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To not like it when children always want food off other people?

(165 Posts)
CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 18:30:57

I admit I have a real pet hate about this. It grates on me big time.

I was brought up to think that it is rude to go asking other people for food. If my children tried it I would stop them as I think it is awful, however they don't seem to do it anyway.

I have a friend whose children always seem to be wanting food. She does feed them, and a decent diet, with treats etc but the second there is food around, there they are wanting some and she never ever tells them to stop. They will stand there right in front of you whilst you are eating and the youngest will just have her hand out. Luckily they know me and the minute the youngest tries, she stops looks and me then walks off as she knows I won't give her some of mine or my DDs lunch etc.

A little while ago I had some cake and the eldest kept on and on. I said it wasn't time for cake yet, she didn't let up. DH also said she was doing the same to him. The other children there weren't. When I did do it and gave it out, the mum then sent her DD in to ask me where hers was (cake really was for the children) I did make a comment of "thats where they get it from then"

I am known for not sharing my food, my friends do tend to make a joke of it (but I have deep rooted reasons going to back to being starved as a young child and I have never liked sharing my food) I also don't think that I should force my children to share their meals either.

So is it me or is this rude?

nailak Wed 06-Feb-13 00:48:27

i would share, if I had one banana and there were 3 kids, i would break the banana in 3.

in the toddler group i would go outside and feed my dc then go back in.

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 02:29:22

the answer to your question is that


Ghostsgowoooh Wed 06-Feb-13 02:40:57

My dd2 does this and it drives me mad blush

She has some issues with food and although she has a decent diet, plenty of snacks, healthy and not so healthy and eats big dinner she still hovers for food. It's embarrassing

She's checked on it and I do say to her it's extremely rude to hover/ beg/ ask for food from others she still does it.

It's very annoying I agree.

My others don't do it but she's got manners like my ex unfortunately and his side of the family, it's ingrained in her and I'm trying very hard to improve them

ihearsounds Wed 06-Feb-13 02:56:25

It drives me insane. One of my dc's friends is really bad for this. As soon as he walks in the door he starts with I'm hungry. It is non stop. I might be cooking dinner when he's here and he doesnt stop with that looks nice, I've never tried that, what does it taste like.. Doesnt matter if its raw meat/fish or any veg.

There's often chocolate and stuff around the place. Its not always locked up in a cupboard. The boy will start with the whole that looks nice etc, before he asks if can have some. Sometimes I say no, he will constantly ask why. If I say its someone elses, he will ask if I can call them and ask if he can eat it. I am not giving him stuff for the sake of it. I dont see why I should keep stuff hidden on the off chance tht he might pop in.

When we did playgroups, I would sometimes take a snack. There is no way was I feedibg the whole group either. I took snacks or something on the days lo wasnt eating a lot. If the dc's wanted to share up to them. But ultimatly I am not responsilbe for other peoples childrens snacks. Taking snacks to a playgroup or even a park is no way in the same league as a picnic. That is where you all provide stuff. A play date at a park etc, your kids your snack issue.

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 02:56:58

not read 4 pages - but here's my view about food outside of home (o grandma's) or when it is not given to them

My children generally wait to be asked if they want anything, but they are allowed to ask if they want something like an apple or a drink.

if someone has their own meal it is not to be shared, they can't ask for it, I consider it very rude. and I tell them that if that person doesn't share there could be many reasons (diet, allergies, pregnant cravings, too spicy, alcoholic component etc) and it might be embarrassing for that person that they have to say no, as they don't want to look mean.

if they ever ask a person to share their meal with them, either they have to offer something in return or must accept it if they are being told no.

if offered - no problem, they can have some.

I don't mind if they share between themselves and I'm up for swaps if both are happy to swap.

what the op describes I'd call begging. it's bad enough when dogs do it, I can not understand the parents letting/encouraging that type of behaviour.
it is embarrassing. it's wrong.
where I grew up we had gypsies coming and knocking on the door for food often, it was actually quite scary.

and I don't allow them to hide food either.

if I'm on a diet I NEVER share my food, but otherwise I don't mind it so much - only to the extent of a few crisps or chips or a bite/piece.

within the closer or wider family it is never an issue, and we all accept if people ask not to touch some food that they brought especially for themselves (for reasons above)

and I yet to discover if it's ever been an issue elsewhere! (I hope not!)

I expect to share with other people we are with, especially children. If I don't want to share for some reason I would go outside or something. I can't imagine being on such a tight budget (and man have I been on one) where I couldn't find something to offer others. If I couldn't afford to share what I am eating then I wouldn't eat it around them. If I had a really good reason, e.g. a piece of gluten free cake when other cake was being served I would explain that to the child and parent, but it would take a lot for me not to share that.

I have zero problems however telling a child over the age of about 18 months that the food is not ready yet. If a child kept asking I would ask the parent to help deal with it.

In the specific case of a toddler group and not having had lunch yet I would sit in the car and eat it before going in.

