"Leave the prawns for the adults"

(166 Posts)
MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:43:06

My SIL has just said this to my two DDs ged 8 and 4 as they were getting served takeaway and DD1 asked for a prawn.

Aibu to think "WTF?" about that?

SIL knows the DDs...they both eat seafood, spicy stuff...and if she wasn't sure if they'd like the prawns, then wouldn't it be normal to ask me? Or to offer a piece of one to try?

She has no DC. but not sure if that's any excuse.

She'd served them with bowls of plain rice....I was waiting for her to finish serving herself and thought she'd be doing a selection of bits for the DDs but I was wrong...she stood aside so I could help myself and I then gave the DDs a prawn each....and a bit of everythng else...despite SIL's instructions to "leave the prawns for the adults"

The other adults who were sharing the meal were just finishing some work in the shed and had told us to go ahead...there was plenty for everyone...

Odd? Greedy? What? I can't stop thinking about it!

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:44:32

Oh and this woman is always taking bits of their food from them too....I don't mind sharing of course...it's good...but she'll ask for half of almost everything the littlest has! Even if it's a tiny little biscuit or something. She finished DD2s prawn off for her.


Narked Fri 11-Jan-13 11:45:55

Weird. I wasn't aware that prawns had an age restriction.

WorraLiberty Fri 11-Jan-13 11:46:05

What did she say when you asked her about it?

I must say, it does sound a bit odd.

Narked Fri 11-Jan-13 11:47:21

'Oh and this woman is always taking bits of their food from them too'

Why are you letting her do that? confused

gotthemoononastick Fri 11-Jan-13 11:47:43

Regardless of her motives,why would you do the exact opposite to what she asked? What did you teach your daughters?

ThatBintAgain Fri 11-Jan-13 11:48:02

It's not very nice, I grew up in an environment where the adults got good stuff and the kids weren't allowed any. It's not great. Hopefully if she ever has kids she'll reassess, but glad you gave the kids some anyway.

halcyondays Fri 11-Jan-13 11:48:13

Yanbu, how silly of her.

Odd, definitely.

Glad they got a prawn each but why is she taking food off children? Was your DD going to finish her prawn?

bamboostalks Fri 11-Jan-13 11:50:00

Why would she take a biscuit off a small child? How very weird! Why not eat her own biscuit. She sounds like a lunatic.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:50:13

got because I frigging paid for half of it! ANd even if I never, who is anyone to restrict my children's meals?

worra I never asked her. I daren't.

narked she does it in a light hearted way...you know..pretending to sneak up or something.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:51:00

jammy I reckon she would have finished it yes...she's 4 and eats slowly.

Icelollycraving Fri 11-Jan-13 11:51:07

Odd. Not all children eat fish fingers & chicken nuggets. Is it because the prawn dish was more expensive? Perhaps she wanted to make sure they didn't take it,dislike it & then not enough for the shed people?

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:52:34

ice but as I said then the normal thing would be to ask me "Do they like prawns? Have they tried them?" or just to offer them a taste before giving them any.

Crinkle77 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:52:59


Does she see herself sitting in some sort of pecking order, below someone else, and therefore enjoys the chance to be 'superior' to people lower down than her, i.e. children?

Northernexile Fri 11-Jan-13 11:53:51

She's just greedy I think. Don't see why you shouldn't have given them a prawn either.

Doyouhearthepeoplesing Fri 11-Jan-13 11:54:24


gotthemoononastick Fri 11-Jan-13 11:54:30

wow!again what did you teach your girls?

Fakebook Fri 11-Jan-13 11:55:04

Sounds greedy to me. And strange. Does she eat a lot of food?

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:55:14

Got that prawns are not only for adults.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:55:44

Got oh...and that not ALL adult talk sense or are to be obeyed.

WheelybodsDH Fri 11-Jan-13 11:56:06

YANBU, I would've asked parent first too make sure, and then given them a little bit to try, especially if there was plenty for everyone.....how are you supposed to teach them to share if adults won't share with them..

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:56:19

Fake yes she does eat a lot...

ThatBintAgain Fri 11-Jan-13 11:56:39

I guess she taught them that they aren't second class citizens?

StuntGirl Fri 11-Jan-13 11:56:50

I think she taught her girls that children are no less important than adults grin

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 11:57:11

wheely exactly! What kind of message is that for kids?

gotthemoononastick Fri 11-Jan-13 11:58:23

o.k,lesson learned then.

MumVsKids Fri 11-Jan-13 11:58:51

I'm allergic to prawns, so they're more than welcome to my share!!!! smile

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 11-Jan-13 11:58:56

I'd have given them two prawns each. Why shouldn't they be allowed a prawn. So she just gave them a bowl of rice and sauce?

TheProvincialLady Fri 11-Jan-13 11:59:26

Your daughters need to see you standing up for them. Your SIL needs to be told that she is not in charge of what your children eat (unless her own food at her own house - and if she's going to be stingy and ridiculous you just don't go there), and that it is NOT ok for her to take ANY food from your children, whether or not it is done in a 'jokey way. The onus is on you to stand up for your children. Tell her it is not on. Stop being a doormat.

SarahStratton Fri 11-Jan-13 11:59:35

Maybe she didn't think they would really eat it. Or perhaps she thought they'd feed them to the dog?

DuchessFanny Fri 11-Jan-13 11:59:51

MY step mother used to do this " let the grown ups go first, you can have what's left " except i was a married adult the last time she said that !

Fenton Fri 11-Jan-13 11:59:52

Having paid for it I would have said 'Oh, they eat everything and anything - trust me they won't waste it'

Which is possibly what her reasoning was?

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Fri 11-Jan-13 11:59:56

again what did you teach your girls?

That trying a variety of food is a good thing

Not to be scared to help themselves

Not to develop weird 'I can't eat that because... It's for grown ups ect' attitudes

Spuddybean Fri 11-Jan-13 12:00:16

i grew up with a lot of attitudes that children had different, always cheaper, food than adults. not with my parents tho, just all around us. we would go to bbq's and there would be chicken, steak and salmon for grown ups and cheap bangers and burgers for 'the kids'. i never liked them, so would always ask for one of the 'adult' designated foods and would get a 'don't be ridiculous' look. they would say to mum 'she doesn't really eat that does she?' and mum would say 'she eats whatever we eat'. to which there would be much huffing and muttering about waste of money etc. However, these were also the parents who would complain their children wouldn't go to restaurants and would never try anything new.

why do children deserve less? bizarre.

