To think that you should not bring a lunch box into a cafe

(369 Posts)
Chocolateandcrisps Sat 15-Feb-14 14:53:44

There is a lovely cafe in a church which we visit often. There is a little play area which my ds loves and reasonably priced lunches, cakes and a sandwich lunch deal for the kids.

Last week two people walked in with their kids, who were about 3 years old, ordered coffees for themselves and brought out a lunch box for the kids. They did not order cake, lunch etc for themselves - just coffee.

I have given my ds rice cakes, water from cup, snacks in cafes before but never taken out a lunch box.

Am I being unreasonable / judgy to think that you should not bring a lunch box into a cafe for your kids?

Thetallesttower Sat 15-Feb-14 15:19:35

I've got a friend who does this and it isn't because of allergies, they do it to save money. I would always be mortified. They are not eating lunch to save money themselves either they pick at the kids leftovers. Cafes can't exist off two coffees for an entire family and what's even worse, my friend's kids would make a huge mess and then just walk off. I don't go out with them any more I can't take the stress!

ForTheLoveOfSocks Sat 15-Feb-14 15:19:46

What about the child who is the fussiest kid on the planet? If that was me the only thing she would eat is probably chips.

Then you'd hook your judgey pants up at my food choices.

YABU - you've done it yourself

Thetallesttower Sat 15-Feb-14 15:21:56

Did the cafe manager object to it? Was there a sign up saying only food bought there may be consumed there?

Why would there need to be a sign? Surely when you enter a cafe, you don't whip your own food out unless as everyone has pointed out, you have a child with allergies which must be quite a small number of people who really can't purchase anything.

Gingefringe Sat 15-Feb-14 15:28:11

Cheeky beggars. I bet the staff at the church cafe were too nice to ask them not to eat their own food.

hazeyjane Sat 15-Feb-14 15:29:15

I do this for ds, who is disabled and will only eat about 10 foods. If there is something in the cafe he will eat like quavers then I will buy some and add it to his lunchbox. I always ask if it is ok, and have never been told no.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Feb-14 15:31:02

Why would this bother anyone other than the owner of the cafe? confused

There are a million and one reasons why they might have bought their DCs lunch into the cafe - none of which are any concern of mine, given that it doesn't impact on my life, or the lives of my family, at all.

"The cafe is a business not a picnic spot."
"Why would there need to be a sign? "

Many Cafe's connected to Churches, Community Play Centers, Community Activity Centers etc are ok with food being bought in. The cafe may be run out of the he same funding for the Church.

If that isn't the case, I think that it should be, or the Chirch provide an eating place, which used to be the Church Hall.

The Cafe may now be occupying that space.

I take my own food, being Vegan.

I know plenty of people that couldn't use community based activities if they had to purchase food/drink.

Using a cafe in a high street is different, but not one at play places for children, there should always be the facility so those on a tight budget can still go to them and take their own food.

Especially now that Parks and Children Centres/Clubs are disappearing.

I meant to add, Good for you OP having the money to eat out, many don't have the money to eat in, with the changes in HB etc.

Pagwatch Sat 15-Feb-14 15:47:25

It depends why they were doing it.
Was it because of dietary requirements or because they were tight?
No one can possibly know so no one can possibly judge -surely?

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Feb-14 15:50:40

I used to go to a few cafes and coffee shops that had notices stating

do not eat your own food here, talk to us if you have dietary requirements

I just didn't understand this until I came on mn grin

Floggingmolly Sat 15-Feb-14 15:52:57

A lot of cafes have children's play areas, Birds, (even our local Starbucks has one), it doesn't mean they're anything approaching a Community Play Centre. confused
Just because it's in a church centre doesn't mean it's a not for profit outfit.

everlong Sat 15-Feb-14 15:53:37

Why would you care? What does it matter to you?
I wouldn't care less. There may be many different reasons why those children are eating out of a lunch box none that have cock all to do with me or you.

PrebendsBridge Sat 15-Feb-14 15:57:09

What is the age cut off on this? Don't want to inadvertently offend business owners.

