond of the meal.

I don't make a big deal out of meal times at all. We a sit at the table for every meal, but if someone isnt hungry, they don't have to stay. They have to ask to be excused then clear their dishes away. They know there will be no more food until the next eating time. I do three meals and three snacks a day. If someone doesn't eat a meal I don' t worry about it because I know there will be healthy food available again in a couple of hours.

If someone leaves the table early, they have to go play somewhere away from the table...no disrupting those still eating. I don't have consequences for leaving the table early as long as it is done politely.

My girls are 4.5 and 2.5
This is a really good idea. I tend to stress over dinner too much and getting them to eat. We lived with my FIL for a year and he got them on a dessert thing after meals. I try to do fruit, but I hate that they expect something. Do you do dessert?
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:30 AM   #7
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

Oh, I have 3 children ages 14 months, 3 years, and 6 years. We have dinner around 6-6:30 and bedtime is at 8.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

I get home from work at 5. Dinner is generally around 6, though it can be as late as 7 if DD has karate.

We do dinner, then straight into the bath, then bed. I aim to have DD2 in by 7:30, DS by 7:45, and DD1 by 8.

Kids are 5, 3, and 1.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:35 AM   #9
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

We are probably a little too relaxed! We eat together once a week for dinner usually. The rest of the time I feed the kiddos first. Sometimes they like what I cook, sometimes not. So they will bet PB&Js or turkey sandwiches, oatmeal. Generally if they don't like what I cook, I ask what they want. Now if they don't eat that one then they just don't eat.

I don't have any real tips only because I feel lucky that my kids eat and then are done. Although my special needs child is kind of a grazer so he needs to eat and get up a bit and then sit back down. I think it also depends on what battles you want to fight and what ones you don't. Meal times aren't a big deal to me [as far as everyone eating together and eating the same thing].

ETA: forgot to add, my boys are 4 and 5
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Last edited by Terra; 08-26-2012 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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My kids are 2.5 and 11 months.

I start cooking dinner at 5, so we eat anywhere between 5:30 and 6. We eat as a family, but DH often doesn't make it home on time. DS doesn't eat a lot, so I let him get down from the table when he's done. He doesn't get to watch TV, but he can play in the playroom.

The kids eat what we eat, but I do try to make something that everyone will like. DS is incredibly picky, but we tell him he doesn't get anything different if he doesn't at least try his food. Our problem is getting the food to actually go in his mouth. It's rare that once he takes a bite that he hates the food. He often goes to bed without eating a bite, or only eating one or two bites. He only clears his plate maybe once every three weeks or so.
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