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 12:00:44

maybe she thought their googly eyes would scare them

My bil was a bit like this when the dses were little - he's one of those middle-aged-before-his-time people, and as they have no children of their own, he never really understood the boys when they were small.

We all went to my mum's for christmas one year, as as part of their contribution to the festivities, dsis and dbil brought a big game pie from a deli local to them, for dinner on Boxing Day. He was quite shocked when the dses wanted to try some, and even more shocked when my mum offered them seconds! I got the very clear impression that he thought that it was 'just for the grownups'.

It seems really mean to give a child just one prawn, and then to eat part of it for them, unless they had definitely finished, and then it is a bit unneccessary - I am sure there were enough prawns to go round without your dsis having to finish up people's leftovers (not that the prawn was a left over at that point, if I have read you correctly, MrsMushroom). It sounds to me like a clear case of the grownups getting the best stuff, and the children having to have the not so nice bits - which is what it was like when I grew up, and which I never thought was particularly fair.

I would also be tempted to have a quiet word with your dsis about the playful nicking of the dc's food. You don't have to tackle it head on - you could say that you know it is a joke when she does it, but that you are worried that the dc will imitate her in situations where it wouldn't be seen as a joke (because they don't have as good judgement as her, of course), and you are trying to teach them appropriate behaviour for social situations, and ask her to stop so as not to confuse the message you are trying to give them.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:03:23

Sarah there are no dogs here. Provincial but it's always so jokey...."Can I have a bite?" and with a tickle or whatever...it's just so OFTEN

Songbird Fri 11-Jan-13 12:03:57

Very bizarre, but top marks for thread title of the day!

Fakebook Fri 11-Jan-13 12:04:04

Well if she eats a lot, then that's why she did it. She's just plain old greedy. Poor children.

WorraLiberty Fri 11-Jan-13 12:04:17

Why do you dare not speak to her about how she treats your kids if you're unhappy about it?

Are you scared of her?

How will her behaviour change if you don't pull her up?

Narked Fri 11-Jan-13 12:04:53

Or you could keep with the 'jokey' tone and the next time she steals food from their plates say, 'Has Aunty x stolen your dinner again? Anyone would think she doesn't get food of her own! Let's get you some more...'

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:05:45

SDTG it's such a weird way to think isn't it! I don't think she'd take it very well but I might have to do it back to her if she keeps taking their food...I think I'll wait till she has something nice and then snap a bite out of it as I pass. grin

Fakebook Fri 11-Jan-13 12:06:24

You could put more food on your plate and pass bits and bobs over to your children as they eat so she can't pig out on everything before everyone.

PandaOnAPushBike Fri 11-Jan-13 12:06:58

got because I frigging paid for half of it! ANd even if I never, who is anyone to restrict my children's meals?

If you hadn't paid for it, the person who had would be quite within their rights to restrict your children's meals. He who pays the piper and all that.

That said, I was brought up with this attitude of adults getting dibs on the best food and the kids getting what is left and I hated it. So as you had paid for half I fully support you making sure you're kids got prawns too and would have done exactly the same in your position.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:01

worra I am a bit scared of her actually! She's quite brash but with not much sense of humour. Narked I'll try that maybe.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:01

Panda but what kind of host would they be? Not one I would allow my DC to eat with that's for sure. I think thats awful.

TotallyBS Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:33

I have a relation who is a bit greedy. If we are eating Chinese or Indian we share. When we get down to the last bit of a dish she will say something 'funny' like 'dibs' and spear the last dumpling for example. Last time round I made a 'joke' about how she must have missed breakfast. It just went woosh over her head. She is ok otherwise so it doesn't bother me.

As a side note, we normally make sure the children have the best bits if it is just us.

Songbird Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:50

Or you could keep with the 'jokey' tone and the next time she steals food from their plates say, 'Has Aunty x stolen your dinner again? Anyone would think she doesn't get food of her own! Let's get you some more...'

^this - perfect!

shallweshop Fri 11-Jan-13 12:09:01

Spuddybean - totally agree with you and have had similar experiences both as a child and as a mum. I remember once going to my Aunt's house and being given beans on toast in the kitchen with my sister and cousins whilst my mum and dad sat with aunt and uncle in their posh dining room having a 3 course meal. My poor mum was mortified!

My two are very open to trying all sorts of food and when we have been places where there has been separate 'kids' food, they are far more likely to come to us to share ours.

WelshMaenad Fri 11-Jan-13 12:10:03

If someone tried to steal food off my kids plates I would stab their hands with a fork.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:11:56

Shall the same here...ours never want kids menu things unless they're smaller portions of the main menu....they don't want nuggets and chips if there's fish or a good pasta dish on offer.

My sil piles her ds's plate up high with all the tastiest morsels, which he then completely ignores. always, every single time there is a communal meal. 6 chunks of chicken, he gets two, everyone else gets one or none, then they congeal on his plate. that really bugs me, although totally not the same situation as the OP granted

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:12:38

Welsh it' funny...you get a bit lion about it don't you? I wasn't quick enough to preserve DDS prawn sadly.

Shallweshop - it always used to annoy us when we went out to eat with the dses, and the children's menu was chicken nuggets and chips, pizza and chips, burger or chips or fish fingers and chips, whilst the proper menu had much more interesting things on it.

I did get that there were some things that you couldn't easily or economically offer in children's portions, but equally there were usually at least some things that could have been offered as a half portion, so that there was more choice for the children. We used to buy one adult portion and share it between them - as long as they agreed on what they'd like.

shallweshop Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:25

Panda - why on earth would she have the right to restrict the children's meals because she paid for it?? Would you extend that to include the adults too? If you take it upon yourself to pay for a meal for people, it doesn't give you the right to dictate who has what.

ouryve Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:45

MrsMushroom - she sounds greedy and controlling. And a bit of a bully.

cozietoesie Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:58

I always give the youngsters first choice (if I think there's a reasonable chance of them eating it - otherwise they'll get a small bit to try at first.) After all, I can go and eat prawns for the whole month if I can afford them and want them. They can't.


Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jan-13 12:15:07

I know people who would think like this too, that the children somehow don't "deserve" to have the good food - that it's wasted on them and should be left for the complainer, usually

My DH is also one who would try and have a bit of any of DS's food if I didn't intervene and tell him to back off. When DS was really little, he was only allowed one half of a Kinder egg at a time - DH ate the other half once and has never done it since because of the outcry. He didn't ask, either. DH is like this though - if I get a snack of any kind, he'll say "oh can I have a bit?" just because it's there. It's like having a labrador in human clothing.

peeriebear Fri 11-Jan-13 12:16:16

Wait until she has a plate of food then take a big forkful of the nicest bit. When she screeches in indignation say "Not much fun when some arsehole steals your food is it? Stop doing it to my kids!"

