Content warning: eating disorders.
When visiting others, not eating the food someone has prepared can be looked at as an insult.
People may not be trying to be rude but it can come off that way.
There are plenty of reasons why people skip meals or just certain menu items.
With so many food allergies these days it can be a minefield to try and prepare a snack let alone a full-course dinner.
This can all lead to some emotional conversations.
Case in point…
Redditor Firm_Surprise905 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for telling my son I am not going to cook for his picky-eating girlfriend?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My son and his g[irl]f[riend] have been together for 6 years, she might as well be my D[aughter] I[n] L[aw] at this point since they have a kid together.”
“Now when they visit I like to make a nice meal but every single time she doesn’t eat, she just picks at it and covers it it’s a napkin by the end of the night.”
“I am also from a different culture from them so I thought she just doesn’t like the spices I used.”
“I have made really simple things and she doesn’t ever eat it.”
“I asked my son about it and he told me she is just a picky eater.”
“They are supposed to come over tomorrow, I told my son I am not cooking tomorrow since I am tired of her not eating a thing and I feel like I am wasting my time.”
“That I will order pizza.”
“He’s really upset that I am not cooking since he doesn’t get homemade meals often.”
The OP was left to wonder:
“AITA and the jerk for not wanting to cook since one of my guests never appreciates it?”
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.
“Will she eat the pizza?”
“Is it OP’s food that she picks at, or any food?”
“The goal is to gather together as humans, and if pizza makes that less awkward, then go with pizza.”
“If ordering pizza reveals that OP’s cultural food can’t be blamed, then we have an idea why the son objected to pizza.” ~ FiberKitty
“I am not sure what this changes though.”
“The OP is not suggesting that she should be forced to eat food she doesn’t like, only that the food not being eaten is hurtful to her.”
“Not then spending a large amount of effort is a good alternative.”
‘The disordered eater can still pick at and not eat pizza while the OP doesn’t have to spend a bunch of extra effort and feel like it isn’t appreciated.” ~ ACorania
“The point isn’t the food, it is about the mother not feeling personally attacked if the son’s girlfriend doesn’t eat her food.”
“The mother isn’t the YTA, and by all means, they should eat pizza.”
“Just saying that there might be more to it and she should just keep that in mind.”
“That her son might really appreciate her home-cooked food and not just focus on the girlfriend without knowing if she is struggling with something.” ~ Nelda234
“I’m going to counter this.”
“My husband was a picky eater to the extreme, having learned from his mother.”
“If he is hardly eating home-cooked meals at home, they are eating out; this is the same way my husband was raised.”
“I will tell you he learned pretty quickly since I do ALL the cooking, baking, and grilling/BBQ that if I’m going to the effort of making it, he will not disrespect me in complaining.”
“I do omit some things he doesn’t like while making certain things appealing by adding parmesan cheese too.”
“His mother is worse, and trust she has NO eating disorder.”
“As someone who has had an E[ating] D[isorder] since I was 12, not always is the issue of a mental health one.”
“People need to stop making excuses for poor behavior.” ~ OkCricket7833
“Except the girlfriend hasn’t behaved badly.”
“OP did not say the GF complained at any point.”
“Only that she picked at the food likely to be as polite as she could without just refusing food on her plate.”
“So I have to ask you which is ruder: politely declining all the food offered or accepting a few items and then picking at them a bit and being as discreet as possible about actually eating.”
“I am pretty sure OP will take offense in both cases despite her son also being there and enjoying her cooking.” ~katamino
“A good question to ask the son, ‘What does she usually eat at home? Does she have allergies? Are there any specific ingredients that she can’t tolerate for some reason(texture, taste, etc)?'”
“I feel like those are pretty decent questions to ask considering OP just wants to make a meal that everyone will enjoy.”
“The fact that they keep brushing her off when she asks questions is a little sh*tty because it means she can’t make any adjustments.”
“And the fact that her son looks forward to her home-cooked meals indicates that they’re eating out a lot or eating prepackaged meals at the very least.”
