What is all this bonkers talk on MN of people taking food with them to eat at relatives' houses...

(51 Posts)
moondog Wed 26-Dec-12 10:12:42

..because their precious off spring won't eat what is served??

Unbelievably ill mannered and more to the point, when did it all start ?
In our day you either ate what was put in front of you or discreetly left it.
No whingeing or demands for pizzas or chicken nuggets or bloody Pizza Express dough balls.
No wonder your relatives get the hump. hmm

moondog Wed 26-Dec-12 10:13:47

And yes, all children with ASD exempted.
Obv.

Um that would be me then, I take soy products for ds as he can't have dairy and I don't expect anyone to buy it on our behalf and I take something vegetarian as I don't expect meat eaters to cater for me.

TanteRose Wed 26-Dec-12 10:17:04

Aside from SN issues, I agree

Although I have been guilty of asking my parents to buy some Japanese style rice for my DCs when we go to stay with them - I bought them a rice cooker and we all eat Japanese a few times during our stay

ledkr Wed 26-Dec-12 10:19:59

Well I don't do it but I'd rather someone bought food for fussy eaters than expected me to come up with alternatives.
Some kids are fussy eaters. Mine aren't but I know friends who have tried everything and are pulling out their hair.
I'm not sure I'd want to go back to a time where kids had to put up or shut up either. It is good that they now have a voice and can make some choices.

moondog Wed 26-Dec-12 10:20:13

Yes, yes, excluding folk with dietary issues. Obv.
I have a diabetic child and this time of year is a bloody nightmare.
None of those.
And for extended stay, nowt wrong with suggestions of different meals and bringing other bits along
I'm just talking about folk who are plain rude.

OddBoots Wed 26-Dec-12 10:21:07

When people do this then there are bigger issues than Christmas day to deal with - either those issues are of a medical or disability nature (which you may or may not know about) or a general parenting one. Christmas isn't the time to confront parents about it as it just makes things worse regardless of reasons.

moondog Wed 26-Dec-12 10:21:54

'It is good that they now have a voice and can make some choices.'

Er no it isn't when exercising of said choice means small children announcing in loud voices that they find the lemonade/meat/vegetables/pudding not to their taste.

Sit down and shut up.

silverfrog Wed 26-Dec-12 10:22:24

I think you need a few more exceptions that 'just' ASD, tbh.

Dh & I are temptd to take stuff when we go to his parents, as his mother refuses to accept he cannot eat dairy, and cooks the same old stuff each time. the only way to get her to take notice would be, for eg, to take along something for him to eat and announce it loudly during the dinner party - she might be so embarrassed that she would actually take notice then.

sadly, good manners dictate that we can't do this - but it is so tempting.

for general fussiness purposes, then you are totally right - it is totally bonkers to be pandering to that degree. eat what you are given, or go hungry.

moondog Wed 26-Dec-12 10:25:41

And neither do I get out the megaphone and announce that a dwelling has to be cleared of sweet thnigs and visitors to our dwelling frisked for same.
My child simply has to deal with the fact that while everyone else consumes their own weight in chocolate, it's not a good idea for her to do so.

She just has to live with it.

spababe Wed 26-Dec-12 11:12:30

I take food because one child has allergies and one is fussy to the point where he can make himself retch if there is something on his plate he doesn't like and he tries to be polite and eat it. I prefer to relax during a meal not sit there on the edge of my seat hoping my child doesn't retch.
Don't judge unless you have been there!

I've (thankfully) never been to PIL for Christmas but they serve no veg (occasional salad bowl between 4 adults) . My bum literally heals up for the lack of roughage. (I take grapes and apples for the DC to eat)

"Will they (the DC) take chicken?"
"Yes"

She dishes up something that looks like vomit (I'm assured it's tinned chicken in sauce)
Even my DD who eats anything won't touch it.

freetoanyhome Wed 26-Dec-12 17:48:48

years ago I'd pack extra as MIL's idea of a Xmas meal was 2 roasties each and about 5 peas. She has eating issues. We were starving and ended up at an open kebab shop!