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:17:36

Thumb how annoying! My DH is a bit like that too....but he waits until the person has left the table and then asks if they've finished. He wouldn't DARE ask for my chocolate/

peeriebear Fri 11-Jan-13 12:20:06

Thumbwitch, DH used to be like that! He'd bring in a sandwich for the DDs with a bite out of it, or three out of four half-slices of toast. I had to point out to him that he was sending a clear message of "what's yours is mine" to the DDs. He was embarrassed and hasn't done it since. He does still cast covetous eyes over my food if it's different to his though bloody human labrador.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 11-Jan-13 12:20:23

*Or you could keep with the 'jokey' tone and the next time she steals food from their plates say, 'Has Aunty x stolen your dinner again? Anyone would think she doesn't get food of her own! Let's get you some more...'

No not this, passive aggressive bullshit.

Just say stop interfering with their dinner and that's an end of it.

As for the prawns maybe they'd been ordered with someone in mind who was still in the shed and she was wanting to make sure everyone got the chance of some? Or maybe she didn't think they'd like them? Whatever the reason it's really not worth worrying about and if it does cause you so much stress then pull her up on it. This seething for ages afterwards really isn't healthy.

Pigsmummy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:20:43

Yanbu but maybe when she grew up the parents got proper food whilst the children ate something else, it happens a lot, I remember my friends Mum doing fillet steak for her and hubby then gave the children fish fingers and beans. Just keep giving your children nice food and when SIL is around say that the children want to eat the same foods as you but in a smaller quantity.

Her taking half a biscuit isn't a big deal, it's odd though. It will teach your lo's to share, rather than letting your lo's miss out give them a replacement when SIL gets her hands on the treat? Try not to worry about it too much as your lo's will pick up on any tension and as they are good eaters they will be fine.

Laughing at her a bit (not in an unfriendly way) might help? Ask if she hasn't eaten for a week? Or some sort of quip that might make her think about her (odd) behaviour.

PandaOnAPushBike Fri 11-Jan-13 12:21:30

Panda - why on earth would she have the right to restrict the children's meals because she paid for it?? Would you extend that to include the adults too? If you take it upon yourself to pay for a meal for people, it doesn't give you the right to dictate who has what.

I didn't say I agree with it. But the fact of the matter is, if someone else pays for something, ultimately it's up to them what happens with it. Obviously a polite and gracious host wouldn't take the line of 'I paid, I decide what you have'. But if they do, all you can do is make other arrangements in future because ultimately you don't have to the right to something someone else has bought and paid for.

Sirzy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:21:36

I hate this idea of "children food" DS is 3 but has always eaten what we eat. Going out the children's menus are often full of cheap rubbish which DS would hate! I love places with a proper children's menu

Spuddybean Fri 11-Jan-13 12:23:05

Macaroni - we have a similar thing with my neices. dsis is very wasteful and obsessed with her girls having evrything so when we put a buffet style out sis will fill 2 plates with everything. the dd's never even touch it then she whisks it away and chucks it all in the bin.

last time i cooked a whole chicken and jointed it, she took both whole breasts (portioned into 3 pieces each so we could ALL have a piece of light and dark meat) then the 4 of us had one thigh or leg each and she threw all of the chicken in the bin because they wouldn't even try it. shock

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 12:23:45

Panda no that's just really odd! If I buy a meal for friends, I wouldn't tell them which bits they shouldn't eat! And if I did, I would think they'd be leaving pretty swiftly.

gotthemoononastick Fri 11-Jan-13 12:25:15

quite cheered up by all the solutions...laughing here.Macaroni and walnut,this happened to us a lot over the festive season(different families),but we were so grateful to have young people visiting at all,that we ignored it.Foxes were the overall winners!!(controversial,I know)

pigletmania Fri 11-Jan-13 12:26:26

I would have to say something that is not on

Pigsmummy - I don't think that the dds will be learning to share by having their auntie nick half their biscuit - they will be learning that it is OK to nick other people's food if you are bigger than them, if you see what I mean.

PandaOnAPushBike Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:06

Panda no that's just really odd! If I buy a meal for friends, I wouldn't tell them which bits they shouldn't eat! And if I did, I would think they'd be leaving pretty swiftly.

I wouldn't either and would think someone who did extremely strange. But if they did, there's nothing I could do about it other than paying for myself or finding different friends. Because ultimately if someone is strange like that, there's not a lot else you can do as it's their money.

Spuddybean - what would your dsis do if you dished up everyone's meals, making sure everyone had a bit of everything (too many everys there, but you see what I mean)? Or if you said to her "No, please don't take all the X for your girls - leave some for the rest of us. And maybe just give them a bit less, because they always seem to leave it, and it is wasteful. We will make sure that there is enough left for seconds, so they won't miss out if they do want some more"?

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:30:30

Got I must say, I am intrigued by your first response 'what do you think you've taught your children'

What on earth do you think the OP has taught her children and why is it bad?

FWIW OP, I fucking hate greedy adults who nick children's food and give them cheaper or less tastier shit for no reason other than the fact that they're children.

Tight fucking bastards! You just need to directly say to her next time you see her stealing food from them, 'don't take stuff off their plates unless they're finished and they don't want it'

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:31:05

less tastier food for no shit reason

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:33:07

Panda in reality, I bet that probably doesn't happen often. Pointing out hypothetical allowances that should be made has no bearing on this situation at all. Very few people would treat others to a takeaway and then not let them choose what they want.

pigletmania Fri 11-Jan-13 12:33:25

That is great songbird, I am usually mild mannered but if it concerns dcs I have to stick up to them. Do it in a jokey wy in this instance

Finallygotaroundtoit Fri 11-Jan-13 12:35:06

Someone posted about our primitive instincts as mothers to protect our DCs.

I wonder if this behaviour comes under the 'pack' hierarchy at meal times i.e you get food according to your ranking in the pack.

Alpha males get first pickings then dominant females (who will look after their young) and 'lower ranks' gets what's left.

Perhaps by stealing your dc's food, SIL is literally putting them in their place - below her grin

Do your best lioness roar when she does it again wink

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jan-13 12:35:46

Spuddybean - your sister needs to be told shock. Really, how dare she throw your food away in that manner! In future, I wouldn't let her help herself but give everyone plates already made up, including her DDs.

