To be so bloody frustrated with adult fussy eaters?!

(46 Posts)
SmellyMuffin Sun 17-Aug-14 13:44:09

My dad is a very, very fussy eater. His diet is very limited, he will only eat egg and chips, steak and chips, gammon, pie and chips, roast dinners (but only if cooked in a a certain way)traditional stews or a fry up. He won't eat anything "foreign" anything "fancy" spicy or anything in any kind of sauce, rice pasta and any fish other than cod are also off limits.

He's always been this way and I appreciate we will never change him now (early 60's) but I get so incredibly frustrated by the way it impacts on all our lives. When my parents go on holiday they even have to check in advance that there are restaurants selling English food so my dad will eat it.

We frequently go out for Sunday lunch as a family, but we are restricted because dad will only eat in one particular place. It's a two for one pub place, OK, but the food is obviously fast food shoved in a microwave. Dad likes their roast dinners though because they serve them the way he likes them which is with cremated meat, watery packet gravy, frozen Yorkshire pudding and with the veg he likes which are carrots, peas and potatoes. So we always go there, on a few occasions we've managed to get him to go somewhere else he's moaned that he hasn't liked what he's had. He wont even eat a dinner if it's serve with mashed potato (even though he likes roast and boiled, work that one out?) or if the food is "piled up" which is how they serve diners in nicer places.

My brother and his DP have already stooped coming with us because in my bro's words the place is "crap, the food is shit and it's full of screaming kids". It's also only got 4 stars on the hygiene rating which makes me boak every time.

I recently took my mum away for a few days and said she'd never eaten so well. We ate at a Mexican place, a lovely Italian, and an Indian all you can eat buffet. Stuff she'd never be able to do with my dad. It made me sad, going our for a lovely meal at a nice place is one of my favourite things to do. My poor mum hardly germ to do this.

AIBU to think my dad should get over his fussiness? Food is food at the end of the day!

paxtecum Sun 17-Aug-14 13:47:29

It's not his fussiness that is a problem. It is his selfishness.
He's only considering himself.

Roussette Sun 17-Aug-14 13:47:44

No you are not BU. It would drive me ruddy bonkers to have to deal with this. Fussy eaters do my 'ead in! (unless it was intolerances which can't be helped).

Has your Mum tried to introduce other foods? His diet doesn't sound particularly healthy....

Fairylea Sun 17-Aug-14 13:48:26

I think you should just override him and go places you like to eat sometimes. If he moans ignore him. If everyone else wants to try something different then why should he get the last say? Or tell him to stay home.

(But I agree with him re mashed potato- I absolutely can't stand it but I love roast potatoes and chips).

fuckupperymakeruppery Sun 17-Aug-14 13:49:34

i understand your frustration because fil is the same. if he gets cauliflower cheese on his roast he cant eat his dinner and i have to take it away like he is three.

there are only two things i cannot put in my mouth, blue cheese and jellied eels

but he explained it to me.. he said... imagine that everything on your plate is blue cheese or jellied eels...it would make you want to throw up, not enjoy a lovely dinner.

unfortunately dd has inherited this.

so we deal with it in a different way. we make sure that we eat where he wants once a month, then were everyone else wants once a month, and if he doesnt want to eat there, we go and see him after lunch and take him a cake he likes

SmellyMuffin Sun 17-Aug-14 13:51:04

We've tried to introduce other things into his diet, but he just moans he doesn't like them. We even have to take him into consideration when we organise family celebrations, for my 30th we went to a lovely Indian but had to first ensure they did English food to accommodate him.

It drives me,

hamptoncourt Sun 17-Aug-14 13:51:10

YABU because he is an adult and should be able to eat whatever the hell he likes.

You would not be unreasonable though to refuse to go to the "Sunday Lunch place" he likes any more.

Your siblings have voted with their feet. Time for you to do the same I should think.

Roseformeplease Sun 17-Aug-14 13:51:13

Even a curry house will sell him a plate of chips.
Book where you want to go and then tell him to find something he can eat, or he can get chips on the way home.

Fairylea Sun 17-Aug-14 13:53:25

I think ringing before you go anywhere to check they do his kind of food is enabling him a bit. I think you should refuse to ring and he can either go and try and find something to eat or just stay home. He sounds a bit like he's using it as a bit of an excuse to have some control.

We all have things we don't like to eat but most people try to hide it to accommodate others. It's basic courtesy.

WitchWay Sun 17-Aug-14 13:54:28

My FIL has very fixed ideas about what & where he will eat & hates trying anywhere new. Often though if he can be persuaded to try something new he will like it & then become fixated on that instead confused

A while ago we went out for lunch with MIL FIL SIL & SIL's BF. FIL was sulking because he wanted to go to the Chinese as usual * everyone else wanted to try a new tapas & paella place. We hadn't booked so it didn't matter.

He was outvoted & grumpily sat at the table refusing to order anything. The portions were huge & MIL coaxed him to try her paella which he absolutely loved & ate loads of

Since then he has insisted on eating there every time & hasn't been back to the Chinese.
hmm

SmellyMuffin Sun 17-Aug-14 13:54:37

Oh, yes the cauliflower cheese issue! That's probably the main reason he won't eat a roast dinner elsewhere, because they always serve it with cauliflower cheese. Either on the place or in a little dish to help yourself to. But even in the dish it touches the other veg you see....... Ridiculous!

I mean how can you not like cauliflower cheese?! It's lush, I could live on it!

Yanbu, if it's an allergy, ok, or inability to chew, ok.

