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AIBU to think sometimes adults should have nicer food to children?

(285 Posts)
ImperialBlether Mon 01-Aug-11 11:40:48

Something on another thread made me think of this.

I was one of a very big family. My mum always cooked lovely home made meals.

Occasionally my dad (and sometimes my mum) would have different food to us. For example, they might have chops, when we'd have sausages. We loved sausages but we would have loved the chops, too. But when you have a very large family, how can you afford lamb chops for everyone? Half of my siblings were boys and ate a lot, too, so you'd be talking about three chops vs three sausages.

I never felt deprived because my dad had chops when I couldn't. It wouldn't have occurred to me. Similarly if he had Stilton and wouldn't let us taste it, I didn't feel deprived. Envious for quarter of an hour, maybe, but not deprived.

Now in my own family there are some things I like, eg fresh anchovies, which on the one hand I'm lucky my children won't eat anyway, but on the other I wouldn't want to pay for for all of us.

Obviously this is a financial issue. Given the money, my mum would have fed us all organic lamb chops morning, noon and night.

But if money is an issue, is it wrong (as many suggested on the bacon thread) that the children shouldn't eat what the parents eat? Shouldn't there be some privileges for being adult? (And of course I'm not suggesting children go hungry!)

emsyj Mon 01-Aug-11 11:43:39

I think that's a bizarre viewpoint, but hey - interested to see what others say, so marking my place!

I thought 'the norm' was that you make sure your children have what they need, and if there are financial ishoos then you, as the adult, suffer (if you can call eating sausages rather than chops suffering - I loathe chops and would take the sausages every time...)

Meglet Mon 01-Aug-11 11:46:15

I tend to think that as my children are small they need the better quality food so they grow up healthy and not fussy.

I'm already fully grown and very fit so I can afford to eat junk more than they can (which is almost never because I'm a mean mum).

NettoSuperstar Mon 01-Aug-11 11:46:18

i'm on a budget and though dd and I eat the same meals, we usually have different treats.
I adore money cheese and she'd rather have a chocolate bar.

clit Mon 01-Aug-11 11:46:19

Yes emsy, it should be the other way around with the adult forgoing luxuries in favour of the child. Tbh I really don't get why people insist on eating meat every day.

pjmama Mon 01-Aug-11 11:47:22

If money were an issue, I'd be making sure my DCs were getting the best food I could give them on my budget and we'd probably all eat the same. Nothing wrong with an occasional adult treat, but to sit and eat it in front of your kids whilst telling them they can't have any is just a bit mean IMO. Wait until they've gone to bed! grin

ImperialBlether Mon 01-Aug-11 11:47:52

It's nothing to do with meat, clit. It's about whether your child has a 'right' to eat expensive food when you can't afford it for all of you.

FreudianSlipper Mon 01-Aug-11 11:47:59

children always had the best food in our family, i was shocked when i had a sunday roast at a friends house and her dad had first pick of the meat and had the best meat

i think sometimes parents food might be richer but not necessarily better. ds always has what i am having anyway

PiousPrat Mon 01-Aug-11 11:48:07

I think in most households it probably balances out doesn't it? When you take into account that most adults stick to 3 meals a day and DC tend to graze in between, and the odd treat like ice creams at the beach, then the parents sometimes having a nicer version of what the DC have is hardly tantamount to neglect and deprivation.

I guess it would depend on how it was done though, if you were ordering a banquet from the takeaway and they only had salad, that would be pretty shit and cause bad feeling. However if you were having basically the same meal but with a different main (like your chop and sausage example) then that would be fine.

I would be a bit hmm at a parent refusing their child even a taste of something they had though, like the Stilton, as how else can kids learn to appreciate a range of foods and flavours?

Blu Mon 01-Aug-11 11:48:18

I wouldn't buy expensive food for children if it wouldn't be appreciated or enjoyed, but I wouldn't economise by giving children less healthy or lower quality food than adults.

Cheaper food is so often laden with saturated fat and other crap stuff, but I have no difficulty with cheap and healthy food. Rather than sausages all the time I would go for cheap cuts of stewing lamb, or something.

I would have no qualms about spending a little on a treat for adults, but not if it meant that DS had to eat lower quality or unhealthy food.

belgo Mon 01-Aug-11 11:48:27

Interesting viewpoint. I know the case in some developing countries where there is a real lack of food it's mostly the mother who loses out, giving the priority food to the husband and children, despite the fact that the mother is the one is needs the nutrients for pregnancy, breastfeeding and hard physical work. This means it is very often the mother who is malnourished.