Jinkjude Fri 11-Jan-13 12:36:10

This is probably an old fashioned northern view, but I remember asking my SIL what her kids wanted from the chip shop one Saturday lunchtime. They were 7 and 4 at time and she replied 'a fish each, they only eat fish'.

I grumbled all the way there to myself...Fish? what about a fishcake? no chips? they're kids? Anyroad, of course I got them back and they tucked into everything, especially the chips.

Tee2072 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:37:02

I hate the attitude that chidlren aren't people with their own likes and dislikes.

My mom does this to my son 'he isn't going to eat all that' she says absolutely positively and takes some. Son then strops (rightly so, IMO) because he was going to eat all of that. Just friggin' ask the kid, FFS.

And I would have to say something to SIL about taking the kids' food.

gotthemoononastick Fri 11-Jan-13 12:37:26

Insurrection and anarchy,DamnBamboo....(can't make the grinning face!)

mum382013 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:37:29

you could try the" wtf are you doing?" in a really loud voice when she tries to take something. Ask her how she would feel if you did it to her

mum382013 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:39:10

jokey ways can be taken the wrong way and ignored. a loud wtf are you doing is not so easily glossed over

I've had to tell dh off for taking food from ds plate. Just cos he's a child doesn't mean he loses the right to eat his food in peace without fear of it being taken. I told him if ds took food off his plate he would rightly get cross so why would he do it to ds?
You need to stand up for your girl son that point and say something to her if she takes food from their plate.

Girl son? Or girls on that point

ChiefOwl Fri 11-Jan-13 12:43:05

We have had friends over for lunch before and did a buffet thing thinking it easier,dishing up and friend said "what are the children having?" and I replied oh we're all eating this. She looked horrified but my children eat whatever we eat. Hers ended up having a piece of toast ...sigh...

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:43:42

You asked the wrong question jink

If you didn't want to fork out the dosh for fish, then you should have said, 'right, who's having fishcake and chips then'

Having said that, it may have been cheaper, but it may also have been wasted.

Why did this make you grumble?

chocoluvva Fri 11-Jan-13 12:44:49

Whose home were you in?

shallweshop Fri 11-Jan-13 12:47:24

Reading some of the replies, I am feeling a bit blush at the number of times I have nicked a chip off the DC's plates now. Won't do it ever again ...

OhTheConfusion Fri 11-Jan-13 12:48:53

There is not excuse for her behaviour. I know my DC's can polish off a plate of prawns no problem... and they are somwthing they all look forward to.

We only tend to eat out in places where the childrens portions are 'real food' and not cheap, nasty alternatives. We USED to have freinds who whenever they came to our for the weekend they would bring nothing but the usual rules of 'if you can find it you can eat it' applied. They would encourage their DC's (who were really fussy and poor eaters) to try EVERYTHING, they result being it went in the bin and they put in a pizza instead. When we went to their home for the weekend I would turn up with a few bags of nice food and wine... yet with every meal our DC's were told 'thats adult food' (including the food I brought) and the final straw was when the adults and hosts DC's were offered french toast with nutella and banana for for brunch... our DC's were offered TOAST!

We left there and then and took the DC's out for pancakes and bacongrin

trikken Fri 11-Jan-13 12:49:55

kids get what we get. its only ok to eat their food if they have actually finished so you dont have to waste it, otherwise its just unfair. my step dad did this to dd so I pulled him up on it and so hopefully he wont do it again

Jinkjude Fri 11-Jan-13 12:51:19

I grumbled as it was wasted on them. They didn't care either way left loads. Thank god I didn't get them one to share.

I did think it was extravagant also if I'm honest, but that's probably a throwback to my childhood where take aways were rare. They're older now and still get adult portions, with all the complications that brings.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 11-Jan-13 12:51:30

Is playfully pinching a child's biscuit or a crisp really so bad as a one off as long as there is more available? I guess it depends on the manner and context in which it is done. I suppose it does perhaps teach them that you can pinch food from people if you are bigger than them, or teach them bad habits, but I've always just thought of it as being a bit of harmless fun. I think it would be a very mean thing to do if there wasn't more available for them. It does sound like your sister is just being a greedy piglet though.

The prawn incident is very odd. I can understand if she'd said, "don't take too many prawns, save some for everyone" but to say the prawns should be saved for the adults is very strange - you'd think she would be pleased that her nieces are happy to eat a good variety of food. Perhaps you should ask her which food she deems as 'adult food' and 'child food.' hmm

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:51:36

Ohthe that is so fucking rude.

I would have done exactly the same thing.

It's interesting reading some of the threads today. I look at the OP and think, for fuck sake, just tell the person who's causing you issues that they're being tight/rude/cheap/dismissive etc.. and be done with it.

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:53:57

The fish is wasted on them?
Do you mean they wasted the fish or that being kids, the fish is wasted on them because they're kids. I'm confused.

Battered fish ain't extravagant!

oldraver Fri 11-Jan-13 12:54:53

I also have an OH who used to try and knick stuff of DS's plate or if he had sweets would get miffed if DS didn't 'share' so would then try and get him to give him some.

He got short shrift off me.... I explained that once food was on DS's plate it was his and he shouldn't have to give it up, share or have it knicked. I too think it sends out the message 'I am bigger/more important than and I will take what I want'. Luckily OH got it and saw how unfair he was. I think he came from a background where it had been excepted.

Whicever way you do it you need to put a stop to it OP....my late DH came form a large family and his older brothers would regularily do the "ooh look over there" and pinch his food (which was scarse anyway) and it did bother him

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jan-13 12:55:24

Re. nicking a chip of DS's plate - I will do this. But I always ask him first. If he says no, fair enough - I'll wait until he's eaten his fill (BIG portions of chips given out here in Australia) and then ask again. He usually lets me have some by then smile Chips are a bit different though, when there's loads - if he only had 6 and I wanted one, that would be unreasonable, IMO.

5madthings Fri 11-Jan-13 12:55:35

Yanbu its rude and I dint get ythis whole kids having different food, our just eat what we eat!

PandaOnAPushBike Fri 11-Jan-13 12:58:12

Panda in reality, I bet that probably doesn't happen often. Pointing out hypothetical allowances that should be made has no bearing on this situation at all. Very few people would treat others to a takeaway and then not let them choose what they want.

Except it does happen quite frequently with regards to children, as many posters in this thread have said. So it does have a bearing on this situation.