But not picky just to be picky.

pictish Sun 17-Aug-14 13:56:13

Yanbu. I agree that it is his selfishness that is the problem rather than his pickiness.

Loads of adult fussy eaters will be along soon to defend their foible...but you'll find most of them will happily dine out wherever, while accepting they might not like the food, because it's not all about them.

Your dad is being really self centred making you all go to Wetherspoons or wherever it is he likes, every time.
Agree that it's a shame for your mum.

SmellyMuffin Sun 17-Aug-14 13:57:33

Well you see I think fussy eating in anyone over the age of about 10 kind of pathetic anyway. I wouldn't tolerate it anyone else.

WitchWay Sun 17-Aug-14 13:58:07

Agree he's being selfish - we only managed to persuade FIL to try the tapas bar because we could "gang up" on him - if it'd been just him & MIL he'd've got his own way as usual

hamptoncourt Sun 17-Aug-14 13:59:47

If there was cauliflower cheese anywhere near my dinner I would vomit. Seriously, I wouldn't be able to help myself.

I once had to run off to the toilets and vomit when someone sat next to me with a plate of macaroni cheese.

However, I don't see why you are all pandering to his choices though. Just tell him you are going somewhere else and he can go or not go.

I am not sure why it is such a big deal tbh.

Fairylea Sun 17-Aug-14 14:07:07

Fussy eating does sometimes come from a phobic point of view, usually from being force fed as a child at school or nursery. It can really affect how you view food for the rest of your life. I used to be married to someone who would only eat pizza, waffles, and beans because they were the only foods he wasn't forced to eat as a child. I had a similar experience with mashed potato as a child and I absolutely cannot even look at it now.

So yes, some fussy eating is deep seated and psychological.

But even then most fussy eaters would be embarrassed of their phobias and try to find something to eat from the menu that didn't expose them.

Your dad sounds like the type of fussy eater who is either just set in his ways or using it as a form of control.

hamptoncourt Sun 17-Aug-14 14:13:35

I agree with Fairylea.

When I had my vomiting episode, I was mortified because my friend, who knew but had forgotten about my cheese issues, was really apologetic.

I told her not to be apologetic, why shouldn't she be able to eat what she wanted just because of my problem. If she had remembered and said, Oh Hampton, I really fancy the macaroni cheese, I would have grinned and said, I am off to sit over there mate, you sit with our mutual friends and I will catch up with you afterwards. I would not have expected her to be inconvenienced because of my issue.

OneSkinnyChip Sun 17-Aug-14 14:13:37

I agree he sounds set in his ways but more importantly selfish. It is very frustrating trying to eat out with someone like this. Stop doing the lunch thing and just meet for coffee and pudding or a drink instead. I would not go out to a crap pub for a frozen meal week after week. Life is too short.

LadyLuck10 Sun 17-Aug-14 14:16:44

Yanbu, there is always something a fussy water can find on a menu. I would not pander to this, book a place that has a varied menu and go. He can starve himself and sit with a face on all he likes or he can get over himself and find something to eat. Fussy children become very fussy adults, bloody irritating and selfish for everyone else.

Ilovenewts Sun 17-Aug-14 14:23:36

It's selfish. Nothing wrong with being fussy - people can't help it. They can however shut up and lump it for other people once in a while.

pictish Sun 17-Aug-14 14:27:51

Or they can say "I'll sit this one out...but YOU go and enjoy your lunch" with good grace...if they really can't bear to be around whatever hated foodstuff it is.

I don't agree with trying to convince anyone to eat anything they don't like, but I do think that the person who has the aversion has to suck it up and either make do or opt out, rather than expecting to dictate every time.

DogCalledRudis Sun 17-Aug-14 14:28:03

One lesson i learned on a visit to Sweden -- just dish out the ingredients on the table and let the guests make their own sandwiches/burgers/kebabs, etc.

PenisesAreNotPink Sun 17-Aug-14 14:34:44

It comes down to his selfishness. Why should he get to have a 'good' meal every time he goes out when everyone else gets a 'shit' one - it should be taken in turns.

For every 'shit' (to him) meal he gets he should get the occasional 'good' ( to him) preference.

I can't believe people suck up this behaviour. My mil is gluten intolerant and we occasionally go to a place that's her preference but most of the time she goes to places that are imperfect and she picks the plainest fish etc

kiritekanawa Sun 17-Aug-14 15:09:32

It sounds really, really annoying.

Has anyone actually asked your father why he's behaving like this?

My father is like this, though not quite as extreme re: food (he used to be). He does have a lot of ASD traits though (I am diagnosed with ASD, I am not just chucking the term around as an excuse), which may some explain rigid adherence to extremely fussy eating. I know the level of gagging fear induced by some foods, though I am also pretty strict with myself about shutting up and getting on with things unless there's good evidence i am actually allergice to something.

However, mild ASD in someone clearly extremely high-functioning really isn't an excuse for selfishness. Men of that generation are frequently unlikely to accept psycho-babble type explanations of their behaviour - better to just continue aggressively, intransigently, pigheadedly, rather than appear weak or soft by trying to work out what's really going on here. My father is a lovely man in many ways, but is capable of being controlling, babyish, aggressive, dismissive and generally rude and intransigent. He also gets stressed a lot by sensory input generally, so these behaviours tend to appear in public.

What is hopeful is that with some genuine will, people can change. My father has got a lot more adventurous with food, and since retirement and with frequent put-downs for being grumpy from his beloved granddaughter, has actually learnt some manners. It can happen, even late in life smile

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