Transition to table food/family dinner

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    We are lucky, DH and I commute together so we get home at the same time, we divide tasks and get dinner on the table by 6pm most nights...this leaves us plenty of time to have a long dinner (DS 3 likes to dilly dally and take his time) and talk and catch up. DD (4 mo) sits in the high chair and plays with toys/coos.

    I'd just starting including DD into the family meals. If timing is a issue I think it's important that one person get to sit down with her and talk and try and eat something. As she get's older she'll enjoy the family meals more and it's great to sit and hear about her day. If you can prepare food and eat with her, just give her what you eat. Don't stress about cooking different meals. She'll adapt to what you eat. Even if you only get family meals on the weekends that's good. Oh, and crock pots are your friend! I recently started cookign with a pressure cooker-quick and easy to use!

    DS was out of high chairs by 18 mo...and it was def a struggle to get him in them the last few months. After that we just put him in one of our regular chairs. He sat in one of the head of the table chairs that has arms to keep him more contained...not that it really worked.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Family dinner is a huge deal for us, but it's also easier because I get home from work earlish (by 5) and they go to be late between 8:30 and 9.  We usually do something easy.  If my DH is making dinner it will usually be heat and serve from Trader Joes.  If I am, it's usually a bit more involved and from scratch if I have time.  We always try to have a veggie and cheese (babybel for DD) too.  Sometimes DD will have exactly what we are having, sometimes not (think a spicy curry).  It's definitely a challenge, especially now that my son is also eating dinner as well!  And of course he has a different meal too.  But it's all worth it to instill that family value and togetherness IMO. 

    Like other posters have said, try to start it out on weekends and see how it goes.  Good luck!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from quadgirl1234. Show quadgirl1234's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I was always about a family dinner but DD is the worst eater and I just want to get food into her.   Sometimes after a long day at work, or a long day at home with the kids while trying to work I like to sit down with DH have a nice meal and have a conversation and not deal with DD and her eating.  Is that bad?   DH will usually feed her while I am getting dinner ready and as I am getting dinner ready I am usually feeding the DS his dinner.  Sometimes she does eat with us but right now at 3 years old she does not eat many things.  She never ever eats what we eat.  We always have to make her something different 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    In Response to Re: Transition to table food/family dinner:
    [QUOTE]But then if we eat shortly after and she's still up, she wants to come sit at the table again and she'll usually eat more.  Do you think she's eating more than she's really hungry for, just to be social?  Or alternatively, maybe she's finishing up early the first time because she's bored eating by herself?
    Posted by medfordcc[/QUOTE]

    I've had a similar thing on my mind.  On weekends, we usually feed DD breakfast at 8 am and then eat something later on.  Same with lunch I suppose.  I reminded DH that we have to be careful not to give her some of our food every time because she already ate.  It doesn't seem like she is necessarily hungry, but more so interested in what we are doing.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    fram- thanks so much for asking this question. Our DDs are about the same age and so I am feeling the same pressure - esp timing wise. DH and I are creatures of habit and big believers that her bedtime routine is what keeps her sleeping through the night too, and we are afraid to change anything! Right now I do drop off and he does pick up and gets home around 4:30 and gives DD dinner around 5. I don't get home until about 5:20. Then I make us dinner while they play, I do bath at 6:40 while he finishes dinner if needed, sets table (or ahem, sometimes the coffee table if we feel like watching TV during dinner...), heats bottle, etc. I bring her down and he gives her her bottle and puts her in bed at about 7.
    So timing for us is a huge thing too - even getting home at 5:20 I would have to have most prep work done to get dinner on the table by 6 so we could rush through dinner together and still make bath time (I know 40 min sounds like enough time to get dinner on the table but really I don't get started until earliest 5:45 and then half the time I am also half playing with DD or talking to DH). I also like that she eats, plays a while and then we settle down while doing bath etc.
    Also, she doesn't eat much in the way of table food. We offer her different stuff all the time but so far she only really likes cheese, puffs, sometimes crackers, baby yogurt for breakfast. But never more than a few bites (except for cheese). I am hoping as we wean off of formula and onto milk that her hunger for other things will increase, but I guess we will just see. Anyway - thanks to all the other posters too for the input!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    For the people wondering about whether the kid will eat mindlessly because she wants to be included in dinner--I guess it depends on the kid, but my DD compensates calorically VERY well still.  She's always been a grazer, even when she was an infant and still exclusively breastfeeding.  So I guess some kids might eat whatever is offered them no matter what, but mine eats exactly what she needs.  Sometimes she can get a bit distracted and then when she realizes the time to eat is nearing an end she will eat quickly because she's still hungry. 
    I've noticed she eats less for dinner on Mondays when she's with my MIL all day because she usually eats more calorie-rich foods (like mac n cheese, chicken fingers and fries, grilled cheese) for lunch.  When she's with my mum and eats fruit and yogurt and veggies and pb all day she eats more for dinner.  When she's at daycare, it depends on whether I"ve picked her up before or after the PM snack. 
    But she's almost 3 and she still compensates calorically, so I try not to be too pushy if she doesn't eat much for dinner, and I let her eat as much as she wants if she is hungry.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Thanks, Lissa.  You make a good point.  And our LO will leave food if she's done, even really good stuff that she loves, so I guess she is fine!  I have been reading that feeding book everyone talks about, Child of Mine, and I'm getting into the section about structured meal/snack times for toddlers and it made me wonder... she is a grazer, though, like me, and she seems fine.