Jinkjude Fri 11-Jan-13 12:58:30

Sorry DB I'm not making myself clear. They wasted the food as there was too much. Nothings off limits food wise.

shallweshop Fri 11-Jan-13 13:01:53

Thumb - yes, I normally ask first, though i am sure there have been times when I have just snuck one without asking thinking that hey probably wouldn't eat them all anyway. It has certainly made me think and in future I will certainly ask first or wait until I am sure they have finished before I help myself.

RuleBritannia Fri 11-Jan-13 13:02:26

I went to a very small wedding reception once with only sixteen people present. The children were en route to have chicken nuggets and can't-remember- what while they were to watch the adults having roast lamb, roast potatoes etc. One mother refused to have the difference and her three finished up with the same as the adults. I couldn't believe that the youngsters had chicken nuggets aimed at them with the adults having a lovaly roast. I silently agreed with the mother.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 11-Jan-13 13:06:22

I should have said that pinching the prawn from her plate, before she has finished, is absolutely awful!

oldraver Fri 11-Jan-13 13:08:36

I think with (chip) knicking..... its how you do it isnt it..... I certainly think the poster who mentioned pack mentality and pecking order had a point. I think in the beginning my OH was making a point, though I dont think he realised why he was. He comes from a very poor background and is the eldest of a few boys... he was the one that went out from a young age with his Dad shooting and fishing poaching for food, so I think there is some subconcious feelings there. He was mortified when I had a discussion with him.

OTOH...On the occasion we treat ourselves to Fillet... I get a steak cut to our preference for OH and I and I ask for one from the smaller end for DS (he doesn't eat as much as us) and I always used to get raised eyebrows at first and usually followed by a "its nice to see chidren enjoying their food" comment

Is playfully pinching a child's biscuit or a crisp really so bad as a one off as long as there is more available?

Umm, if someone did that to me, I'd be cross. If there's more food available, the "joker" can go and get their own without nicking mine. If it happened to the kids, I'd feel exactly the same.

BiddyPop Fri 11-Jan-13 13:16:22

DD can astonish some people with her range of foods - we have photos of her sitting in the back garden at age 2ish, eating a bowl full of mussels still in their shells. Then we go through periods when she will hardly eat a thing, including formerly well-loved favourites.

So I would tend to be led by her a certain amount in what to put on her plate (this week, she is eating plain pasta with no sauce - tomato was ruled out from the get-go, while pesto was tried and binned - but wants lots of parmesan grated over it and is accepting cooked mushrooms on top as well - but as long as she is EATING and reasonably healthy food, I can deal with that).

When we go to restaurants, DD sometimes wants the rubbish kids menu. But more often actually wants some fish dish (yay!!) or some other thing that is on the "grown-up" menu. I am always happy to oblige as long as she will eat it (and she generally does), and as DH and I have a habit of tasting each others plates when we're out, she often does too and may end up taking more if she loves it (I find portions are often so generous that's not an issue - and the loser may take more of hers to compensate too).

I presume in this instance, the SIL had actually considered and bought food for the kids, and wasn't expecting them just to eat plain rice. But then again, some people DO still see things like prawns etc as exotic and not to be "wasted" on kids. (Meanwhile, there is 1 family gathering we have to attend a few times a year where the host gets it catered - 3 different salads which are not really kid friendly (leaves, brocolli and feta, and potato with onion in it) and salmon (with prawns and crab claw garnish) during the year or ham at Christmas. DD ends up scrounging cherry tomatoes from garnishes and having some salmon and prawns mostly (and as she's not a meat eater really, fills up on bread at Christmas!) - so sometimes it can work the opposite way).

My DCs eat the same as DP and I, I am not going to all the trouble of cooking separate meals. And in any case, if kids are fed rubbish, how on earth are they ever going to try new things?

We do have a couple of local restaurants with a reasonable children's menu. DD is no big enough that she can manage most of an adult portion, so does often choose from the adult menu. DS is younger, but at one place where there's a buy one get one free on all adult meals, we've often let him choose an adult meal to try, as there's 4 of us and his meal will be free.

They like an interesting range of food.

oldraver Fri 11-Jan-13 13:20:35

I went to a restaurant last year that on seeing DS said "we dont have a childs menu but will do a half version of anything (apart from a couple of things like steak) on our menu....

3littlefrogs Fri 11-Jan-13 13:22:21

I hate the whole children's menu thing. It just encourages poor eating habits. Children should have the opportunity to try new foods.
If you were paying for your share of course your DC should have been allowed to have some prawns.

Startail Fri 11-Jan-13 13:26:06

Once upon a very long ago, I organised a party for DDs 2 birthday and invited two three year old girls.

There was prawn vol-a-vonts, smoked salmon, ham and bread rolls.

The adults got ham and vol-a-vont cases grin

Never again did I assume, that DCs can be relied on not to eat "adult" food.

DD2 doesn't, but DD1 and her partners in crime did then and as teenages still do.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 11-Jan-13 13:28:57

It does irritate me that restaurants and pubs generally only have a children's menu which consists of processed rubbish with chips. It irritates me and I haven't got children yet. Why can't places serve small portions of their normal menus, obviously with some exceptions.

I guess things like tapas are good because it means they can easily try bits of everything.

MrsMushroom Fri 11-Jan-13 13:28:58

3frogs* even if I weren't paying my share they should have some. If a group are eating together it's civilized for all to share.

BabsAndTheRu Fri 11-Jan-13 13:29:11

That is really strange behaviour from your SIL. Would she steal food from an adult. It's really bad manners, quite bullying behaviour. I'm so angry for you, hate people stealing of my plate.

oldraver Fri 11-Jan-13 13:30:01

I know I'm safe when prawns are around as DS doesn't like them more for me , he prefers fish fingers.

A whiff of steak or duck and he comes running grin

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jan-13 13:30:55

I agree 3littlefrogs. DS1 has always had starters off the main menu, or shared what we've had; I've never bothered with the children's menu unless it has similar food to the main.

DH and I went out to a nice French restaurant for our anniversary this year - a family party came in, several adults and 2 children. The adults had a wide range of meals - the children had a plate of chips each. I'm sure there may have been many reasons why that's all they had, but it stil seemedl a bit sad to me - no effort was made to try or offer them anything else either.

CarlingBlackMabel Fri 11-Jan-13 13:33:10

Oldraver - re the half portions, isn't that because they can't be cutting their full sized steaks in half, rather than them thinking that children have no business eating steak in principle?

There is another side to all this.

