Ready meals for children

(35 Posts)
nellyjelly Mon 29-Apr-13 13:44:25

Do you or would you let them have ready meals? Am talking small children, not teens. Also talking the M and S kids meals not any old crap.

Only ask as I give my two ( 3 and 7) one appx twice a week. I add extra veg and a fruit pudding though. Do this on nights when it is too tricky to fit in a meal ( when DD goes to Brownies and isn't back til late for instance)

They love the M and S sausage and mash and the shepherds pie one. The rest of the week their diet is OKish. DS eats varied stuff at nursery and at home they eat beans, fish fingers etc. kiddy food but I do enourage them to eat fruit and veg. They are getting better at this.

Feel a bit guilty about the ready meals but they don't eat takeaway pizza or anything.

JimbosJetSet Tue 30-Apr-13 09:08:37

I hate reading these sorts of threads (I don't know why I do it to myself!) I think/hope the parents who don't feed their kids organic cooked from scratch meals every meal are less likely to post. I'm sure there must be lots of families who largely exist on a diet of fish fingers/mash/spag hoops etc and have relatively healthy children, but they less likely to admit it here.

FWIW I have a picky 2 year old and having looked at the M&S kids ready meals, I think they are relatively healthy grin

PixiesPlayroom Tue 30-Apr-13 14:12:07

Hi, as busy parents I'm sure we all give our little ones ready meals - even in the form of fish fingers - from time to time and I think that's fine. I try to cook from fresh most days and always have some back-up home made meals in my freezer too - some days the thought of slaving in the kitchen is oh too much! :-)

I have started a blog of recipe ideas for all the family - I hope this gives you some inspiration. I would love to hear what you think.

www.pixiesplayroompantry.blogspot.co.uk

Thurlow Tue 30-Apr-13 14:20:12

I think it's fine. It's not always possible to cook from scratch all the time, and if you don't have the freezer space then you can't save bathes (though freezing food in bags helps a lot). If your kids are happy to eat plenty of fruit and veg as well it's hardly the end of the world. M&S ready meals are hardly terrible junk food. And I agree with jimbo, I'm sure threads like this tend not to attract posters who can't cook/hate cooking and serve a lot of easier, oven cook food.

When short of time we give DS soup and crusty bread (par baked rolls from Aldi) / picky bits.

choceyes Tue 30-Apr-13 14:31:18

I don't think I've ever given my DCs a ready meal, even fish fingers. Not that I'm against it at all, just that it's expensive and it's another thing to buy and cook/warm up. I'd rather just cook a meal for all the family to have.
On work days I cook the night before, the dinner for the next day and put it in the fridge, so it's all ready for everybody to eat.
If I haven't cooked, and I want to give them a fast meal, I just fry up a salmon fillet and cook some pasta with pesto with peas - takes no longer than warming up a ready meal I would've thought.
Another quick one - Cook pasta, grate some cheese into it and stir in a tin of pulses.

Nothing against ready meals at all, if consumed occasionally. It's just so much cheaper not to buy them. Even then, I think twice a week is a bit much if they already eat things like beans, fish fingers etc on the other days too.
It's just the salt concent I'd worry about.

PoppyWearer Tue 30-Apr-13 14:31:48

I always keep a few frozen ready meals in, for us and the kids, and some tins of spaghetti and so on, and do rely on the for those "mum, I'm hungry!" moments when I am uninspired. Probably a few nights a week.

They get fresh food at nursery and school and DH is a fab cook at weekends. I can/do cook from scratch, but with after-school clubs and so on it can't be every day.

Let's face it, many of us were raised on worse back in the 70s/80s, when Findus Crispy Pancakes and Angel Delight were a regular feature of my Mum's repertoire!

lottieandmia Tue 30-Apr-13 14:36:56

The M&S children's ready meals are fine - my kids have them, so shoot me (shrugs)

notso Tue 30-Apr-13 14:55:42

Once I overheard DD and DS1 talking over their M&S mighty meaty pasta,
DD "Mummy's going to the pub again",
DS1 "How do you know"
DD "because we always have this when she goes out, she has to get the pub quickly so she can't cook"
blush I go out once in a blue moon honest!

I always have a few emergency ready meals in and cans of soup etc. I don't really serve 'kiddie' food the rest of the time though, we all have the same. I can't be doing with cooking loads of different meals.
You don't necessarily need a big freezer to cook ahead, I often cook two meals at once if I know I have a busy day and cool one and put it in the fridge for the next day/day after.

BlingLoving Tue 30-Apr-13 15:26:00

DS regularly has children-specific ready meals. The kind without extra salt - we like Little Dish. He usually has half of one, to which we add vegetables. I don't feel a second's guilt. If you buy good quality ones, it's not really any different to me preparing him lasagna at home and freezing him portions. And frankly, if I can buy good quality ready-made lasagna, that frees me up to cook him something else that I can freeze for him, increasing the variety of his meals significantly.

I think people have a slightly misguided view of what cooking from scratch vs using a good quality easy meal is. There's a big difference between DS having a Little Dish chicken pie (chicken, mash, vegetables) and DS having a chinese takeaway.

BlingLoving Tue 30-Apr-13 15:28:15

Sorry, just to add, a lot of people don't have time to cook on the day, or to do batch cooking. Or just don't like cooking. DH is a SAHD and doesn't cook. So he prepares DS meals either by microwaving things from the freezer, making fish fingers and chips or preparing very simple meals like eggs/sandwiches etc. I work long hours so while I do some batch cooking, I don't have the time or energy to do it every weekend so find good quality ready meals am absolute godsend to supplement.

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