    re: scheduling - we couldn't even begin to contemplate family dinner on work nights until she started going to bed later (8 PM).  That enabled us to start pushing her dinner time from 5 to 6.  So don't feel badly if you can't make it happen on work nights!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    At 3, I let DD1 drive eating issues.  I firmly believe she will eat when she is hungry even though there are times when I think she is a mutant because first thing she eats on a weekend might just be lunch.  Of course, there are a lot of "NO, you can not have a pop for breakfast." conversations that occur.  :-)
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    For those who have kids who are eating "2nd dinner" or grazing off your breakfast or lunch plates after they have been fed:
    This is a great reason to try and have familly meals on the weekends.  I managed to get DD to start eating salmon by offering it for weeks every time DH and I had it for dinner. She finally said yes and now eats it every time.
    Last week DH and I were eating tacos. I had made meatballs and quesidillas for the kids.  They ended up chewing on my taco - seasoned meat and all.  And DS has loved red pepper ever since he saw me putting it on a taco months ago.
    Getting your kids to try new foods by showing them that you are eating them is one of the easiests ways to introduce new foods.
    When I mentioned my short order cooking at the start of this thread this is what I was talking about.  I offer them plain things I think they will eat - and then offer whatever we are having too. I think at 2 years old they are more picky than they were at 12 months - but I think it's also part of the process.

    And of course it's okay to want to feed your kids and have a relaxing meal with just your spouse!  We do that every Wednesday because DH works late. :)
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    ditto- I think that family time is really important for child development, family cohesion, etc. and that is often best achieved through family dinner- particularly as children get older. however, i think that with younger children, when you are working hard at keeping food going in, the silverware off the floor, the tablecloth on the table, etc. that you may not always be getting the "quality time" as hoped.

    I love the few dinners a week I get with DH after DS goes to bed. although DS is everything to us, if we don't have a strong marriage, we will never work as a family. since we don't often get date nights, that is our chance to connect.  The few nights that DH is home late, I often find myself sitting on the floor feeding DS- he is more engaged and eats better than when I fight with him over the high chair. when it is family meal time the few nights a week we do it, there is no question we sit at the table. 

    that said, DS does not eat if he is not hungry. So I would guess that the grazer's aren't full yet. DS just cheats and asks for more milk at bedtime, so I wish he would eat a "Second dinner" rather than just filling up on milk.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Misslily, I had a similar thing with my son when he was a toddler. At the were living my parents, who didn't want to eat when I fed the kids at 5 p.m. (I only had the first two then). So I'd feed them (my mom and I sat with them), bath them and let them watch a 1/2 hour of TV while the grownups ate around 6:30 or so. DS would come in the kitchen and sit on his grandma's lap, having a bite here and there of anything we were having (from fish to spicy meals). I swear, to this day (he's 9), he's my most flexible, adventurous eater.

    Of course, these days I cook once -- if DH is home, we eat with them, if not, DH and I get leftover plates for later in the evening. I also have a like it or lump it attitude -- this is what I cooked, it's what we have, complaints to the management -- but my kids are older. You can't really do this with a toddler! For the littler ones, or with parts of a meal they aren't thrilled with, they can "eat their age in bites." After 10 years of this, my oldest finally eats carrots, which she never, ever has, even as a baby. We've gotten a lot of new foods on the menu this way -- and I don't have to be limited to cooking the same 6 meals that "everybody" eats. 