DS is six months so still having 3 milk feeds a day, as well as purées/ finger foods etc. I make most of his purées up at home, but sometimes I'll give him an Ella pouch if I've not done any batch cooking. If we're out and about when he needs feeding then DP and I will pop into a cafe, sometimes eat/sometimes not but always buy drinks ....but only so that we can sit down and feed him. Do we need to be buying food everytime??!shock

floppyfanjo Sat 15-Feb-14 16:15:23

As mentioned above a cafe is not a public picnic spot - its a business with overheads.
Why should a non paying customer take up a seat that could be used by someone else.

If your child is unable to eat the food sold in a particular establishment then you simply don't go in,either find somewhere else or accept that its one of things you have to sacrifice doing as a parent.

I'd say its acceptable to take your own food in for a child under the age of about 18 months,after that its quite possible to make sure that they are fed before or they can wait until you find a suitable "picnic spot".

SirChenjin Sat 15-Feb-14 16:25:13

Presumably the cafe didn't have a queue of people all waiting to sit down at the table in question....

It really, really shouldn't matter to anyone else - unless they are directly affected.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 15-Feb-14 16:33:53

If your child is unable to eat the food sold in a particular establishment then you simply don't go in,either find somewhere else or accept that its one of things you have to sacrifice doing as a parent

So a child with a illness disability or allergy is just a parenting sacrifice now? As opposed to say a situation where reasonable accommodations could be made.

Waltonswatcher1 Sat 15-Feb-14 16:38:40

YABU and totally blinkered.
My daughter can not have dairy wheat gluten egg soya nuts and shellfish . I have to adhere to this diet as I am bfeeding her. We go everywhere with a lunch box.I tell the staff if its somewhere new and have always been met with consideration and understanding . I hate making an issue of it as you always get 'those' looks from other parents. My daughters best friend has a fructose and dairy problem,we often meet in cafes . Double the looks then!

Waltonswatcher1 Sat 15-Feb-14 16:43:11

Flappyfanjo what a nice person you are. Pop over for coffee anytime .My two year old will fill you in in her medical history and educate you on living with allergies. You would be more empathetic after that chat trust me.

ikeaismylocal Sat 15-Feb-14 16:43:44

Would you object to the mums coming in and buying 2 coffees and letting the kids play in the play area? Is there a rule where food must be purchased to use the play area?

I can't see how 2 small children eating their lunch effects you in any way at all.

Maybe the mums had planned a picnic for the kids but the weather was crap so decided to eat in the cafe instead.

I'm sure with it being a church run cafe they would prefer 2 well fed warm kids playing in the play area rather than 2 kids at home because their mum can't afford to buy lunch there or there isn't anything the child can eat.

Lagoonablue Sat 15-Feb-14 16:47:57

Yes we are all winners on MN bingo! Full house now surely?

HollyMiamiFLA Sat 15-Feb-14 16:50:31

We go to Magna. They have a cafe and a picnic area.

I will confess we take sandwiches but we also buy chips and a coffee so we eat them in the cafe.

Because Magna's food is expensive but chips are nice.

It wouldn't occur to me to be bothered if someone whipped out a lunchbox and fed their kids from it.

Why would it, it's nothing to do with me.

ChocolateWombat Sat 15-Feb-14 16:55:23

I am an adult with coeliac disease. When I go out, I go somewhere that has stuff I can eat, or I eat at home. I don't take lunch with me, to eat in a cafe. Not entirely clear why it is different for children.
I think babies is a different matter. Babies are often eating puréed food (which actually, cafes etc increasingly have). I think cares etc appreciate people may feed babies food they have brought with them, but obviously expect the, to make purchases for themselves.
I don't think the argument that you don't want your children to eat the type of sugary/salty food available for sale in a cafe is a good excuse to bring your own. Go somewhere else.

ChocolateWombat Sat 15-Feb-14 16:57:43

I also don't think saying the food somewhere is expensive, therefore you will bring your own is a good argument.

If it is too expensive, go somewhere cheaper.

These places are there to sell food and not provide a picnic or semi picnic area. You don't need to buy lots of food. Just buy the chips and save your other food for later.

Nomama Sat 15-Feb-14 17:01:06

I'll start a new card, lagoonablue.

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