Children can be notoriously picky eaters.
Most of the time, children refuse to eat certain foods, namely fruits and vegetables, without having any idea what they actually taste like.
Making the biggest for many parents is simply getting their children to try a new fruit or vegetable at least once.
Sadly, their efforts are seldom successful.
Redditor Miserable_Arm7945, on the other hand, had gotten his two daughters to eat mostly nutritious foods.
But when his work prevented him from doing the bulk of the cooking, the original poster (OP)’s pregnant wife was left in charge.
Resulting not only in a sizable change in menus but also a sizable change in what their daughters liked and didn’t like eating, for which the OP placed the majority of the blame on his wife.
Wondering if he was in the wrong for doing so, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA I fed my kids “stale” food and called my wife lazy.”
The OP explained how he called out his wife for ruining their daughter’s eating habits, but she claimed his efforts to repair them were no better.
“I (37 M[ale]) and my wife (36 F[emale]) have two kids 5 F and 7 F.”
“My wife is pregnant with our third kid now.”
“She’s 20 weeks pregnant.”
“So my daughters have never been picky about their food since I used to cook all meals and never introduced them to junk food.”
“However, about 2 months back I was assigned to a new project at work and started working long hours(70/week) so I have been unable to cook as often now.”
“I wanted to hire a cook because my wife was having severe pregnancy symptoms but my wife said she wanted to try cooking for our kids and she also didn’t like the idea of a stranger at our house.”
“I agreed to her idea since she suggested it herself.”
“For the first month or so, she cooked pretty diligently for the kids and both of us as well.”
“However, after that, she reduced the quality of the meals.”
“What I mean is, she started making easy-to-cook foods for the kids.”
“She also started giving them junk foods as snacks so that they wouldn’t be that hungry for real meals.”
“I chalked it up to her pregnancy nausea for the first few weeks, but last week when I prepared an elaborate meal for the family on Sunday, the kids refused to even touch the food because they wanted the usual buttered noodles.”
“So I told my wife that I’d be cooking all the meals from now onwards because the kids are getting spoiled from eating junk food all the time.”
“She got mad at me and said that she’s trying her hardest and I should be more appreciative.”
“I told her no one forced her to cook and I had already suggested hiring a cook but she was the one who refused.”
“She said that I don’t understand her discomfort with having a cook and that hiring one was out of the question.”
“She also told me that I can cook all meals if I think it is so easy to feed the kids healthy food.”
“I told her that I would do just that.”
“That very night, I stayed up making different kinds of healthy food options for the week.”
“Fruit salad, chicken stir fry, pasta sauce(with veggies, mushrooms and tomatoes then blended it all), cauliflower soup and banana bread.”
“I froze everything so they can be reheated during the week.”
“I have been just reheating food throughout the week and giving it to the kids.”
“Since they want only noodles, I add the sauce and chicken stir fry to the noodles along with grated cheese.”
“The just eat it without detecting any veggies in it.”
“For their school lunches I pack ham and cheese/tuna/chicken sandwiches the night before along with fruit salad and chocolate milk.”
“They get a slice of banana bread for after school snack.”
“Sandwiches and soup for dinner for me and my wife.”
“My wife told me the food tastes good but it’s stale food so she doesn’t think it’s any better than what she used to cook for the family.”
“I told her at least I was putting effort into the meals unlike her who was using the kids picky behavior as an excuse to be lazy.”
“She got mad at me and said that she wasn’t being lazy and that the kids really were picky.”
“Now she’s not speaking to me for the past 2 days.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, they generally agreed that the OP was not the a**Hole for calling his wife ‘lazy.’
Most agreed that the OP was right to be confused by his wife calling his reheated frozen food “stale” and that if his wife wasn’t up to cooking, she should have accepted his offer to hire a cook.
“I don’t understand how the food is ‘stale’?”
“Is this some elitism over it being reheated?”- SykoSarah
“That’s not stale.”
“It’s more nutritious food you’ve cooked and frozen, which does not somehow drain it of its nutrition.”
“Good job, dad.”
“This is a huge effort, and you’re setting your kids up for healthy eating habits in the future.”- No-Art2996
“She volunteered herself for a job she can’t handle in her current state, then got mad when you took over because you don’t want your kids eating crap all day.”
“And after you offered to get a cook.”
“She has no leg to stand on here.”- mutualbuttsqueezin
“You’re doing a good thing for your kids and for your wife.”
“Frozen isn’t stale.”
“She just said that because she feels guilty for not putting in the effort herself.”
“Don’t worry about it, she’s having a hard pregnancy.”- Fast_Bill8955
“NTA, and here’s why.”
“I don’t care that she is pregnant.”
“You offered her many reasonable solutions.”
“She insisted on being the one to cook and f*cked up your kids eating habits and turned them into picky eaters by being lazy.”
“Let’s be honest, doesn’t matter why.”
“Yes she is pregnant, and caring for two other kids, but if she couldn’t continue to provide healthy meals, then she should have communicated that and asked for help and you two could have figured out a solution together.”
“Then, once you realized that she wasn’t handling it and she was not feeding your kids properly, then you took that pressure off of her and took on the task she clearly could not handle.”
“Again, doesn’t matter that she is pregnant or why she can’t handle it. She clearly can’t handle it.”
“You didn’t demand she works harder or fix it herself.”
“You solved the issue and took on the task yourself.”
“Furthermore, you’re not feeding them stale food.”
“And it’s not the same as her sh*tty junk food unbalanced, unhealthy meals.”
“What you are doing is meal planning/meal prep, and it’s absolutely appropriate and healthy.”
“And even recommended.”
“The fact that she wants to belittle your effort to help her and feed them healthier meals and take the pressure off her makes her a huge a**hole.”
“She should be f*cking grateful.”
“Finally, she wants to argue that the kids are picky.”
“They weren’t picky until she MADE them picky by feeding them garbage.”
“They clearly are not THAT picky because they are eating what you are making.”
“Although, calling her lazy probably didn’t help your situation and probably makes you an ah in some ways.”
“We all can’t be perfect in our communications and maybe you need to work on that a little.”-babygirlrvt75
Some, however, felt that the OP went too far by calling his wife lazy, even if he had a right to be frustrated by the food she was feeding her children.
“NTA for what you’re feeding your kids. Those seem like good options, but YTA for what you said to your wife.”
“She’s clearly not used to cooking like you.”
“I’m guessing there is a reason you’ve been doing the cooking until now, and being pregnant while caring for two small kids can be exhausting.”
“Maybe instead of fighting about who is doing the cooking right, you could make it a team effort.”
“Some of your early prepared meals mixed in with some healthy options made by her.”
“That might make her feel less overwhelmed about taking over a chore she isn’t used to, and she’ll be less likely to burn out and resort to food that isn’t healthy.”
“Make a meal plan together even.”
“Always remember, you’re a team, you win or lose together, neither of you can win alone.”-SweetLemonLollipop
It’s easy to see why the OP was frustrated that his daughters seemed to lose their taste for healthy food
However, calling his pregnant wife “lazy” when she was likely doing their best seems rather unfair.
As does her calling his frozen prepared meals “stale.”
Hopefully, the two of them can reach a common ground and find a way to feed their daughters nutritious and delicious food which makes both of them happy.