     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    In Response to Re: Transition to table food/family dinner:
    [QUOTE] these days I cook once --I also have a like it or lump it attitude -- this is what I cooked, it's what we have, complaints to the management -- but my kids are older. Posted by ModeratorJen[/QUOTE]

    too funny, Jen!  I was allowed to not have sauce on my pasta, but I must have a few bites (my mother would put about 10 peas on my plate) of every single thing cooked.  By the age of 10 or 11 I finally liked green peas - and now I love them!  But I like the "eat your age in bites" once a child is 4 yrs of age or so.... great idea.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Wasn't sure where to post this... so putting it here.  Made a really great, very quick meal for DS over the weekend, which he really enjoyed.  

    A hawaiian pizza! 

    One piece of whole wheat bread, slather with tomato/pasta sauce, small pieces of deli ham, pinapple chunks and shreaded mozz. cheese.  Put in toaster oven for 2-3 mins and viola... all the food groups!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    IPW - What a great idea!! I love it.  I'll have to try this with DS and DD2.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    That does sound like a good one, IPW!

    I was actually going to resurrect this thread myself... I think it's time to let daycare feed DD more than just purees, cereal, and cheerios, but I have so much anxiety over it!!  Daycare participates in the USDA food program, so she provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  I've always known I was a bit of a control freak, but it's worse than I thought!!  Even though this daycare is great, I have a hard time communicating with her so that is adding to it... Once I get it over with, I'm sure it will be fine. 

    Here's an example... Last week I asked her about how she usually makes the transition from formula to milk.  I asked if she usually uses cups or sippy cups and she said her kids went right to cups, so I said OK that is fine with me I just didn't want to make it more difficult for her... Well she really meant sippy cups.  Weird, right??  Why didn't she say sippy cups??
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Fram, maybe she's just not great at being specific about language?  Maybe it never occurred to her that kids would use open cups (I'm thinking that could be difficult in a daycare scenario), so she didn't see the importance of clarifying.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Ugh, fram. I sympathize. I have never really considered myself a control freak but since having DD in daycare I have learned a lot about that side of myself! Case in point - we don't give DD juice. So one day my DH picked her up from daycare and she had her 'back up clothes' on. DH said something about how she must have had an accident and one of the girls said to him "No, she spilled juice on herself so we threw her pants in the wash". I was livid! They gave my baby juice?!?! Long story short I called them and she actually spilled water on herself. I had the same reaction - why didn't you say water? Anyway, I agree that is weird that she said 'cups' instead of sippy cups. In terms of what you decide to wean to, it is a huge difference! And in terms of my aversion to juice, I hope no one takes it the wrong way - I have no problems with giving your kid juice, we just don't give it to DD yet.

    DD had her first taste of milk yesterday (her birthday). We are going slowly, replacing 3 oz of her 8 oz bottle with milk and continuing in increments to get her fully to milk. We are still on bottles though. Not willing to give that up just yet although she already drinks water out of a sippy.

    What types of foods does your daycare give for lunches, snacks etc? Our daycare provides snacks but not lunch. She is still transitioning from purees to food-food so I am starting to think about what will go in her new lunchbox in the not too distant future!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I'm not sure what she feeds them, other than she participates in the USDA program and she doesn't give juice.  I was relieved to hear that.  Same as you, Redsox, I know a lot of people give juice and it's not a terrible thing, but I'm not there yet.  I don't think my day care provides any kind of menu, but maybe I could ask her just once to write up a list for me really quickly so I can get a feel for what she feeds them.

    Medford - That wasn't the greatest example, but daycare and I never seem to communicate well even though I know it's an issue and I try to be super clear!  I can't figure it out, but I'll keep trying :o)
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Redsoxfan, just a heads up since it's very important to you...  I hate to say it, but I think it really was juice; she said juice because she meant juice not because she's imprecise or linguistically lazy.  No one mixes up water and juice in casual conversation - she said juice because she wasn't thinking, "Oh, this is the Redsoxfan family, I better say it was 'water.'"  Saying, "Oh, oops, I meant water, of course," in response to a livid mother who has told the daycare "NO JUICE" is a lie, and I'm betting she gets juice when all the other kids do.  How to find out for sure, though, I have no idea...  
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I don't know, we used "water," "juice," and "agua" interchangeably until our daughter was almost 2. She'd drink water if we called it juice. But if we called it water she'd refuse because water is not as exciting as juice. And agua is special spanish water. Everyone knows that.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ihavemyhats. Show Ihavemyhats's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

     How can we sit down for a family dinner and feed her what we eat, when I don't get home until 6:00 on a good day?

