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  #1  
Old 02-28-2011, 02:20 PM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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Default Dinnertime! What Time Do You Start Making Dinner?

I tried not starting dinner until after the dcks leave, but that just didn't work. Now I've been starting dinner at 5. usually there's only one dck here who sits in the kitchen with my having a snack (that her parents insist she have at 5 anyway--she's 8 months old) while my DD goes about her own business.

I get the impression from the parents though (dcm picks up between 5:15 and 5:30; dcd picks up between 5:30 and 5:45 if I'm lucky) that they aren't really thrilled that I'm working on dinner when they pick up dcg. This is making me question the wisdom of starting dinner when she's still here, but if I don't, then it's usually too late to start something by the time she's gone.

Is starting dinner at 5 unreasonable or unusual?
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:37 PM
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Sunday......

I am pretty sure most everyone else cooks every night...so I don't think it would be unusual at all..
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:44 PM
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I usually start dinner around 5pm (DC closes at 5:30pm) - my parents don't seem to mind, and always make nice comments about how good supper smells, etc.
Mind you, my kitchen looks right in to the play room... so they are still fully supervised... if they haven't already followed me in the kitchen to play "band" with pots and pans
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:53 PM
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I enjoy my crockpot so technically I usually cook around nap time. If I don't do the use the crockpot I will start cooking at 5 as well. I have 2 families that stay until 5:30 but my son has to be to sports etc at 6 so I don't have much choice and I'm not feeding him fast food or a sandwhich.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:00 PM
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Chicken Cordon Blue
Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Corn

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Old 02-28-2011, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Former Teacher View Post
Chicken Cordon Blue
Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Corn

I am such a moron...I thought the thread said What is for dinner

It all depends on hubbys sleep schedule...sometimes 4, sometimes 5, sometimes later.

Tonight Im cooking it now and I started it at 515
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
I tried not starting dinner until after the dcks leave, but that just didn't work. Now I've been starting dinner at 5. usually there's only one dck here who sits in the kitchen with my having a snack (that her parents insist she have at 5 anyway--she's 8 months old) while my DD goes about her own business.

I get the impression from the parents though (dcm picks up between 5:15 and 5:30; dcd picks up between 5:30 and 5:45 if I'm lucky) that they aren't really thrilled that I'm working on dinner when they pick up dcg. This is making me question the wisdom of starting dinner when she's still here, but if I don't, then it's usually too late to start something by the time she's gone.

Is starting dinner at 5 unreasonable or unusual?
I am glad that you asked this question because I was wondering about this a couple of months ago. I didn't post the question on this board because I had already decided (all on my very own) what I was going to do about it. I was excited since lately it seems like I can't make any decisions without checking this forum first LOL.

So, this is what I came up with: My families have contracted hours and right now I am open from 7a-6p. So, to fix the dinner issue I've decided that my daycare schedule will run from 9a-5p which means that children will be actively engaged in guided play and learning activities during those hours only. Any child that is in my care before 9am or after 5pm will be properly supervised while they engage in free play. That way, I can start my dinner at 5 and we can eat at reasonable hour. When I interview new parents I will tell them this up front. If a current parent has the cajones (sp?) to question the unofficial change I will kindly tell them that their late pickups were wreaking havoc on my personal family schedule so I was forced to make several adjustments in order to continue providing care for them.

One of the few reasons I started daycare is to get AWAY from the 8pm dinners!!! We had been eating around 7:15pm but since my kids go to bed at 9pm I was never really satisfied with our dinnertime. Now when I start at 5 we are eating by 6 and that's perfect. I have to admit that I haven't been consistent with it yet because I am just not used to cooking when the dckids are here. It's taking me some time to remember to actually start cooking at 5.

P.S. It's also easier to rush lingering parents out the door when they can smell the food cooking and you tell them you have to get back to your pot on the stove.

