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Old 08-29-2012, 04:48 PM   #41
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

Our kids are 6, 4, 2, and 8 months and YES we eat together, every meal, period.

What does that look like? Depends. Tonight, I piled mini-pancakes onto a big platter and each of us sat in the middle of the kitchen on the floor with a tiny cup of maple syrup for us to dip in. Yesterday, we ate outside on lawn chairs, but again, all together.

In the winter we spend much more of our meals at our dining room table, but in the great weather months, we eat outside together.

I never cook separate meals. My children are in control of their bodies and if they are hungry, they eat. If not, they don't. Even if they aren't hungry, we make meals appealing because we have always made it family time that's fun If things are really spicy, sometimes I provide something to mellow it for them or give them a different dipping sauce, but that's it.

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Old 08-29-2012, 05:06 PM   #42
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Dinner is at 6:30 and we all eat together. Sometimes DH works late, and it's just me and the boys, though.

Ds1 is 13 and Ds2 is almost 1 They eat what we eat. If Ds1 doesn't like it, he must eat half. If he won't eat half at dinner, I cover it and he gets it for his next meal. I haven't had to do this since he was 6, though. He is a great eater.

For Ds2, he sits in his latch-on chair fine. He likes to be at the table with us and he eats a bit of everything we eat.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:15 PM   #43
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

Dinner is at 7:00. They eat whatever I cook within reason. Im not a short order cook, but I will cut up an apple or offer a yogurt if they aren't interested in the food. They stay seated until everyone is finished, and we start pushing that at a very young age. I don't care how much my two year old screams up, up, up. Dinner time is family time and it's rude to get up early. I'm pretty hardcore on the table manners too. If you're old enough to feed yourself you're old enough to say please and thank you. My rule of thumb regarding eating is that they don't have to like it, but they absolutely have to try it. I want my kids to be fearless when it comes to food. That being said, they are never required to clean their plates. That's a mistake our parents made that I think has played a huge role in the weight problems of this country.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #44
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

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Originally Posted by kateroc View Post
I'm impressed with all you mamas! I'm gonna be the voice of the mom who do not have it all together, lol! While I would love for us all to sit down and eat an orderly dinner together every night, it is sooo not the reality for us

I walk in the door (with the kids, after I pick them up from day care) around 5:40 or so and the kids need to eat pretty much right away. I cook for them -- a separate meal from what DH and I will eat later. I try to give them leftovers from our dinner the night before so they eat as little "kid food" as possible. But are there nights that they get hot dogs for dinner? absolutely. My little one is in bed by 7:30 the absolute latest, and the bedtime routine often starts as early as 6:30, so taking the time to cook when I get home so that we can all eat together later is just not really an option. My little on is in a high chair, so he's easy to contain, but I do have issues with getting my 3 year old to sit still and actually eat. I do threaten to take the plate away if he's being especially difficult, and that usually fixes the problem.

After the kids are in bed (8:30 or so), DH and I cook a meal at eat together. Honestly, even though my main reason for feeding the kids separately is out of necessity -- they need to eat and go to bed early -- I really really enjoy my evening meal with DH. It has become a really important part of our marriage to have time every day to sit and have a meal and a glass of wine together. I will really miss it when the kids are old enough to stay up later and eat with us.
We eat all meals together except for one night. It is Tues. nights when the 2 older girls have swim team practice at the gym from 7:15-8:45pm. I feed the kids dinner at 6 and get them there by 7 and dh meets us there. The 2 littles go in the nursery and dh and I work out. He takes the littles home and puts them to bed while I get the older 2 showered and pj's on and home. We order take out when I get home and get the 2 older girls in bed. It is a great night dh and I can have a meal together and talk and just have the 2 of us.

The rest of the week we all sit down and eat together. It is the only time during the week we have to all sit and talk to each other. It is important for us to be able to sit with them and show and teach them table manners, expectations, and most importantly talk to them about their day and their lives. I make one meal and that is what is for dinner. When we plan meals for the week on Sun., we ask for suggestions so everyone has input. Like pp's what we make is what there is. No exceptions. I will make alterations to the meal for true dislikes, but not anything major.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:37 AM   #45
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

I grew up eating together with my family. But we DH and our 3 kids hardly ever eat together. Maybe once or twice a week. We are all on different schedules and have so many activities going on.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:45 AM   #46
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My hubby is on a 4 night on 4 night off rotation right now. On the nights he leaves for work, we end up eating dinner around 3 pm. The nights he is off, we push that back to 5ish. The kids are still young, (4 and 9 months) so we always eat as a family. Even the baby eats what we eat, we just grind it up in a baby food grinder. We don't cook anything special up for the picky 4 year old, but as long as he eats within reason, he may have a price of fruit or something if he REALLY hates the meal. We're struggling with this now, since he seems to hate everything I cook lately. I will often try to accommodate him within reason. For instance, if I am making tacos, and he doesn't like spicy, I will pull some plain meat out for him before I season it,but I won't cook something completely separate for him.

We are not super strict about making him stay seated until everyone is finished. Mostly because he really needs to go wash up right after! So he is expected to wash up, clear his own dishes and then he is excused. And the adults are usually finished about the same time anyways, is its never been a rule.

......you should see what my posts look like BEFORE auto correct.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:22 PM   #47
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Re: Dinner time at your house?

I love reading these threads and seeing what works for all the different families.

I love dinner together. I love listening to my kids talk to each other, I love hearing about DH's day and talking. I actually miss it when we get too busy (which sometimes happens) and we miss a few meals together in a week.

I also really want my kids to be ready to eat anywhere and be comfortable with the "rules." We don't run around a restaurant or at Grandma's house and come back and eat another bite. So, we don't do that at home either.

We eat between 5:30 and 6:00 usually. Kids are 8, 6 and 4, but this is how it has gone since each child came to sit at the table with us. Toddlers who cannot be trusted to stay in their seats are in a booster with a belt. Some nights it is earlier and not a family meal (dance/hockey night). But, for family meals, we all sit and we all eat the same meal. Thankfully my kids are good eaters, and the meal is not usually the problem. Everyone sits at the table, eats together, using reasonable manners (asking for food to be passed, learning to serve oneself nicely, sitting on our behinds). Apart from excusing oneself to go to the loo or to get something from the kitchen, we all stay at the table. Kids can be excused once they have done a decent job with their meal and they must clear their spots. But, it truly isn't an issue here. Generally we are all finishing up at the same time and clear the table together and what have you.

It makes me sound very strict, which, admittedly, I probably am. I just would like for my kids to be able to function in different situations, and we do truly enjoy the family time around the table.

Having said all that, we do our fair share of nibbly dinners in front of a movie, dinner around the fire pit, picnics on the deck, and manner expectations are adjusted accordingly.
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