My SIL constantly allows her DC to pile their plates with more than their fair share of the delicacies, and then they leave them. Or she lets them grab things which they then take one bite from and discard and then do that with the next thing. We ordered a couple of plates of expensive calamari to share as a starter while we were waiting for other peope to arrive - there would probably have been one piece for each peson round the table, but her kids put about 4 on their plates, And then didn't eat all of it.

Even when not allowed to do that children are naturally less able to judge what is a fair share, and to be careful with the small, expensive portions, so maybe need tactful encouraging supervising.

But of course in general it is horrible to have a pack dog system and leave children with the scraps, and we have never done that.

scarletforya Fri 11-Jan-13 13:35:05

Possibly just a generational thing? When I was a kid it was the norm that kids would wait until after the adults to talk/eat etc. We (kids) didn't think twice about it. It was just how it was.

However it should be explained to your SIL that things have changed and kids have equal rights now!

zipzap Fri 11-Jan-13 13:38:20

I would be teaching your kids to start taking the choicest morsels off your sil's plate if she takes stuff off their plate again. And if she complains, just say that you've told them that if people take stuff off their plate then that means they are allowed to take stuff off that person's plate; fair's fair after all.

Likewise if she keeps taking your dd's biscuits then either teach her to say 'no stealing my food auntie' or for her to take her aunt's biscuits. And ask your sil if she thinks you feed your kids too much or is there some other reason she keeps pinching your dc's food?!?

BabsAndTheRu Fri 11-Jan-13 13:44:05

Good one zipzap.

The thing is, there are so many people who don't realise that children can and do like the foods that some would consider "adult".

When DD was about a year old (our first DC), we went out for the day. Lunch time, we didn't bother buying any food for DD, just two main course meals for DP and I. We sat DD in a high chair between us and put some of the "adult" food on a small plate for her and she ate the lot. And people at a nearby table complimented her as if it was so unusual to see a child eating this kind of food. I remember being a bit hmm over it.

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 13:53:09

IF stealing food from someone else's plate is unacceptable, for christ sake don't teach your kids to do that!

Either tell her yourself directly not to do it, or tell the children to tell her.

oldraver Fri 11-Jan-13 14:08:12

Carling....yes... I didnt say but the lady did go on to say thats....the steak comes as well as steak so he would have to of had what is considered an adult portion. It was an Italian restaurant that did a few other cuisines so lent itself well to half portions

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 11-Jan-13 14:17:24

My Sil is funny about kids and food. When we go out to eat at restaurants for a special family meal she gets really narked when my DS age 7 asks for something from the adult menu.

He loves smoked salmon or mussels as a starter if its available but she will keep going on about what's on the kids menu and makes comments about him not needing a starter.

Her DCs have always been really fussy eaters and even now at 13 and 16 will only eat from the kids menu.

The other thing she does is bring toys and colouring books for my DCs because she refuses to believe that it is entirely possible for a 4 and 7 year old to sit at a table for an hour without them.

Sirzy Fri 11-Jan-13 14:20:46

A 16 year old still eating off the childs menu? I find that odd unless it is just for the smaller portion sizes. I am a fussy eater but even I can find something to eat most of the time.

I think the taking colouring books and things is nice, even with the best behaved children it does no harm to have something just incase!

why would she assume they would want a bowl.of.plain rice?!

she seems either think or rude.

fwiw, dd gets a bit of whatever we have even at one yo.

pingu2209 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:29:24

I know people who do this, they prepare expensive decent food for adults and bung a few chips and nuggets in the oven for children.

Why shouldn't children get to eat decent food too?

Greensleeves Fri 11-Jan-13 14:32:16

My MIL is a bit like this, she likes to do a lovely posh dinner with smoked salmon starter and fillet steak main (although she sometimes serves steak for the men and salmon for the women, but that's another thread)

her face was a picture when I sat ds1 in his high chair and gave him bits of my smoked salmon

she is lovely in many ways, she just has odd attitudes

I don't mind her bringing pens and paper etc to entertain kids in a restaurant, in fact I find it very thoughtful of her and the kids love it <shrug>

Yfronts Fri 11-Jan-13 14:37:23

Just light heartedly but firmly say 'oh no, don't be silly the kids are having the nice too too' and then just serve them. Maybe sit between her and the kids so if she dives for thier food, you can jokingly slap her hand away. IOr just tell her to stop it as your kids need to eat the food they have.

BonaDea Fri 11-Jan-13 14:38:59

got are you suggesting it was right that the children be given a bowl of plain rice each while the adults tucked into a delicious meal?


thegreylady Fri 11-Jan-13 14:52:47

Gosh I was brought up that children got the best of everything and adults made do [honestly].
I grew up in the late 40s and was given everyone's butter and sugar ration,the best bits of meat and fish etc.
I tended to do the same for my dc [not butter and sugar]-chicken breast,leanest steak,pick of fruit and veg.

pingu2209 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:53:51

I'm having a couple over with their 2 children in a few weeks. I said that I would do a beef wellington for the adults and something else for the children. Firstly because they will sit and eat at a different time to us, as our table isn't big enough to sit 4 adults and 5 children.

This has really made me think twice.

I wouldn't have given the children chips and nuggets etc I would have cooked a proper home cooked meal such as a cottage pie etc.

However, I guess the real reason is I don't want to buy fillet steak for the beef wellington and have enough for 9. I know that there is a high likelihood that the 5 children will perhaps eat the meat, but not the pastry, or vice versa, or perhas not eat any of it at all. As I am paying for it, I would rather make it for 4 that I am guaranteed will like it.

Is this bad of me? I think I need a rethink.

Hulababy Fri 11-Jan-13 14:59:20

How odd. I think you just need to tell you SIL straight - they like it, let them have it.
I think it's fine to restrict the amount they have if it is being shared between several people, or they are likely to waste it, but not to say no, its not for you.

I do sometimes cook "lesser" versions for children but that depends on the children visiting. DD will eat most things, one or two of her friends are more fussy. If less fussy eaters are coming, they just get the same.

DD is 10y and often eats from the adult menu, has done more and more over recent years. This is because she enjoys the options and isn't interested in nuggets and chips, fish fingers and chips or plain tomato pasta so much. She'd rather have proper chicken, a decent cut of fish or a more tastier pasta dish for example. Went out at the weekend last Sunday and in the end DD's main dish was the dearest dish of the 4 people there. But she ate it, enjoyed it, didn't waste any...so it was not a waste of money imo. She didn't chose it because it was dearer, she just looked at the description of the dish and chose accordingly. as did each adult there. Likewise if we go to the fish and chip shop for tea - she usually has fish, she prefers it to the fishcake which is often more potato than fish. Where possible we will get a small one, or I will share with DD as our local chippy has huge fish so there is plenty for two. But I don't say no fish to her.