NotAnotherPackedLunch Wed 26-Dec-12 18:03:07

freetoany are you my SIL? grin
My MIL is now busy trying to pass her eating issues onto DD. angry

queenofthepirates Wed 26-Dec-12 18:04:45

I take food with me because my mother and step mother could burn water. They are atrocious cooks and I would literally starve otherwise.

That said my mum made a lovely trifle today. I think I found some red cabbage in it though.

naturalbaby Wed 26-Dec-12 18:08:28

yanbu for general fussy eaters.

I'd rather relatives just dish up what ever the adults are eating in smaller portions instead of buying 'kids food'. Although I would have preferred that she let me know it was sherry trifle so I could offer my dc's an alternative for pudding before she dished up a huge bowl for each of them.

freetoanyhome Wed 26-Dec-12 18:14:06

clearly packedlunch. Did you get just the one pea?
grin
and yeah, she has passed it on to my kids. Told them all women should be 8 stone. ffs, I'm 5'9 and 11 stone. She nearly died when I said that out loud. And she bought me chocs for Xmas.
We no longer visit the house of no food!

NotAnotherPackedLunch Wed 26-Dec-12 18:28:04

freetoany - she cooks one small potato each and one extra for the bowl, and everyone just sits and stares at the last desperately lonely potato accompanied by a chorus of grumbling stomachs.
How did you protect your DDs from her issues? We also avoid eating attacks hers whenever possible, but she imposes her views on DD wherever we are eating.

swanthingafteranother Wed 26-Dec-12 18:29:31

queen loving the trifle wink

I went to a big buffet today, and there was literally nothing for a vegetarian two year old to eat. Well apart from some crisps.My brother is not very switched on about food and he was in charge of his daughter today as her mum is at the hospital with little brother. At one point he was feeding her treacle tart and crisps. Now in his position I would have felt actually quite peeved that said relatives could not have provided something simple that a two year old could have tucked into. Or would it have been better for him to have come armed with a mild cheddar sandwich? I think that is an example of where it would be better for parents to bring some straightforward alternative to fancy grownup food, rather than kids just eating the junk parts of the menu?

swanthingafteranother Wed 26-Dec-12 18:33:42

Menu was very rich turkey pie, dressed green salad, treacle tart and mince pies. All delicious but not suitable for many children under 7. There were mini sausages and crisps and grapes suitable for kids. But children can't have those for every meal, and at Christmas it feels like there are endless meals of that ilk.

My son who has ASD had sausages, crisps and lemonade. I don't think it has done him much good sad I should probably have brought something normal with me. But he'll survive!

swanthingafteranother Wed 26-Dec-12 18:37:15

I went to a family wedding where the close relatives who were giving it, had to be persuaded that it was probably better to cater for the children separately as the 20 or so children coming were probably not going to eat the butternut squash tart tartin which was main course (it was sitdown dinner). In the event they were separately catered for with veggie lasagne which they mostly ate, and it was a great success! Instead of having 20 children who had literally eaten nothing but crisps and coke all evening.

swanthingafteranother Wed 26-Dec-12 18:39:33

Okay I see thread about relatives, rather than functions. Still, it is depressing how it is possible to go to Granny and find she cannot provide a meal that you will kids will touch a mouthful of, not due to fussiness you understand, but just because it is completely unsuitable. This has happened to me at lot at my mum's. She thinks children only eat sausages.

freetoanyhome Wed 26-Dec-12 20:59:25

sadly packedlunch one of my daughters developed anorexia. Direct result of MIL far as I'm concerned. Its why we never see them anymore.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Wed 26-Dec-12 21:13:19

freetoany I'm very sorry about your DD.

Thank you for sharing. I will have to have a serious think about how I'm going to protect my DD from my MIL's attitudes to food.
You've helped me see that I'm not making a fuss about nothing. Thanks.