    1.  Crockpot
    2.  Simple meals - tuna fish, salad deconstructed for her (pears, apples, peppers, etc.) baked/mashed potatoes, sweet potato, spagetti, etc.  She does not need to eat every thing you do.
    3.  To be safe, go take an infant/child CPR class.  If I had my way this would be required for every mother/father/adult living with a child.
    4.  Eat a simple appetizer with her before bed.  Then eat the rest alone.  Yes, she will start going to bed later at some point.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    A crockpot won't work for us, as we leave the house at 5:30am (me) and 6:30am (DH) and are home at 5:00 (DH) and 6:30 (me).  So you can't find most recipes that can cook from 6:30am to 5pm - most are cooked in 5 to 7 hours.  But we do use the crockpot on the weekends to make a large meal, then leftovers are microwaved.

    I honestly don't think everyone needs to do a family dinner for children under 4 or 5 yrs old.  their bedtimes don't work, they need food early and then get to bed early, so you need to FEED THEM when you get home, not spend 1 hour cooking for them.  Yes, you should sit and talk with them when they are eating, or have them eating in their highchair while you make dinner and chat with them, but family dinners happen when a child can sit at the table with you and make conversation - 4 or 5 yrs old.  by then they can wait until 8pm to have dinner, you can have them help you make dinner (or wash pots like lissafro or someone said) while you make dinner, etc. 

    I KNOW family dinners are great, we don't want our children to eat dinner while watching tv, that we want to encourage them to eat lots of food and the best way is to see their parents eating that food, too, as we are models.  But we also have to realize it just is hard as toddlers and preschoolers to do it all.

    And, yes, take an infant/child CPR class, it will relax you!

    And do start table foods, Fram, so your child starts getting used to textures - she'll be fine, it'll be fun for her to have bits of (very well cooked) broccoli, green beans, meat, pasta, then pieces of fruit, bagel, bread, etc. In general by the time the children at our center are 12 months of age they are on mostly table foods and by 15 months they are completely on table foods, no purees at the center during the day for AM snack, PM snack and lunch.  And children love to feed themselves using their pincer grasp, and it's just so darn cute to watch!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    CT-DC, if you think you'd use a crock pot were it not for the very long day, have you considered a pressure cooker?  They are totally safe and super fast, just about anything can be done in an hour including prep.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    CT,I have a really old crock pot - like from the 80s.  I have the same hours you do and use it all the time.  Also, the more modern ones have timers.  Cooked food left out on the counter and covered [like a crock pot would be] are fine for up to 2 hours.  So yes, you can do it - people in my office do all the time. I'm not a huge fan of letting it sit after teh timer goes off, but have no problem letting stuff cook for 10-12 hours on low.  It always tastes fine.  My crock pot is so ancient that it doesn't have a timer and I have 2 speeds - low and high. 

    I can't imagine making a kid [or adult!] wait till 8 for dinner. I'm in bed by 9 or 9:15!! 
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I just got a new crockpot for Xmas and you can set a timer (cook for 5, 6, 7, etc. hours) and then after that time, it will go to "Warm" for up to 16 hours.  It claims that "Warm" is not continueing to cook, provides only just enough heat so it doesn't spoil and actually keeps it warm.  I leave the house at 6am and we don't sit to eat sometimes until 7:30... and everything I've done so far (pork, chicken, beef) has come out really decent.  The only thing I don't do that most of the crock pot recipes call for is the pre-browning of the meat.  I can't do that at 5:30am... and I don't know this for sure, but browning meat the night before and then putting it in the fridge overnight seems like it would increase the bacteria growth since the food got mildly hot.  I know that the recipes would work a lot better with pre-browned meat and veggies... so if anyone knows if I can in fact do this the night before then put in fridge overnight... let me know please :-)
     

Share