Now if restaurants, etc scraped child menus and just offered small and regular sized meals it would be far better imo.

Katiepoes Fri 11-Jan-13 15:03:13

My almost-three year old will happily eat sushi with me tonight, it's our Friday treat. No way would she let a pile of prawns go by, and any food pinchers beware, she's quite capable of letting a yell out at any trespassing hands.

My parents never did the kids food thing themselves, but it was pretty common when I grew up, we always hated it. Especially when about 10 years old and you fancy yourself as a sophisticated young lady - I remember my Mam's evil friend snatching a basket of garlic bread from in front of me because 'kids don't like garlic'. My Mam did not say a word, I was furious with her. It's very bad of me I know but I am to this day delighted that said friend's three children are now picky adults that eat hardly anything but cheese sandwiches.

Bobyan Fri 11-Jan-13 15:03:33

There was a cousin of mine who once tried to steal another cousin's (age 5) sausage.
She turned to the potential thief and shouted "Fuck off you cunt".

25 years later we are still talking about it.

I'm sure that would stop your Sil...

Katiepoes Fri 11-Jan-13 15:05:11

Forgot to say - try finding a kids menu in France or Spain or Italy...your SIL is BU, you are most certainly not.

MarmaladeSkies Fri 11-Jan-13 15:08:13

Could you give the chicken children wellington perhaps? I don't like the idea of 'adult food' and 'childrens' food' but I wouldn't want to spend a fortune on fillet if it was likely they'd leave most of it.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 11-Jan-13 15:08:29

gotthemoononastick she taught her daughters that they are just as entitled to a prawn as adults and that they are not second class citizens who are not entitled to eat anything nice!

Well done OP, I hate adults who treat children like this and act like adults are kings among men who deserve better treatment simply because they are older. No reason why children can't have a prawn if they like them and I'd say something to her about the food stealing too - would she like it if one of your DDs stole her biscuit?!

MarmaladeSkies Fri 11-Jan-13 15:08:54

That was for Pingu btw.

They could have chicken,cheese and ham wellingtons.

Hulababy Fri 11-Jan-13 15:10:17

There are loads of kids menus in France and Spain ime, and even more restricted than in UK ime - steak hache being the main thing occurring everywhere! Children's meals were not just restricted to touristy places either.

pingu2209 Fri 11-Jan-13 15:10:19

I think it will be the mushroom pate the children don't like.

Peacocklady Fri 11-Jan-13 15:10:25

Sounds like she wanted more for herself and if she'd apportioned the girls some from the beginning it would have mean less for her.
she ended up eating theirs anyway, she sounds like she's just a bit greedy rather than over-thinking about pecking order etc!

or just message and say "doing beef welly, eill the kids have that too or wpuld they rather have cottage pie?"

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 11-Jan-13 15:15:03

Pingu - there is a recipe on the BBCGoodFood website for a wellington made with mince beef which gets great reviews as a family meal and may be good for the children. I keep meaning to cook it for me and DH.

I too would hate to spend all that money on fillet steak unless I knew the children would eat it. Alternatively you could have a word with your friends and see if they think beef wellington is something their children will eat.

MarmaladeSkies Fri 11-Jan-13 15:15:52

Minced beef wellington sounds ideal.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 11-Jan-13 15:16:03

x-post GoldPlated

NewYearNewNagoo Fri 11-Jan-13 15:22:10

Normally I'm all for the children eating the same as the adults but I'm having fillet steak with DH tonight and the DC are having friends over for fish fingers and chips grin [hypocrite]

It's date night for us [excuse]

I do think that children should be encouraged to eat as widely as possible but when it's someone else's child I usually default to fish fingers, because I know they will happily eat it.

Your SIL is rude. you ought to practise your forking response wink

BonaDea Fri 11-Jan-13 15:54:01

My grandma used to make what I suppose was a minced beef wellington (it was called "mince pie" in our house) as a wonderful family meal on a Sunday for - usually - 5 adults and 5 kids. It was deeeelish and makes me think of very happy times.

marmalade I can only assume you didn't mean to suggest that the chicken is fed "children wellington" ??? wink

God, I used to hate it when adults pinched my food - worse still was when they asked for "just a taste, oh go on, don't be so mean, I only want a nibble, I won't take a big bite, I promise" and then when I reluctantly offered it up, take a massive great chomp. Really upset me, made me feel like a mug and taken advantage of, especially as I wasn't allowed "treat" food very often but I knew perfectly well that as adults, they could help themselves to whatever they wanted! My dad was the worst offender... I think it was less greed on his part, than a misguided attempt to teach me to be generous hmm

OP please stop your SIL doing this!

Spuddybean Fri 11-Jan-13 16:31:32

Spuddybean - what would your dsis do if you dished up everyone's meals, making sure everyone had a bit of everything (too many everys there, but you see what I mean)? Or if you said to her "No, please don't take all the X for your girls - leave some for the rest of us. And maybe just give them a bit less, because they always seem to leave it, and it is wasteful. We will make sure that there is enough left for seconds, so they won't miss out if they do want some more"?

We see them rarely and usually when we do there are loads of us, so dishing up is not really doable. She has been asked to give them less but says no, they are massive eaters and always eat everything. I don't know where she gets that idea from as they are rakes and never eat a thing. At mums the other day she asked if she could make them some pasta and tuna, mum said yes and went upstairs for a bath. When mum came down the 2kg jar of pasta was empty and the bin was full of pasta, about 4 tins worth of tuna and 2 jars worth of sauce was also in the bin. Sis had cooked up all the pasta and tuna mum had in the house, the girls ate about 3 mouthfuls each then she binned the lot. Mum was angry and challenged her. Sis rolled her eyes and said 'it's only pasta'. They are wasteful people, they turn every light on, even garden ones all day, they leave taps running. If we go out she girls have about 10 different expensive drinks untouched in front of them. They are told they don't have to say thank you or please etc. Sorry to rant - but it boils my piss.

5madthings Fri 11-Jan-13 16:34:21

new year I think that's a bit different, every now and then dp and I give the kids an 'easy dinner' is fish fingers etc and then once they are in bed we have a special meal, like you say 'date night'. To sit down and eat with the children and give them fish fingers whilst you best steak wouldn't be nice but if they are non the wiser and its a treat for you and dh its different.

