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Sep 11, 2012 08:14 AM

When Did You Eat Your Meals Growing Up--How About Now? Preferences?

It's 11am EST and I'm eating a garden salad, happily.

When I was young, my dad worked rotating shifts as a civilian aircraft mechanic employed by the USAF. I was/am an only child.

About 60% of his shifts were from 7-3. My mom would get up at 4:45, put on a pot of coffee and make a hot breakfast for us every morning so that dad could shave/shower/eat and make the 90 minute drive to Portsmouth, NH to begin work at 7PM. He got home at 4PM, and we ate supper after he washed up...usually around 4:15or so. Then he and my mom would retire with coffee to the living room to read the paper, watch the local news, the national news, a couple of tv shows and maybe have a snack of crackers and peanut butter (he loved Royal Lunch milk lunch crackers) before then turned in around 10 or 11 (I was tucked in at 7:30P until 4th grade, when I got to stay up til 8:30/9 for Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley, etc).

So, our mealtimes were entirely dictated by my dad's work schedule. When with relatives in Quebec (mom's side), dinner was at 8PM or so. When my dad's relatives visited from Italy, same thing, a (much) later dinner. In our little family, though, dinner was at 4:15.

Now I'm the adult and the meal maker in the family, and my schedule (like many of your own) is nuts. I'm up and out of the house most mornings before 5 for my commute, and work four nightsat job #2 until 10:30, so the leisurely supper time routine is out. I miss that, and try to do it as much as I can on the weekend...and I have to admit, I like an earlier (5p or so) dinner more than a late one.

How about you....what was mealtime like growing up? How about now?

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  1. Then: 7:30am, noon, 6pm.
    Now: when I'm hungry. :-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: John Francis

      I'm with John. I grew up eating at the common times, now I eat whenever I'm hungry.

    2. Growing up: When my mom said so.

      Now: When I say so.

      1. Growing up:
        Breakfast 7am
        Lunch depended on the school schedule, anytime between 10:27 and 1:17
        Supper 7pm

        Breakfast 5:30am
        Lunch-occasionally (about 1:30pm)
        Supper at home 6:30 (to meet dsughter's schedule), if at a restaurant 7:45 PM

        weekends are the same

        1. Also an only child. Dad worked long hours, mom was in college at night and I was involved with sports after school so we all rolled home at different times and feed ourselves out of the freezer. Dad was always the last one home and mom and I would, more often then not, join him at the table to chatter about the day as he ate his dinner around 9pm.

          Now - married with one child. We eat dinner between 7-8pm depending on the child's practice schedule. We all sit down together.

          1. Then: 7:30 breakfast, noonish lunch, 5:30 - 6:30 dinner.

            Now coffee at 6:00, juice and maybe some yogurt at 8:00 while I prepare food for my 20 year old parrot; lunch about noon, salad or leftovers; dinner between 6:00 - 6:30; old parrot goes to bed at 7-7:30 ;)

            4 Replies
            1. re: OCEllen

              This post absolutely made my day. May your parrot have many more healthy years. PS Whenever possible, I cook for my dog.

              1. re: pinehurst

                Thank you! My birds eat fresh veggies every day so some prep time is involved!

              2. re: OCEllen

                Adorable. I have to admit, I feel guilty as all hell if I eat breakfast before my elderly cat (21 - everyone comes out to see her every time we go to the vet). What sorts of veggies does your parrot like? Just so I know. We have those wild green parrots here in Pasadena and I always wonder, what are they living on?

                For post relevance - I wake up starving, so I eat breakfast whenever I wake up - 8,9, 10? Used to be more rigid when I didn't work from home. Lunch whenever my stomache grumbles again, usually around 4 hours later, tea time at 4 (just tea and maybe a biscuit or cheese), and then dinner usually around 8 unless I'm cooking something really complicated which might take it closer to 9.

                When I was a kid, the times we ate somehow didn't matter. Morning-ish, noon-ish, when-it-got-dark-ish. I suppose I always knew there would be food, eventually. I remember being hungry, and I remember helping my mum prepare dinner, but there wasn't the attendant anxiety (however small it is) of it being my responsibility to ensure that everyone gets fed. I have no idea how my mum decided what to make for dinner every night, for instance. She never asked me or my father. But boy she was a wonderful cook.

                1. re: khh1138

                  My parrot likes (and gets), red bell pepper strips, mixed salad greens, little cooked carrots, broccoli, the stems split, is a favorite, and Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into strips, are another favorite.
                  Here in Orange the wild parrots this time of year seem to looking for Magnolia fruit/seeds, my next door neighbors have two trees that were feasted on last week! In the next few weeks they will be eating another neighbor's pecans! I know they eat fruits/seeds of some palms. I see them in Sycamores but I'm not sure if they are eating or just hanging out! I had hopes that they might come down and close and have some figs from my tree that is in a pot by our pool, just too shy.