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 03:43:24

and I don't think it is rude to eat in front of anyone if they are no eating!

my FIL takes my 2 eldest to music lessons and he comes a little bit earlier than needed coz that is the time he usually has a cup of tea at home. sometimes he has just that or I offer him some biscuits or a cake.

sometime I offer some to the kids, coz they might have a later dinner sometimes I don't - and if they ask I probably tell them no, they can have some after dinner.
they might lurk about, but usually that is the end of it.
I don't remember them ever saying " but why is grandad allowed some?" if they did, I'd say," because grandad is old and sugar is a preservative and he needs all he can get his hands on" (btw I said this to FIL before, he agreed! grin)

I think kids need to understand that just because someone has something it doesn't mean that they should or can.
let it be food or a puppy or the newest gadget.
they are allowed to express their wishes, and sometimes they get lucky, but begging and nagging does not impress me.

they never ask for treat after treat in the supermarket either, unless I say they can choose one.

I don't mind them saying that they would like me to buy something that's not on the list, and mainly they get it, coz it is what we will eat, but if I say no, they don't whine about it.

btw - taunting kids by leaving out cookies deliberately, but not letting them have it doesn't sound nice in normal circumstances, but I think that poster's DSGC need to learn a lesson that as she said "they don't have automatic ownership".

that part I agree with. time and time again I leave things unhidden (coz I'm about to wrap it, or put it away or whatever), not to lure then chastise, but coz it's just there.
my kids zone in on it, of course and will ask if they can have it, so it's either a "yes" or a "no, because...",they can't have it automatically just because it's there!

so if poster is trying to teach that, that's ok, as long as she is not doing it to be nasty or vindictive.
I would actually spin this lesson and say " yes, it's for you and I prepared it because I know that you are coming, but we will have it a bit later! it looks so yummy - oh I can't wait for us to gobble it down!"
that would teach those kids to be grateful, patient, polite and most of all loved.

sleepywombat Wed 06-Feb-13 03:47:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Feb-13 03:52:43

Dromedary see that's just weird of you. You've got three chocolate biscuits but there are 4 of you....not many adults would expect to eat one and leave a child out because you've not had lunch! I would NEVER have done that!

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 04:04:18

dromedary if you only had this child for 10 mins - could you not have waited till he leaves?

as I said I don't mind one person eating while the others don't, or other way round, if people are on the same wavelength about why this is happening.
I've done this many times when pregnant and also ate nothing while they did. or if someone is sick, or late - I'm pretty easy about these things.

but to make him feel left out is mean, you could have shared the biscuits somehow or not do it in front of him.

CornishMade Wed 06-Feb-13 04:17:05

YANBU, I know what you mean about the occasional begging, grabby kid. Not all kids of course. But in our group of mum friends there are eight of us, with more than eight kids now, but one of the dds is a terror for food begging - and grabbing, too. She is a well fed, normal child, healthy weight, and her mum is very embarrassed over it and has been trying to talk / discipline her dd since toddler age to stop. She will just zone in on anyone with food when we all meet for a play, and just reach her hand in to other kids' snacks and take without asking. Even opening pots and packets that are closed but in view, at the top of a bag, for example! In the group we do a mixture of sharing/personal snacks, so we do share some things. But she just hasn't learnt the boundaries in over two years, and it's cheeky and rude. The other kids don't do it at all. I really hope she learns soon.

AmberSocks Wed 06-Feb-13 05:46:48

it doesnt bother me,its only food. {hmm}

I dont think my kids would do it unless it was someone they knew well,theyre always eating off our plates though and i dont mind, especially as i think ts good for them to try new things

I dont think they would stand their with their hands held out though they would probably go oooooooh can i try some ?.

CheerfulYank Wed 06-Feb-13 06:07:40

YANBU. One of my friends has two DDs and the oldest is terrible for going through my cupboards and taking what she likes.

Also they are grazers so when they're over I'll give them lunch and they will eat a few bites, then want a snack an hour later. They will try a bite of, say, a cereal bar, say they don't like it, throw it in the bin. Then want something else. And on and onnnnn.

Chandon Wed 06-Feb-13 07:51:14

It is annoying when kids do this, BUT, if all your friends joke about your inability to share food, you are probably a bit ungenerous too.

I often bring enough to share, even if it is just Lidl bourbon biscuits at 17 p.

It is wrong for the kids to hover and ask, but it is mean for an adult not to share. And you are the adult after all.

claudedebussy Wed 06-Feb-13 08:18:19


to not share is horrible.

best not to get into these situations in the first place. eat lunch first. bring enough snacks or bring healthy ones. the other kids won't be so keen then grin

that said i also can't stand children begging like you describe. there is a child at my kids' school who wants in on the snacks i bring for my kids. she looks for me in the playground so she can blag a biscuit! very annoying, after a year of it.

Wishihadabs Wed 06-Feb-13 08:26:16

Interestingly (for me anyway) there is some research about a genetic propensity to over eat (the fto gene if anyone is interested) I think one of Ds' s mates has this. He is as you can imagine quite chunky and will ask for food almost constantly (from his own parents too).However he is a nice and well brought up child and completely accepts it when I say no. Just mention this as my dcs don't do this.

