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To wonder - is it normal to feed you children cheaper food than you eat yourself?

(419 Posts)
Mrsbiggs Sun 30-Sep-12 13:36:11

We (OH, me and 5 of our various children) had corn on the cob with dinner last night. DS (15) and DD (13) said "we aren't allowed to have this at dads - its "adult food"".

I was a bit shock and asked them what they meant. Apparently their dads OH (they have been together 4 yrs I have never met her but she has caused many many issues, and destroyed a once amicable and friendly divorce) - buys economy food for the children ( she has 2 DC of her own) and finest food for her and the kids dad. They have Heinz beans and the kids have value range, at BBQ's the kids are only allowed a burger or a sausage, not kebabs or chops etc and they aren't allowed pudding (and have to watch the "adults") eat theirs, and they are not allowed to talk at the dinner table hmm. The adults have chops etc while the DC have pasta bake.

Am I right in thinking this is appalling, and bordering on abusive or do other people do this?

Mrsbiggs Sun 30-Sep-12 13:37:22

Sorry for the typos blush.

nkf Sun 30-Sep-12 13:38:33

I've never heard of anyone doing this. Never.

OneOfMyTurnsComingOn Sun 30-Sep-12 13:39:15

No way! We all eat the same stuff (but none of it is finest)

whois Sun 30-Sep-12 13:39:24

OMG no! That's pretty horrible.

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Sep-12 13:40:13

No it's not abusive but it is selfish.

Having said that, if DH and I are treating ourselves to a steak we'll buy the kids a fairly expensive pizza because they prefer it.

Are you sure all this is true though, or is it just 'hard done by woe is me' teenage complaining?

mosschops30 Sun 30-Sep-12 13:40:44

No we all eat the same here whether its a cheap basics week ir sainsburys taste the difference

NettoSuperstar Sun 30-Sep-12 13:40:50

No way, we eat the same, to do that is cruel.

BertieBotts Sun 30-Sep-12 13:40:51


I do on a smaller scale, if I bought e.g. expensive chocolates as a treat I'd probably hide them and give DS a bag of cadbury's buttons instead or something, because it's all chocolate to him and he'd hoover it up. And I do buy value ketchup, because he doesn't notice or care, whereas if I buy sauces for me I tend to get the branded ones. But not with normal, nutritious foods like corn on the cob and chops!

Although some people think I spoil DS because when I occasionally buy steak I will buy some for him too - why not, it's better for him than a burger.

ladywithnomanors Sun 30-Sep-12 13:40:51

I wouldn't say it was abusive but it's certainly not normal, well not in this house anyway.
Occasionally me and DP will have a separate meal to the children if we're having curry or something we know the DC's won't eat but on the whole we all have the same.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Sun 30-Sep-12 13:40:53

My mum would sort of do this when we were kids. My dad would sometimes have steak and we would only get sausages as she felt it would be wasted on us. But her stepkids got exactly the same as her own kids.

PinkChampagneandStrawberries Sun 30-Sep-12 13:40:59

I would never ever do this but I know someone who does! YANBU

Mrsbiggs Sun 30-Sep-12 13:41:15

No it's true - they were laughing about it.

FoofyShmooffer Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:00

It's wrong.
Your children are not second class citizens.
Sadly this this exactly how my Mum was brought up in the 60s (her upbringing was abusive mind you). My Dad was lucky if he got fed.

squeakytoy Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:09

abusive is starving your children, and I can understand people not giving fillet steak and smoked salmon to small children as it is likely to be wasted on them as luxury food is an "adult treat" in my opinion, but at 13 and 15 they are old enough to appreciate the value of food and it does sound a bit shitty to not allow them pudding while the adults get one..

talking at the dinner table, again is subjective.. squabbling, bickering and inane chatter rather than eating is irritating, but again teenagers should be able to hold a sensible conversation with adults at the table while eating..

SummerRain Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:21

That's horrible shock

In answer to your question, no. Either we all eat cheap or we all eat decent food, depending on budget. The only exception is takeaways as we usually get those after the kids go down when dp works late.

Byecklove Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:25

Absolutely appalling. My DH went through this when he was little. Parents split up when he was small and both remarried. His dad and new wife were like that. DH and his sis would go and stay and be given different food. At Christmas they would be made to sit apart from the others and watch their dad's new children open presents. His mum and step dad gave them budget food while they ate nice stuff. It's made him committed to being a good parent (which he is). IMO it is most definitely abuse.

LadySybildeChocolate Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:27

shock That's vile! It's incredibly selfish, verging on mean to make children watch you eat deserts that they can't have. I eat what ds eats (unless I'm making a curry though, he'll have something else).

fedupofnamechanging Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:31

I have never heard of anyone doing this either. Most parents would give the better food to the children and eat more cheaply themselves, if money was an issue.

I think that sometimes adults and children eat different food (depending on personal taste), but children shouldn't have worse quality food. That's a horrible way to treat children.

Enigmosaurus Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:34

We sort of do it. I will buy plain but quality sausage for the dc and slightly more expensive flavoured ones for us because I know the dc won't like them. For example.

Rosa Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:40

No way..... We might eat it differently eg salmon for the dds and sushi for us ...they are welcome to try it. More often it is them that have pudding and we don't !!!! Can you ask your dh if this is the case?

nkf Sun 30-Sep-12 13:43:01

I guess it's good they find it funny rather than hurtful. I would hate to be their father though.

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Sep-12 13:44:00

But how do you know it's true?

I'm not accusing them of lying btw, but they could well be 'talking it up' and perhaps there's more/less to the actual truth?

defineme Sun 30-Sep-12 13:44:08

I would remind your 13 yr old and 15 yrold that they are of an age where they can define their access arrangements. They do not have to go somewhere where they are treated like 2nd class citizens. They could ask to meet upo with their dad on neutral ground.
At least this woman(and your complicit ex) treats her dc like this too-so she's clearly not excluding them because they're not hers.

I don't buy lamb chops anymore cos I can't afford it for 5 of us anymore-never occured to me to only buy for dh and I. I only serve kids different food if it's something they don't like.

Mrsbiggs Sun 30-Sep-12 13:44:20

I wonder what effect it has on their self esteem actually which is kind of abusive.

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