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Dad Accused Of Turning Daughters Into ‘Picky Eaters’ By Making Them ‘Time-Consuming’ Meals Every Day

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Most parents want to keep their kids’ diets as healthy as possible. But for one guy on Reddit, the healthy meals he packs for his daughters have become a major bone of contention with his wife, who worries he’s turning them into picky eaters.

He wasn’t sure about how to handle the situation, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by ddvvyyuuy on the site, asked:

“AITA I am turning my kids into picky eaters”

He explained:

“I and my wife have 2 kids aged 10F[emale] and 8F.”

“My older daughter is in gymnastics and my younger daughter does ballet. As they have a lot of physical activity, they get ravenous when they’re done with practice.”

“However, they usually have school immediately after practice so I and my wife alternate between packing food for them. We usually pack a lunch, and a breakfast for right after the practice. Thankfully my kids aren’t picky eaters so it’s easy to cook for them.”

“My wife usually packs sandwiches and a juice box, or reheated frozen pizza for them which usually doesn’t sustain them enough.”

“I pack curries, rice, salads, eggs, homemade smoothies etc. All the stuff that keeps them full for longer.”

“Yesterday, my kids told us at dinner that they like the food I pack for them a lot and that they want me to pack food for them everyday since mom’s food isn’t filling. They said that they feel hungry before the second hour and the lunch break starts only after the 4th hour. They don’t like eating at the canteen since the food there is literal crap and it doesn’t sustain them either.”

“When the kids went to bed, my wife got mad at me saying that the kids are becoming picky eaters thanks to me and my time-consuming meals.”


OP then came back to the post to add a bit more detail about what his daughters get fed.

“Edit: I usually pack scrambled eggs/boiled egg/loaded omelette, a smoothie, rice, sauteed veggies for breakfast.”

“For lunch, I pack leftover curry from the night before, rice, a meat dish, sauteed veggies, boiled egg, and a chocolate.”

“For snacks, I give them trail mix, veggies and hummus, etc.”

“Edit 2:My wife gives them a few toasts with jam for breakfast along with a boiled egg.”

“A sandwich(usually pbj or grilled cheese) with a juice box for lunch”

“For snacks she gives them carrot/celery sticks.”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who’s in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

For the most part, they were firmly on OP’s side.

“NTA. One or both of you is confused about what it means to be a picky eater. You’re giving the kids both more food and more varied and nutritous food. Your kids aren’t picky eaters because they like having varied and nutritious food.” –RealWanderingWizard

“Kids do not care about how the meal is prepared in the slightest. They just want what tastes best and feels good afterwards. Your wife should be happy they prefer real food over junk food. NTA” –Sw3d3n90

“your wife should learns what calories are. ANd what are carbohydrates and proteins. After a sweaty training they need to have enough protein in their lunch and enough carbohydrates to have energy to learn at school and not just sit through it. Good job on keeping your kids healthy and fed (unlike your wife)” –wcqaguxa

“NTA They aren’t picky. They’re hungry. She isn’t giving them enough food.” –EzHedgehog

“Kids need a lot of food, their metabolisms are working at lightspeed trying to keep up with their growing and the lunches that OP’s wife is serving them are not even close to adequate.”Sashikku

“NTA: you are not turning them into picky eaters, you are turning them into healthy eaters that apparently need more than what their mother is givin them.”

“Suggestion: sit down with the kids’ pediatrician and talk about what they need to be eating, given their age and activity level. Let the doctor decide who is planning the more appropriate meals.” –Prechrchet

“What your wife is doing is a great recipe for an eating disorder down the line. Gymnastics and ballet are already horrible with body image issues. They need to eat what they burn and they need to develop healthy habits now.” –that_austrian_dude

“OP, I’m going to paraphrase my family pediatrician, the better part of 40 years ago, when my younger sibling was diagnosed with life-threatening allergies, and was inadvertently exposed by one of my aunts (I can do this because it’s become a mantra in our family):”

‘Habit’ is a sh!tty excuse – It doesn’t exist. If you can’t stop doing something because doing so makes you physically sick then it’s an addiction, and we have to treat it. If you can’t stop doing something because doing so makes you so upset you can’t function correctly, then it’s a mental illness* and we need to find someone to help you treat it and figure out how to manage it.”

“Otherwise, you CAN stop doing it, you’re just too lazy or indifferent to change it. That’s your choice – right up until it affects the lives of people who are harmed by your ‘habit’. Then you have two choices – do better or get out of the way. You’re the parents, you don’t get to make choices that harm your kids.”

“OP, I don’t care that it’s her ‘habit’ – she’s making bad choices that harm her kids. She needs to do better or get out of the way.”

“*Now we’d say Mental Health Issue, but Dr. R was probably almost 60 when he laid into my folks, and that would have been… I want to say fall of 1982? Frankly, looking back, I’m kinda impressed he considered mental health at all – but then, he was one in a million!” –Sashi-Dice

Hopefully OP and his wife can figure out how best to suit their daughters’ food needs.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.