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No Ramen Noodles Allowed

My 12yo son loves Ramen Noodles, and although I don't like him to eat them very often, he does. Always with chopsticks.

I don't offer them to him, although I buy them because he requests them. He eats them mainly for an after school snack. So even though I would rather him eat some fresh fruits or vegetables for an after school snack (yeah, right. who am I kidding?) I figure the noodles are better than candy, chips, cakes, cupcakes. Right? Someone please agree with me here, okay?

I have a friend with 3 children (all under age 10). She does not allow them to eat Ramen Noodles. Not because they are high in sodium. Not because they really have no nutritional value. But because of the mess.

Hugh? Yep, she has mentioned several times that EVERYTIME she gives in to her children's pleadings, buys them, serves them up, at least ONE of them spills them and "it's a real bitch to clean up off the carpet".

I stopped by that friends' house last week and I realized why she feels the way she feels. Her husband, her children and herself live with a relative due to husband being out of work. As soon as I walked in, I understood where she was coming from.

The house is an older small 2 bedroom house. Very cute house....but small for 3 children and 3 adults. The kitchen is small. NO ROOM FOR A TABLE OF ANY KIND.

The living room is a good size living room. When these homes were built it was intended for the living room to be a living room/dining room combo. BUT when there are this many people living in such confined areas, something has to give. In this case it was the dining table.

My friend sits her children on the floor to eat. Possibly at the coffee table. And although they all eat together, I now understand why serving Ramen Noodles to a 4 & 5 year old is not allowed!

How many of you have a table, and insist on everyone sitting down at the same time for dinner at the table?

How many of you have a table and rarely sit down as a family to it? (That would be my family by the way, due to circumstance beyond my control. Hubby never gets home the same time. It could be as late as 10pm when he gets home. I won't make my son wait that late to eat.)

How many of you don't have a table at all, like my friend?

It's really bothering me that my friend doesn't have a table for her children to sit at. When both my boys were younger, the majority of the time I sat at the table with them at dinner whether my husband was home yet or not.

I have a table and 4 chairs I would give her, but where to put it? She may even have a table in storage of her own, but due to space keeps it there.

Tell me how important it is to you, what's your routine in your home.

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  1. First, Kat and Shane both eat ramen noodles. I don't care for them and don't eat them often, but they like them. They are non-nutritious, but no more so than a lot of other foods and I refuse to worry about them eating them occasionally. And yes, they are messy when spilled.

    Second, we have a table and chairs in the dining part of our kitchen. We almost always eat supper there and almost always as a complete family. Occasionally it will just be Kat and me, but I strive to make it a family event. We don't have the TV on during meals, but we do have music playing.

    We eat lunch at the table if we're all home, but during the summer, and if the meal isn't too messy, Kat usually eats at a TV tray in the living room (whether or not the TV is on) and I sit alone at the kitchen table.

    On the rare weekend morning that I make a full breakfast, we eat at the kitchen table. During the week, though, Shane doesn't eat breakfast, I nibble while I'm up and doing other things and Kat eats at her TV tray in the living room. On school days, if she is dressed and has everything ready for school, I will let her watch TV with her breakfast.

  2. We have a dining room table and we have dinner their together 4-5 nights per week. Sometimes, on the weekends we eat at the coffee-table while watching a movie or eat fingerfoods while playing a board game. I'm a bit of a stickler for family eating meals together. My husband would be much happier eating while watching TV.
    I like ramen noodles, but have them very seldomly - too much sodium.

  3. You can purchase whole wheat ramen noodles, although they cost closer to $1/pack rather than .10/pack. We always had these growing up as my mom was strongly anti-white flour. However, as you say, even eating the white flour (regular) ramen, it's pretty much the equivalent of eating pretzels - salt, flour, water...so not affirmatively good, but not bad, except for the salt.
    Wow - I feel for your friend in the small space. Pehaps in summer they could eat outside? Or she could at least have the kids eat outside for weekend lunches, and buy ramen for a special (very cheap) treat? Regarding the table, even if there is no space for a table and chairs in the middle of the room, could they push one against the wall and still eat around it? I'd get around the space issue not by removing the table, but by using it for more than just eating - playing games (which also keeps all the pieces off the floor), kids coloring, crafts, adults reading the newspaper, etc.

  4. My kids love Ramen noodles. I allow them to eat them often but not for every meal (like they wish)! They are a mess to clean up as witnessed by my 2 yo trying to eat them.

    We do have a kitchen table; the kitchen is off the family room so it's kind of like a "great room." The kids can still be involved in everything going on in the family room while sitting at the table. It's a great set up.

    My rule is that everyone eats at the table (even snacks); we sit down as a family over dinner every night.

    These are some great questions!

  5. Ramen is allowed in our home, though it's not eaten very often.

    It is my rule that we sit at the table to eat. I don't mind some snacks being eaten in front of the TV during a movie, but if you are eating a meal, it must be done sitting at the table together. I grew up in a family that only ate at the table - and no TV was allowed during dinner either. Even when we were first married and had virtually no furniture, I made my DH pull a chair up to the island in our kitchen at that apartment to eat. :)

  6. So MANY great comments/suggestions! I'm glad to see it's still so important for family to sit down together in these times.

    Annie as old as my youngest is, I don't allow tv in the morning before school either. I would never get him out of the house!

    Chicago sounds like your husband is like mine. He likes to watch tv while eating. He says it's the only time noone is talking and he can hear it! lol

    Anonymous Thanks for stopping by. I was thinking along the same lines. I think I'm going to suggest they set up a patio table and chairs to eat some of their meals out side. Then maybe she can serve ramen noodles for lunch once in a while to her girls. It's been such pretty weather here lately for eating outside.

    Mom Kennedy We all sat at the patio table for dinner tonight. I'm going to insist on the nights that hubby is home we sit down together with no tv. I'm not sure how we got out of the habit of not doing it, other than hubby is rarely home at dinner time.

    Storm My son is allowed to eat ramen noodles. My hubby eats them once in a while. I'm going to figure this out yet with the help of all of you.

  7. We moved into a home with no space for a kitchen table anywhere, Im real sad about that as my kids eat at the freezer together. But when we did have a kitchen table we ate their almost every meal, as im not found of non kitchen eating. We love ramen! And I for one aint going to hate on them.