Last edited by squareone; 02-28-2011 at 04:12 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:15 PM
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I start at 5. I had one family pick up at 5:45, 15 mins late and dcm made the comment That we must eat early??? I said well to me 6 is late since my kids need a bath and go to bed at 8 I am only left with 2 hours with my own kids when you pick up late
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:26 PM
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I am SO GLAD that I'm not weird in this! I was pretty sure I wasn't, but wanted to make sure. This family is proving to be trouble in a big way...although I can't say "more than they're worth" because they are a huge chunk of my paycheck, on which we depend majorly.

I just wanted to be sure that it's them being unreasonable, not me...it's not like their kid is unsupervised while I'm cooking. She's safely strapped into a highchair five feet away from me, eating the finger-food snack THEY requested and provide, and then getting measuring cups and spoons to bang around and gnaw on (a perfectly acceptable activity for an 8 month old) if she finishes before she gets picked up. This, besides the time she spends eating the rest of the day, is the ONLY time she's in "baby equipment" at my house (I don't count naptime in the pack n play as "time in baby equipment").

Things have been so much easier since I started cooking dinner earlier and we're eating so much better (and cheaper!) that I was really hoping I didn't have good reasons to go back to the old way. Thank you for reassuring me!
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:34 PM
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5 minutes ago I was in my kitchen putting dinner in the oven and I came here to ask pretty much this same question! How funny!

I was going to ask if you all start dinner immediately when daycare finishes, or if you take a few moments for yourself first, but your question is even better!

If I am using my crockpot then I usually get it going while the kids are sitting down for lunch. The other days depend on how the day is going. I have a couple kids that somedays I need to be within arms reach the entire time they are awake. When they are here late, I'll either take one with me to the kitchen or I will wait til the kids are gone. If we are having a quieter day, I might get the kids set up at the table with some art supplies and work on dinner while they do that.

My latest pick up is 5:30 though. If it were any later than I wouldn't worry about it at all. I use to have a really late one and I told dcm that the curriculum ran from 9-5, before and after that, the kids are supervised while I do things for my family.

edit for missing letter u's all over the place!
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2011, 05:30 PM
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I will start cooking as early as I need to, to have supper on the table at 5:40. If I am later than that with supper, my DD2 starts to go into hunger fits

My dcp's have never cared, and tell me often how good it smells. I try to get as much prep work (chopping veggies, making the roast potatoes etc) done at nap time as I can, so that I can just turn on the oven/stove element, but it doesn't always work out that way.

I let parents know at the interview that most of my planned activities go on in the morning, and that the afternoon is usually just free play, as children are being picked up from 3:30 pm on (no child wants to get picked up in the middle of an activity). I only do activities with them in the afternoons if I have no supper prep to do, and they are going a bit crazy.

I don't think this is wrong at all. This is home care after all - and cooking is one thing that you do at home.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:32 PM
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I can't start until 5:30 when I close and it sucks! My kitchen is on the opposite side of the house from the daycare room.

On days I cook, we sit down to eat together sometime between 6:30-7. When it's leftover nights, then by 6 we are sitting down to eat. I need to use my crockpot more.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:43 PM
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depends what we are eating. We eat around 5pm, sometimes a bit early (well dh and my kids do) none of the parents mind (except the one dad, the one who was picking his kids up later and later so I to feed them) they always say that my house smells so good. I don't know about all you, but my dck's all love to hang out in my kitchen when i cook. I bet you these kids can tell you all sorts of ways to cook things. My kids also hang out in the kitchen. Unless its something I can't have them in the kitchen (then I wait till dh or my older kids are home) I cook away. We always talk about food with everyone, what the kids eat for supper. I really enjoy it, and i think many of them are not allowed in the kitchen, but they miss the best conversations with the kids.
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:19 AM
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The majority of our meals are crock-pot dinners (and then that's lunch for the dc kids for the next day). So I actually start cooking dinner at lunch time

Once they're all seated and have started eating, I'm getting everything ready for the crockpot. It's so nice to have dinner hot and ready when the last child leaves!