“That’s not really on OP though, the son needs to use his grown-up words and talk to his mom.” ~ Yellowstone*itch
“I would have an open conversation with your son, being very careful to tell him that you don’t want to pry into what is happening.”
“Instead, tell him that you would like to leave the food option up to your DIL.”
“Would she prefer to have you cook and then bring her own food?”
“Would she prefer pizza or other takeout?”
“Tell him that you want to focus less on the food and more on enjoying time with them.”
“I suspect that if you approach it this way, you can come to a solution that can make everyone happy.” ~ MamaCass
“I think the bigger issue is that OP is caught between the DIL and her son.”
“The DIL doesn’t want to eat at OP’s house and OP is ok with that and wants to de-emphasize cooking since DIL is uncomfortable eating her cooking.”
“Then the son chimes in and gets all bent out of shape because he wants his mom to cook for him (and I guess he’s fine with his partner having to sit through a meal she can’t stand to eat).”
“I think the son is the AH here.”
“The solution is just to order pizza or to schedule activities that allow them to socialize and don’t involve eating.” ~ catsinstrollers5
“It can still be an eating disorder.”
“I don’t think YTA, but I also think that there’s no reason to not cook for your son (if you still want to) and just expect her to not eat.”
“My partner has A[voidant]/R[estrictive] F[ood] I[ntake] D[isorder] but all anyone sees is a picky eater.”
“But for them, it’s a texture and consistency issue as much as taste.”
“There’s only about 10 things they’ll eat and they rarely will eat them if made by someone else.”
“Example: grilled cheese.”
“At a restaurant or someone else’s home, they use different bread and cheese.”
“Maybe there will be vegetables in it or it will be more burnt.”
“So it’s easier for them to just avoid the issue.”
“They are also incredibly embarrassed by it so bringing it up makes them upset/sad.”
“Your son may just be trying to protect her feelings.” ~ persephone11185
“She probably has some really picky eating habits.”
“If you are okay with it, maybe she can just bring her own food and eat that and you can just make a smaller version of the meal you were going to make for everyone else.”
“I know some people might find that rude of someone to bring food, but if someone is this picky of an eater then I don’t see it as an issue.”
“Also, you say they eat a restaurants… then maybe just meet them at restaurants and say you won’t cook a meal if part of it goes to waste.”
“Most likely she grew up with an entirely different spice profile and just doesn’t like the kind of foods you are making.”
“I wouldn’t say it means you are a bad cook, probably more than she is either suffering from some kind of eating disorder or neurodivergent eating issues [like Arfid] or something else similar.”
“I wouldn’t look too much into it being about your cooking and it’s more just a her problem.” ~ Crushingtoday
“I will order pizza.”
“This seems a thoughtful and ideal solution.”
“As a host, I always try to feed my guests something they can/will actually eat/enjoy.”
“Your son has to choose between your cooking and bringing his GF with him, since apparently he can’t have both.”
“To feed everyone else home-cooked food and then put a delivery pizza in front of her would surely be even ruder of you, singling her out and drawing attention to her.”
“Your son needs to get a grip and realize that not everyone is as in love with her and her ways as he is and that she is the problem here. NTA.” ~ notforcommentinohgoo
“NTA, but has your son considered the idea that she suffers from disordered eating?”
“I used to have an E[ating] D[isorder] and ‘picky eating’ in excess can be a sign of an ED.” ~ growsonwalls
“It was asked a few times.”
“I basically get brushed off when I try to talk to either of them about it.”
“I have tried before, but my son either stops the conversation or tells me she doesn’t want to talk about it.”
“He has given me things to make before.”
“So she could just think I am a bad cook, I’ve seen her eat before in her home so I don’t think eating disorder.”
“I can’t figure out what is happening, they go to restaurants.”
Well, OP, Reddit is with you.
You’ve reached out to try and remedy the issue.
Why keep putting yourself out there and why waste all that time cooking?
You have every right to wonder, but you may have to table the discussion for now.
Hopefully, you can all just move forward and not let this stay a huge issue.