Fortunately I am lucky enough to give my children and myself a good diet, but having said that, I rarely buy chops because they cost a fortune.

ImperialBlether Mon 01-Aug-11 11:48:42

Yes, I'm not saying sit and eat it in front of them.

I do think though that there was no harm in my knowing that my parents could have things that I couldn't.

spectacular Mon 01-Aug-11 11:48:47

In my family, my parents would have eaten gruel so that their children could eat the best food available.

I would do the same for my children.

ImperialBlether Mon 01-Aug-11 11:49:02

It's not about the chops!

belgo Mon 01-Aug-11 11:50:00

The haagen das in the freezer is mine while the children get Aldi ice creamgrin nothing wrong with that is there?

msfishneedsabycycle Mon 01-Aug-11 11:50:28

Depends on definition of "nicer food". I often have different food to my DS as he likes fish fingers, chicken nuggets and stuff like that wheras I don't. I dont feel my food is nicer, we just like to eat diffferent things...I would not eat lovely food that he liked as well and not give him some though...that would just be mean.....although I often have secret stash of choccie just for me!

Catslikehats Mon 01-Aug-11 11:50:41

I honestly think I would give up anything if it meant my DC's could have what they wanted.

We're not on a tight budget but I guess the priciple is the same as if there were only two slices of cake left, the DC's would have them without doubt.

FourThousandHoles Mon 01-Aug-11 11:50:51

I think it's odd myself, adults eating different food on a basis of cost, particularly for the same meal

why not have sausages for everyone one week and chops for everyone the next, the cost over the two weeks would be the same

I do eat some expensive stuff that my children don't but it's on the basis of taste, I love overripe blue cheese for instance but they would prefer a babybel

Ormirian Mon 01-Aug-11 11:51:00

I agree with emsy. If neccessary the adults make sacrifices for the DC not the other way around. Ideally you all have the same. Different if adults are eating something the children don't like. We went out for the evening to afriends house last night - he had made a huge curry for the adults and pizza for the children. The kids were welcome to the curry if they fancied it - the pizza was only supplied because a lot of children didn't like hot spices.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Aug-11 11:51:27

I understand you're point, ImperialBlether... I think perhaps it's also about 'appreciation'. Generalising here but, most children like sausages, many adults are a bit 'meh' about them... chops on the other hand, most meat-eating adults like, whilst I'd say a greater number of children would prefer sausages.

Children need whatever they need to grow, adults need whatever they need to maintain. I'd say that many children don't really care 'what' it is as long as it tastes nice to them whereas adults really do notice and have distinct preferences. I too think that as long as children receive the right nutrition, there's no reason why they have to have everything that an adult does, so I agree with you.

I still think of my poor gran who dearly loved Swiss chocolates, the really, super-expensive version... she insisted that I have one, I declined and refused and did everything I could not to have it, but she made me eat it.... and I spat it out, it was horrid, I was 7..... She loved those chocolates and my 7-year old tastebuds didn't... children don't need to eat everything that an adult does, is my point.

emsyj Mon 01-Aug-11 11:51:51

DH and I don't let DD taste our wine or G&Ts, but otherwise she can have whatever we have. If you can't afford the same for everyone, you can spread it a bit thinner. Sometimes if we are at my DM's house at the weekend, she will say 'oh stay for dinner' and just cook the same tiny chicken she was cooking anyway and sling in some sausages to eek it out.

Sausages are becoming a bit of a theme...

grumpypants Mon 01-Aug-11 11:52:15

very interesting thread. when sil cooks for the family (extended) the dcs always get first choice of puddings, and the adults make do with what is left. this is really alien to the way i was brought up, when children were served last, and dad first.

not sure what i think. i don't think it is healthy to put a sense of entitlement into children, but not sure if that is what is being discussed.

MerylStrop Mon 01-Aug-11 11:52:18

So long as the DC are fed well, healthily, I think it's fine for adults to have more expensive stuff sometimes. I am sure it is offset by child-friendly treats when they can be afforded too.

shitmagnet Mon 01-Aug-11 11:53:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squeakytoy Mon 01-Aug-11 11:54:01

I agree with the OP. As a child I wouldnt have appreciated luxury foods like smoked salmon, prawns, steak... and I was more than happy to eat the food I was given, which was nutritious, and yes, probably cheaper sometimes.

It didnt happen all the time, just occasionally. I dont feel like I was a deprived child.

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