Do you eat with your kids?

I keep hearing of people who either don’t eat dinner with their children (they make them a seperate meal and the adults eat after they go to bed) or feed thier kids different food than the adults.

This just seems like a lot of work to me.

Unfortunately, there’s a three hour time difference.

I eat with Celtling every night. I didn’t check different food, but it’s iffy. Often she eats seperated elements of the more complicated final product. Like she doesn’t want the sauce on her chicken or rice, she prefers very plain food. So she gets butter and I get basil sauce.

Or if I were to make lasagna for instance, she’d have noodles and cheese and zucchini, just in seperate piles. She might want the tomato sauce on her noodles, but it’s a toss up. So i set things aside for her as I assemble the final product.

Same here…the kids will have at least part of what we’re having; that’s a rule. I generally make sure there’s something included they can enjoy. My youngest is very picky, though, and we sometimes need to make him something seperate. I don’t usually mind, and I don’t go too far out of my way to do it.

When I was married we tried to eat together a lot, now I don’t have the dinning room set up so they eat on the couch and I eat at the desk. I would say half the time they eat the same thing I do, the other half they want something different.

I meant to say my youngest SON is picky; my actual youngest child (daughter), is the least picky!

With my kids, we eat together every night. They help cook sometimes, and always do the dishes. My husband’s son comes out long after everyone is in bed and scavenges for leftovers.

I don’t have kids, but we always ate with our parents (everybody’s health and Dad’s work hours permitting) and we all had the same meals; lunch was the big one. Some parts of lunch were/are optional in our homes (the big bowl of salad is “serve yourself if you want some”; if you don’t want some you just don’t take any; dessert also optional; garnishes are separate so you only take the ones you like), but the dishes are whatever they are.

My niece and nephew started eating the same food as their parents when they started eating solids. Their taste is taken into account - but in ways in which everybody else’s is (you don’t serve peas in a Big Family Meal if The Kid is there… but you also do not serve cauliflower if I am!). The Kidlette is already good enough at feeding herself pre-cut food that she can eat at the same time as everybody else.

That said…

Ever since I went away to college and she took over cooking again, Mom has insisted in making special dishes for Littlebro. Where I would have said “this is what we have: if you only want half a portion that’s fine, if you don’t want any that’s ok, but if you want to eat this is what there is”, she goes out of her way to feed him a very limited diet. But it’s not because of his pickiness (which is nowhere near as bad as she makes it), it’s her version of my dad’s mom receiving him with a glass of milk… and Dad answering “Mom, you’re missing two glasses: I’ve already finished growing and I have three kids who’ll each be happy for a glass of milk!” (when Dad was little, Grandma had problems finding milk for him - but that was when he was months old!)

Since he’s gotten stuck with “having lunch with Mom M-F” as part of the “dealing with Mom scheme”, Littlebro makes a special effort to eat completely different things when he has meals elsewhere.

OK, first off…it’s sepArate…see how the “A” separates the word. Sorry, but it was driving me nuts.
OK, on to the kids. I voted “Sometimes”. When the little Bori were younger they woud have dinner and be off to bed before nmy wife and I would dine. It gave us some time together and allowed me to make more “exotic” meals.
Since the Bori have grown we eat together whenever we eat…that is to say, on those evenings with piano lessons, diving practice, speech team, choir rehearsal or Boy Scouts…we may not have time for a sit-down meal. In which case it’s catch-as-catch-can.
I relish the time with them… they’re gone berofre you know it.

When I was a kid my mom and I ate together, but my dad was always working late. I think eating around a table with the TV off is important to a family.

Now that they’ve taken in my niece and nephews I’m over there for dinner a lot, and the kids eat ANYTHING. Anything! It’s awesome. I can dump any kind of leftovers on them. Always we eat together.

We only cook one dish but tend to eat in separate rooms (my son is 12). I was just talking to my wife the other day about trying to have some family meals a couple times a week beyond the occasional “pizza in front of the TV” night.

We all sit at the kitchen table together every night, provided there’s not some extenuating circumstance (wife has a meeting for one of her volunteer groups, I have an after-work thing, etc). From the time the kids were 3 or 4 they’ve eaten the same meal we do, but we’ll often give them a veg they like if we’re having one they hate. But they still have to eat some of it (if we’re having a salad, or broccoli, they have to eat a piece or two, but they can gorge on carrots [their favorite veg] all they want).

Family dinner time together was something both my wife and I grew up with, and we agreed it was important to employ in our own family.

My two-year old gets what we get for dinner. If she doesn’t eat it, she gets a side of fruit and that’s it. Most of the time she’ll at least try a few bites. I’m hoping that once she outgrows the picky toddler stage, all the exposure to different foods will mean that she will be more likely to eat them.

We eat together essentially every night. Of course, the Firebug’s still only 3 years old, so he doesn’t have a lot of choice in the matter!

We often give him something different to eat, because a 3 year old really does prefer simple foods. But when we do, it’s generally something pretty easy to fix, like PB&J or mac and cheese.

We ate together as often as was practical. Between work, school, extracurricular activities and alternate weekends with their dad I would estimate that it was probably about 4/7 days on average over their high school years. More when they were younger.

Now I get to have dinner with them once or twice a month and lunch about the same. The nice part is they call me to arrange something almost as often as I call them to set something up. Not so stealth brag :wink:

I put “every night” as that was the norm for us when the kids were young and living at home.

Now that the only kids here are all young adults, we do different things, sometimes together, often “every man for himself”.

Oh, I didn’t say anything about my adult food relationship with my parents - before they took in the kids, I still ate with them at least once, more often twice a week if they were in town. Free dinner! I have a friend who eats breakfast with his grandparents every single Saturday morning at Lizard’s Thicket.

I use a fork. A spoon with soup. I eat sandwiches with my hands.

Generally everyone in the house gets the same food (there are some exceptions to this but not often). However, my husband travels quite a bit for work, I travel occasionally and there are rare times when one child is not home for dinner. There are also times that one child is tired enough that we feed them first (something quicker) and get them to bed before the rest of eats.

We eat together most every night unless there’s a practice for something starting before I can get the food on the table. During marching band season one or both of the older kids (16 & 13) are out at least one night a week. The younger, 6, eats with us most of the time, sometimes with a separate dish. (There are other times he is so “starving” that I sometimes feed him early.)

Eating dinner together is important to me. The older ones know how to cook some things and help with most things; they certainly know how to set the table, clear the table and load and unload the dishwasher! I ain’t doing it all myself.