PoppyWearer Wed 26-Dec-12 21:24:20

My PILs don't "do" snacks or chocolate. Except for FIL's secret stash of chocs, hidden from MIL.

So I take snacks for the DCs to their house, because, y'know, a 16mo can't always wait from 12 noon to 6pm for food (call me crazy!). And chocolate for me because I luffs it to stop me from getting hypoglaecemic.

moondog Wed 26-Dec-12 23:22:21

'Still, it is depressing how it is possible to go to Granny and find she cannot provide a meal that you will kids will touch a mouthful of, not due to fussiness you understand, but just because it is completely unsuitable'

And how exactly is it unsuitable?

NaokHoHoHo Wed 26-Dec-12 23:30:57

I bring a stash of breakfast bars and snacks to the inlaws, and I don't even have DC. I'm not fussy, I eat what I'm offered with the single exception of pork, and politely eat what MIL serves up, but she doesn't cook enough. She eats like a mouse and doesn't deliberately starve everyone else but just hasn't realised that some of us might like more than three cherry tomatoes and half a potato with their dinner. There'd be wailing and crying and screaming if anyone brought it up hmm (long story) so a stash of edibles in my suitcase just makes everyone's life easier.

exexpat Wed 26-Dec-12 23:32:01

We are vegetarian, and DD won't eat cheese; parents in law are traditional meat and two veg types, who have ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch every day so yes, I take food or do a shop there when we go to stay. Much easier and less stressful all round.

To be honest I am very glad that being vegetarian gives me a polite excuse, because MiL is the kind of cook who makes three carrots stretch to six people, and serves small portions of main courses to 'leave room for pudding', which is usually something made with vile artificial cream (which neither I nor my DCs will eat - so shoot me). Her idea of vegetable soup is leftover overlooked vegetables boiled up for another half hour or so and then blended, probably with some more of the artificial cream to make it 'special'.

Yes, I would eat all that sort of thing to be polite (and have done in the past) but do you blame me for taking supplies?

MerryLindor Wed 26-Dec-12 23:33:08

We buy yogurt and cereal for DC when we visit PILs cause I wouldn't expect them to buy things for the kids. Not cause they don't eat what PILs serve, but then they cook plain good food that the kids like.

And they ask the DC when they arrive what food they'd like to have that week and make all their favourites.

If I was visiting people who didn't cater for DC, then I'd take our own food.

By 'catering to DC', I mean serving meals that children are less likely to enjoy such as sushi.

It didn't happen when we were young cause people cooked plain good food. This was before we all started cooking poncy stuff from TV chefs.

The most exotic my mum ever served was boef bourgenion, which was basically just stew.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Wed 26-Dec-12 23:38:43

I agree with you - I find it amazing how many children don't seem to be willing to eat real food.

As in meat, vegetables, pasta, potatoes etc.

When mine were small and we went out they always ate what we ate. If it was a very strongly flavoured curry, for instance, I would scrape off the sauce, or as a last measure feed them the rice/potatoes/pasta only.

But I would never have offered them an alternative.

However, I think there is a difference from taking children out for one meal, and going to stay with someone for a week. If it is a meal, they can survive. If it is a week of curries/sushi/raw turnip and lentils then I too would take some snacks grin

ledkr Wed 26-Dec-12 23:39:52

Dh and I often take snacks to pil as they eat such tiny amounts we are often starving.
I have been known to take some wine too as you are lucky to get one glass in their thimble sized glasses and I'm not spending all weekend teetotal when we visit. It's so boring we need a drink.
Mil buys dh's fav childish cereal when we go but it's for him and not the dc [hmm{

exexpat Wed 26-Dec-12 23:41:59

I'd happily take a week of curries, sushi & lentils; not sure about raw turnip - maybe grated in salad? - but can't take a week of processed, overcooked, cheese-coated everything and no fresh fruit & veg. DCs are the same (oh, except DD would reject curry, but loves sushi).

