Stepmother Refuses To Cook For 'Fussy Eater' Stepkids As It's 'Too Much Hassle'

Sep 17, 2021 by apost team

There are so many wonderful aspects of being a parent but there are also some less than thrilling ones too. One of those is when kids are picky eaters. Thankfully, being picky about food is something that most kids grow out of but nevertheless, when you're in the thick of the issue as a parent, it can be incredibly frustrating.

One stepmother experienced this first hand with her two stepchildren — a 9-year-old girl named Lilly and a 6-year-old boy named Ben. The issue is that both of them are picky eaters so she and her husband (their father) have previously made two separate meals to accommodate them. 

But after attempting to get them to eat the same food as them, the children weren't having it. The father suggested they go back to making two meals, but his wife put her foot down, saying that she won't be cooking two meals anymore and that he can cook the meal for them if he won't accept that. This led to a fight between the couple, with both believing the other's stance is unfair. So she took her dilemma to Reddit's "Am I the A**hole" subreddit to see what other people thought.

She begins her post by explaining she and her husband have been together for five years and married for one, and while they have no kids yet, his two children from a previous relationship, Lilly and Ben, stay with them for two to three weekends a month. She adds that she does most of the cooking as she genuinely enjoys it and she also works from home. 

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She adds that "it's safe to say they're fussy eaters," explaining that when asked what food they'd like they reply "I don't know." Lilly takes a long time to eat or says, "she’s not hungry, doesn’t want the rest of her lunch, and then immediately ask[s] for a packet of crisps." Meanwhile, Ben "has had meltdowns over the cheese in his ham and cheese sandwich," which he asked for in the first place.

Since she and her husband are really into health and fitness, they "don't tend to eat the same foods as his kids (like nuggets and chips)" leading her to have to cook two lunches and two dinners when they stay with them.

During one visit, the woman suggested they all eat the meal she and her husband had planned. The husband was up for it and they had chicken wraps that day. Unfortunately, the kids had to be bribed with ice cream to finish their food. That night while the woman was out, the dad cooked for the kids but resorted to fish fingers to accommodate their fussiness.

Then, after dropping the kids off the next day, the husband asked if they could go back to eating separate meals since "it was too much hassle trying to get them to eat what [he'd] cooked." The woman said sure but put her foot down that she wasn't going to cook two meals anymore since it's too much hassle for her too. She adds that she's happy to cook for the four of them, but if they don't want what she's making then he can make the kids fish fingers going forward. 

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This led to a fight between the two, with the husband thinking the woman is an a**hole because she "won't cook for his kids" and doesn't "care what food they like." But she thinks he's in the wrong for "expecting [her to] behave like a live-in chef." She adds that she isn't even trying to make "sophisticated meals" for the family, food like chicken wraps are pretty standard. 

Reddit weighed in on the dilemma with most people believing the woman to not be the a**hole and that the kids should eat the food they're given. Many people weighed in on the fact that separate meals for kids weren't commonplace when they were younger and that giving kids basic foods they like (which are often fried and unhealthy) will only hold them back from developing a taste for a wide range of foods. One person wrote:  

"I have three kids and have never made separate meals for them. They eat what we are having and all of them eat vegetables and enjoy them. The only pain is that the youngest (11) is not into spicy food at all. I find the “feeding your kids crap” approach unfathomable to be honest."

Meanwhile, others pointed out the husband's unfairness in trying to make her cook two meals when she said she'd have no problem cooking one for everyone, with one commenter writing:

"If he doesn't want to deal with them being fussy, then he can cook an extra meal, you are his partner, not his maid."

Others agreed that you can't force the kids either and that "you gotta pick your battles," explaining that some kids simply take forever to finish their plate.

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Who do you think is in the wrong here — the woman or her husband? If you've dealt with a similar problem, how did you overcome it? Let us know and pass this on so your friends can weigh in too.

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