On days when it's not a crockpot meal for dinner - I'll still do the majority of the prep work during lunch time (cutting veges, marinating meat, even cooking pasta/rice ahead and keep in the fridge till dinner time). That too cuts down on my dinner prep time in the evenings.

I just couldn't live without my crockpot - or else we'd be eating Cheerios for dinner most of the week
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninosqueridos View Post
I can't start until 5:30 when I close and it sucks! My kitchen is on the opposite side of the house from the daycare room.

On days I cook, we sit down to eat together sometime between 6:30-7. When it's leftover nights, then by 6 we are sitting down to eat. I need to use my crockpot more.
I can't start dinner until much later too because my kitchen is in a whole other house!! LOL! I used to get home around 6 or so and start making dinner and tehn not eat until like 7 or later depending on what we were having. Now, my DH makes dinner and I just drive home and eat!! I don't know how that happened but he started cooking a few years ago and now he handles all the cooking in our house. Nice!
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:34 AM
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It depends on what we are having. I use my crock pot a lot, so I put that on whenever I can.

If I am not using the crock pot I start at about 3 or 4, but we eat at 5pm.The last kid leave at 4:15
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:35 AM
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It is just my DH and I, so I play it by ear each day. Unless like tonight, my oldest DD and SIL will be here for fried pork chops.

On big meal nights, I get everything ready at nap time, including the pots and pans. As soon as the last one goes out the door at 5:30, I'll go start dinner and we eat by 6:30.

I also use my crop pot a lot!
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:37 AM
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Depends on what it is, if it's crock pot, I get it prepared night before so all I have to do is take it out of fridge and plug in. Some times I prepare it at quiet/nap time then all I have to do is pop it in the oven at 5ish. IF my daughter is home and I need veggies cut she'll do that for me so they are ready. I'm so exhausted by the time all the kids are gone and if I don't start it early then sometimes usually by thursday it's sorry not cookin tonight so we go out, especially when I'm just getting done working and everyone is loafing on the couch and I have to do dinner still. I prefer not to do that so I try to plan ahead so there's very little preperation.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:39 AM
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I'm running out of crock pot ideas, does anyone have any they'd like to share? thanks in advance
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I can't start dinner until much later too because my kitchen is in a whole other house!! LOL! I used to get home around 6 or so and start making dinner and tehn not eat until like 7 or later depending on what we were having. Now, my DH makes dinner and I just drive home and eat!! I don't know how that happened but he started cooking a few years ago and now he handles all the cooking in our house. Nice!

You lucky dog!
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:36 AM
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I start at 5 too! I close at 5:15 (was 5:30 but if a parent comes even 15 minutes late and its 5:45 I almost lose my mind at how late it is lol) so getting a jump start for dinner is a must for me. DH comes home about 5:30 and my 20mo old DS almost goes insane for dinner (really for any meal but thats another story.) so I have to get it going.

Ive always made a big deal about family dinners, made dinner for el hub and I for the 9yrs before DS was born, and we all sit down together to eat at the table. Since DS arrived Ive become almost insane crazy healthy mom so preparing home made good for you food takes a bit. Its ok because the way my son eats, I cant imagine feeding him junk all the time and I dont mind cooking good for him. Hed be HUGE and hes already in the 99% for height and weight (hub is 200lbs and 6'7" so we are aware our kid would be tall and lanky too).

One dcm always makes comments like "whatcha making for dinner? I have no clue what to make. Do you have a phone book so I can call that greek place?". I dont ever want to be like that. Even when I worked outside the home I came home and made dinner every night. We ate later then now but it was always just us so it didnt matter too much if we ate at 6 or 6:30. Now its gotta eat at 5:30 or DS lets you hear it!

We eat at 5:30 and are cleaned up by 6 so I have 2.5 hrs of just us and DS time!
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