swanthingafteranother Thu 27-Dec-12 13:16:46

moondog and Mary if granny doesn't serve ordinary food like rice pasta or potatoes, but always offers very strong rich food (think M&S readymeal style), bread always has seeds in it, salad is always mayo heavy etc etc. If my mum cooked ordinary food like lasagne or plain pasta or mashed potatoes, plain rice it would be fine,but her food is always something in wine or cream sauce. She basically thinks children eat v cheap fatty sausages, chips or pizza and will offer that as an alternative to the fancy adult food (risotto with mushrooms/pasta with walnuts and cream being a good example of things your average child doesn't usually like). If you are staying with her for a week or two, the only answer is to do the cooking and shopping which is what I do. It's fine but it is frustrating that every meal is inappropriate. Okay she does very nice cheesy potatoes in cream..smile

It's odd because we always had lovely honest food when we were children. I think M&S and foreign travel has warped her.

MousyMouse Thu 27-Dec-12 13:22:50

we take yoghurts and actimel type drinks for the dc. just plain stuff as my relatives like stuff like yoghurt with molasses or poppy seeds. hmm
oh and tea bags. my parents are in germany and they don't have decent tea, just drink masses of filter coffee envy <- vom that is

rubyrubyruby Thu 27-Dec-12 13:26:47

We have almost 40 in our direct family with a few dozen children and none of this ever do this. No fussy eaters but that's probably haven't ' created' that problem.

mercibucket Thu 27-Dec-12 13:41:54

Hmmmm you have never met mil - queen of the leftovers. Sausages on their fifth but not final re-heat. Home-made lemonade with the corpses of about a thousand fruit flies floating in it. Served on plates with ingrained bits of food already on it.
Adults can just about cope (we just secretly chuck away all the dodgy food). Kids definitely need an alternative

mercibucket Thu 27-Dec-12 13:41:54

Hmmmm you have never met mil - queen of the leftovers. Sausages on their fifth but not final re-heat. Home-made lemonade with the corpses of about a thousand fruit flies floating in it. Served on plates with ingrained bits of food already on it.
Adults can just about cope (we just secretly chuck away all the dodgy food). Kids definitely need an alternative

moondog Thu 27-Dec-12 13:50:34

'bread always has seeds in it, salad is always mayo heavy etc etc'

Oh fgs, just bloody accept what you are given.
You sound as if your children are expected to eat camel entrails washed down with goats' blood.

freetoanyhome Thu 27-Dec-12 14:04:18

you can go round my friends then moondog. Total non cook. One year it was cold brussel sprout soup that the sprouts werent cooked properly. I was brought up to eat what I was given but that was a sprout too far!

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 27-Dec-12 14:30:59

Well its saves you wasting food i supposegrin, if people bring things they actually like and not only that, atleast it is a contribution!

What i do hate however is people that decend upon us and not bring a bean, don't help with washing up, drying or even clearing their plates-that is rude!

bisley Thu 27-Dec-12 14:42:55

I did this. My children are fussy eaters and when at home I alternate between favourites and unfamiliar, so that it's not a battle every mealtime. If I hadn't taken meals for my children they would have been hungry two hours before my mother served up and then not eaten anything on the plate while my mother wound me up by aggressively trying to get them to eat and tutting and sighing when they didn't. Instead we had a shot at a stressfree christmas, and we almost made it, but that's a different thread.

swanthingafteranother Thu 27-Dec-12 19:23:58

moondog I do accept what I'm given. I eat it. But if it is a dish that your child just doesn't eat, and day after day (I'm talking family visits which last weeks rather than days) they are being given disgusting high salt findus lasagne as an alternative and bright pink sausages, I think you might decide to "source" your own children's meals, or at very least rustle up a dish of exceedingly plain pasta to accompany said findus lasagne. I am talking about children under 7 here.