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:08

I'v taken to deliberately leaving chocolate biscuits or similiar around the time they are due to arrive - out on the kitchen worktop and he makes a beeline for them and then l say 'No,you cant, theyre not for you'

Your behaviour is FAR worse than a child asking for food. You should take a long hard look at yourself and ask yourself why on earth you feel the need to belittle a child for behaving in a perfectly normal manner. Says more about you than it does about the child!

Icelollycraving Wed 06-Feb-13 08:45:11

The attitudes towards food on this thread are very strange.
I cannot understand how horrific it must have been for those of you who were starved as children sad
Sudaname,your attitude towards your stepgc is horrible. They aren't dogs to be trained angry

Crawling Wed 06-Feb-13 08:49:39

I cannot believe everyone thinks this is ok its a parent and toddler group which means these children are under 3 fair enough saying its rude of a older child but a under 3 being rude by wanting some of the nice food shock I think its very rude to go to a mum and baby group eat in front of young children and get pissed that they want some.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 06-Feb-13 09:05:12

I know what you mean. We had some friends whose kids would come round to play and start going through the cupboards and the fridge and grabbing things off the counter saying "can I have this? what else can I have?" for much of their visit. I knew the family extremely well so can confirm that they ate well at home. I find it really rude, particularly in older kids.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 06-Feb-13 09:06:07

Agree that it is different with a toddler though.

spiderlight Wed 06-Feb-13 09:19:14

We walk to and from school with a little girl (aged 6, so not a toddler) who will actually sneak round behind me and open my bag to look for sweets if I'm distracted in the playground, takes DS's lunchbox off him and goes through it scavenging his leftovers on the way home and whose first words this mornigg when I opened the front door to her and her dad were 'Can I have something?' It really, really bugs me, as my own DS would never do that in a million years and I would be horrified if he did and would make damn sure he never did it again.

bedmonster Wed 06-Feb-13 09:38:02

Op you sound like you're actually tight. You told the little dc at a party where there was a table full of food that the crisps you had were only yours? Very mean. What was stopping you from offering a few crisps and helping yourself to more if you wanted them? And who eats their lunch at a toddler group? Honestly if you're not willing to share eat before or after.
Do you squeak when you walk?
And sudaname, what you have described and crossed through in a jokey way sounds a bit disturbed.
You are both odd.

LeggyBlondeNE Wed 06-Feb-13 09:58:49

Another heads up on the genetic issue. Personally as a child I was ALWAYS hungry, even after a normal meal. In adulthood I still sometimes find that I cannot block the presence of food out of my mind, but of course I did eventually learn ways to cope and with better mental control as I got older my appetite settled a bit too.

One of my neices is clearly showing the same patterns as me, and is hyper-alert to the presence of food. At 5yo she's getting better at accepting a 'no' but still tends to ask. My 2yo likes to have whatever's going too and it's a slow, careful process of getting her to learn what she can and can't have. I certainly NEVER leave food they can't have on show on purpose and try to avoid them seeing chocolate etc as much as possible, because frankly I see it as cruel to tease them at that age.

I really envy people who don't experience this strong sense of 'need' as a reaction to the simple presence of food, but I tend to find they can be very unaware of their good fortune on that front!

CrapBag Wed 06-Feb-13 10:10:54

Thank you for your replies. Going to try and answer some of the things I have read (that I remember).

Lots of people eat at the toddler group, it is at dinner time and most people take their dinner, it is not a case of only me and my DD sat eating and no one else is. Also the group provide snack and plenty of it so there should be no need for me to give mine and DDs dinner to other children. I don't really want to sit and eat in the car. By the time DD actually finished it would be pointless to go in and I don't see why we should do that tbh.

I don't tend to have people to my house so this food sharing thing isn't me being stingy at home at all. It is out and about.

The child at the christmas party, I had never seen before, her or the mum. I am not feeding some random child, there was plenty of other food to choose from. I would not expect another mum to give my child food, particularly when there was a huge table full of stuff. I also wouldn't know about any potential allergies etc.

Yes my friends make a joke of it, but as it is usually about my own meals, no I do not feel obliged to give up part of my actual meal because another child wants some. Its not a case of them wanting to try something new (something I try and encourage my DCs to do as often as I can), it is a case of 'there is food out and I want it'.

I accept that I have food issues. Like a poster further up, I was starved and made to sit and watch whilst others around me ate meals and I may have had a piece of dry bread and water. I had to sneak out at night to the kitchen to steal food because I was so hungry and when crumbs were found in my 'bed' (scabby matress thrown on floor) I paid for that big time! I was 2 years old. I do believe that my reluctance to share my food with every child that wants some does stem from this. It is my problem but I will not change because some other parents think I should give their grabby child food.

I accept that some of you think I am stingy and U, but I still maintain that it is rude not to teach your children to go begging food off other people. Whether people offer it freely of not, I still believe that you shouldn't let your child go to other people. Like someone said, it makes it look like they aren't fed at home (when I know they are). I would be very embarrassed at my children doing this. smile

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