It would boil mine too, Spuddybean! A kilo of pasta, two tins of tuna and a jar of sauce PER CHILD??? I have teenage bottomless pits sons, and they wouldn't eat that much!

Anniegetyourgun Fri 11-Jan-13 16:52:09

It may have been "only" pasta (and tuna, and sauce), but someone paid good money for that and now will have to pay again. How incredibly thoughtless.

Now I understand that news report about some massive proportion of food that goes to waste every year. Spuddybean's DSis is single-handedly doubling the national average.

Spuddybean Fri 11-Jan-13 16:59:15

I know SDTG it is conspicuous consumption for the sake of it. sis also tells everyone how much the girls clothes are etc and they rarely wear the same thing twice. they are in massive debt and earn very little. Sis seems to have an enormous chip on her shoulder about her self worth and confuses spending money with love. She uses it to prove to herself that they 'deserve' things and are as good as everyone else - same with manners. she sees them as being deferential rather than nice or polite. It's very sad really. She knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

peeriebear Fri 11-Jan-13 17:04:44

Spuddybean, I want to kick your Sis in the clopper. I'm amazed at your restraint at not visiting physical harm upon her.

Spuddybean Fri 11-Jan-13 17:06:29

It's not about the money tho Annie, it is the ugly disposability of everything attitude which makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. At their birthdays last month, she encouraged the girls to tear thru presents, discarding them on the floor, not knowing who they were from, not thanking anyone. Amongst the leftover shredded wrapping paper were notes of money where cards had been ripped open in a frenzy. i thought i was going to vomit.

If I want a chip off someone else's plate, I ask, and if they say yes, I take one. Really doesn't matter how old the other person is, does it? And if my children want a chip off someone elses's plate, they ask, etc.

OP, I think you should do what SDTG suggested - tell your SIL that she is teaching your children that it is ok to nick other people's food. Ask how she would feel if she were eating a biscuit and your child came over, grabbed it out of her hand, ate it, and then laughed and said it was a joke? (Obv if she says she would be fine with that, you must take care to do it yourself at every opportunity!).

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 11-Jan-13 19:09:58

Yes Sirzy I probably am being a bit touchy about the colouring stuff but she does it in a sort of " oh I knew you would forget and arn't I wonderful for remembering " kind of way. The fact is that I don't agree with play things at the dinner table so I don't bring them to restaurants.

Her DDs really are fussy and are the typical nugget and chips only kind of children. They once came to Sunday lunch and my Sil phoned about an hour before to ask what I as doing for her children ( they were 5 and 8 at the time) I said that we were all having roast chicken. She then told me that the girls don't eat roast dinners and could I do something more child friendly. I didn't have kids then so didn't have anything in so she took them to Macdonalds on the way!

So I'm not surprised that her 16 year old still wants the kids menu!

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 11-Jan-13 19:22:03

My in-laws are both food-stealers. MIL will say "oh I'm not really hungry" and then pick just one thing from the table and have all of it. Like olives. Both my children love olives. When we go out for meals she won't order her own chips or dessert, but is expecting to snaffle other peoples'. She doesn't do this with me now. I don't share food (like Joey).

FIL takes stuff from plates if you don't seem to be eating it quickly enough. Husband says growing up he learned to eat the "best bits" first rather than leaving them until the end because his dad would have it.

Molehillmountain Fri 11-Jan-13 19:25:17

Yanbu. We have friends who invite us over for tea and cake and although the children are eating at the same time as the adults, they are only allowed the "children's" cakes which are not as nice as the "adults" ones. My children asked nicely the first time we went if they could have one of the others and got short shrift. I don't think children should get to rule the roost, be noisy or unruly, eat all of the nice food or generally mean that the adults can't have a decent time too. But how are they to learn how to interact socially in food based activities if they are excluded from large parts of them.

ToomuchWaternotWine Fri 11-Jan-13 20:08:21

OP I would simply say loudly and clearly " please stop stealing food from my children, I am trying to teach them good manners and stealing from other people is not allowed" big emphasis on the stealing!

I would also prime your dds so that if sil says "oh don't be so precious/ it's only a bit of fun/ you don't mind if auntie fatface has some do you girls?" That they reply with "I hate it when you steal my food auntie bullychops"

She sounds like an entitled greedy so and so, and a bit of humility wouldn't go amiss.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 11-Jan-13 20:41:31

She should have ordered extra prawns if she liked them so much rather than demanding that only certain people coul eat them.

You need to stop this woman stealing food from your DDs. Next time she tries to take food from their plate say "SIL we are trying to encourage Dd's to finish all their food/teach them good manners/not take food from other plates (whatever you think will work better), could you leave their food alone please."

I also liked the suggestion of having your Dd's also telling her they don't like her stealing their food too.

carabos Fri 11-Jan-13 22:12:39

This thread is shock. I think I must be Mrs Lazy because there's just no way I would make separate meals for people based on age or any other category. It's one meal, take it or leave it. If its a takeaway, everyone gets to choose their dish and if there's negotiating to be done e.g are we having a bit of everything or would you prefer your own dish then that is done before we order so we all know what's what.

When we were growing up (child of the 60s), my GPs would actively seek out tasty morsels for the kids to enjoy and my parents took us out to eat every Tuesday - different cuisine every week. We weren't allowed to say no, but if we genuinely tried something and didn't like it, then that was fair enough, just like other adult people.

I have applied the same principles to my DSs and have one "Labrador" who will eat anything and one who is much fussier more discerning.

Thumbwitch Sat 12-Jan-13 10:20:29

Spuddy I am beyond outraged at your sister - that's disgusting behaviour!! shockangry It's not just that she cooked faaaarrr too much, it's that she didn't even give anyone a chance to say "oh don't worry, stick it in the fridge, someone else will eat it later" but binned it! I hate wanton waste.

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 10:37:58

Food sharing is a social acceptance - it creates social bonding, thats well documented in anthopological studies.

Think about it - you offer a crisp or a biscuit to a collegue - you are telling them subconciously that they are part of your group.

The taking of the food says they accept being a part of your group.

There is also a subconscous pecking order with food. A bit like Goldilocks and the three different sized bowls of porridge - Daddy sized portions, Mummy sized portions and baby sized portions. So the heirarchy is that children get what the adults don't want. Quite simplistic but a lot of cultures still practice that.

Mind you, in my experience it tends to be 'feed the kids first so we can sit down in peace'!

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