When you go along to a family feast, there should be something that the children can actually eat. You may have a functional family where the grownups cook delicious food, but some of us don't!!!!

swanthingafteranother Thu 27-Dec-12 19:32:52

Saying that, I am now beginning to remember how peeved I got when I had guests and they brought their children's favoruite foods with them. This is when I had children the same age. ie: guests who bring their children's favourite cereal, guests who "cook" when you have already prepared something for all. In my case I remember making a lovely roast dinner for some houseguests, and the wretched guest had the nerve to make a separate dish of pasta with homemade meatballs for her children because that was what they were used to...And she brought all the ingredients! How dared she! I never invited her again. and her kids are all pretty anorexic now

Hmm, I am beginning to see where you are coming from grin

moondog Thu 27-Dec-12 20:09:38

I'm so glad. grin
The quality of the food is irrelevant.
I would expect my children to sit politely and accept any old crap that has been dished up because we would be in someone else's house being entertained by them.

And believe me, I have consumed many a terrible mean through gritted teeth and a rictus grin.
My aunt's appalling prawn cocktail comes to mind.

MousyMouse Thu 27-Dec-12 20:30:31

if it is just for a meal or two yanbu.
usually there is something anyone would eat.
but if staying with relatives with questionable food hygiene and strange tastes I do bring some snacks and breakfast stuff.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Thu 27-Dec-12 20:52:34

I do not eat beetroot, baked beans or cold boiled eggs with salad cream on top after too many childhood meals of "salad" at granny's and at friends houses.

But by God, I forced them down at the time. I wouldn't have dared refuse.

And I suppose it did me no harm [boak]

Flatbread Thu 27-Dec-12 21:32:25

I wonder why people think children only eat 'plain food'. Did children in India, Thailand etc. not get the memo?

And since when did crisps become a legitimate meal accompaniment instead of an occasional snack?

The worst meal I had as a chikd was a cheese fondue, where the host kept licking the spoon to taste and putting it back in the pot. A bit yuck, but I ate it with no side effects, so he must have had no major communicable diseases grin

HappyNewSkyebluesapphire Sun 30-Dec-12 02:00:37

I always have snacks for 4yo DD, but I would not take food. It is difficult though, she went to a birthday party where hotdogs were all that was on offer for tea and she hates sausages, so asked for a cheese sandwich! The hostess did not mind luckily.

I would not expect anybody to cook anything different for DD though. When we go to my mums, she eats the bits that she likes and thats it.

CordeliaChase Sun 30-Dec-12 03:06:07

I'm a mean mummy. I have taken after my mum in how to bring up my DS. If he doesn't eat what's put in front of him, it's tough. He's two, and has eaten the same kind of foods as us since he was 10mo (obviously within reason!). I don't want him to have any food issues, so I don't make a fuss if he doesn't eat something. I just ask him if he's all done and if he says yes I take it away. There's been nights where all he has wanted to eat is a slice of bread, strange child!

BiddyPop Tue 08-Jan-13 10:06:33

DD has ASD, but in our case, we bring food to my parent's holiday house for NY as my mum tends to buy things DD may not eat, but also that she won't even start cooking until after 7pm, and we end up eating after 9. So we HAVE to feed DD before then (or she gets too tired to eat - and she already has issues about being underweight).

We bought fish fillets in batter and made those with mashed potato and frozen veg (both in the house) this time, whereas other times we've not been as prepared and ended up buying a tin of spaghetti hoops and microwaving those for her.

We usually bring some fruit as well, to snack on, again for long distances between meals. But we are happy for anyone in the house to use these things too. (and we also bring nice things for sharing like a ball of edam or extra wine or my own sloe gin).

BartletForTeamGB Fri 25-Jan-13 21:43:25

I'm like cordelia. My DS (shock horror) eats bread with seeds in it and everything. He has always eaten the same as us. Children don't need to have bland food!

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