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Parent Stunned When Husband’s Family Refuses To Eat At 1-Year-Old Daughter’s Vegan Birthday Party

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By now it should be clear to everyone that some of us have food preferences and dietary restrictions, some of which involve serious consequences if they are not observed.

But some people refuse to observe these needs because of their own food choices, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Specialist_Badger934 was appalled at the response to her daughter’s birthday party menu, for which she wanted to accommodate the birthday girl’s dietary needs.

When her family insisted that they have a more enjoyable menu, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was somehow wrong for wanting to make her daughter’s birthday about her little girl.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not changing my daughter’s birthday to not be ‘vegan’?”

The OP’s one-year-old had multiple dietary concerns. 

“I found out at a very young age (~3 months) that my youngest is allergic to dairy and eggs.”

“After a bunch of testing, it was determined that she can’t have dairy or eggs in any form, not even cooked/baked.”

The OP wanted to accommodate her daughter, especially since it was for her birthday. 

“Her first birthday is next weekend. From the get-go I wanted her birthday to be completely safe for her. As in, all food, drink, desserts, etc., will be egg- and dairy-free.”

“We have spent so much time figuring out what she was allergic to and avoiding it, I wanted to have one day where we do not have to monitor everything she ate.”

“And of course, being a baby, she tends to grab for anything she wants, so having no allergens at all means I don’t have to worry if one of our other children (6 female and 3 male) leaves their food in her reach.”

But her family had a surprisingly terrible reaction to this plan.

“This is becoming a problem now because my husband doesn’t want to have ‘only vegan food’ because he says he and his side of the family won’t eat it.”

“I wasn’t planning on anything too out there. My mom volunteered to make her homemade veggie soup, and I was going to make a chocolate cake and frosting.”

“The only difference between normal cake and frosting and the one I’m making is apple sauce instead of eggs and oat milk instead of cow’s milk.”

“My nephews on my husband’s side won’t eat the soup at all, I guess, and neither will their parents.”

“The boys I think would have liked the cake, but as soon as my in-laws discovered it was ‘vegan,’ they said they won’t eat vegan food, and neither will their kids.”

“My husband wants to just do pizza and ‘normal’ cake because it’s what they like.”

The OP was very frustrated.

“I don’t understand the point of having a birthday meal that the birthday kid can’t even eat.”

“I didn’t think it was too much to ask to have one day that is catered to my daughter when she’s going to have to spend the rest of her life working around everyone else.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the family needed to put the daughter first.

“NTA.”

“Why can’t your husband and family just suck it up? There’s such a stigma about ‘vegan’ and ‘dairy free’ food, when really, it can actually be very tasty.”

“I’m not vegan or dairy-free, but my partner was for a month and my dad is full-time, and the food that I made was actually really quite nice. Like even I would eat it!”

“I made a gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate cake for my dad’s 50th and I actually really liked it as well. They’re just being fussy for the sake of being fussy, it’s one day they can surely deal with one day.”

“If they’re that desperate for non-dairy-free food, they can surely order a pizza once the little ones are in bed.”

“Hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday!” – Laujaa

“My daughter is allergic to eggs and I’m allergic to dairy. Everyone in our family gets vegan birthday cake as a result.”

“I always use the same recipe, and my ‘I will never touch anything fake or vegan’ brother-in-law eats 2 slices every time.” – funparent

“She’s a baby. And it’s vegan, not radioactive.”

“If they want to be childish they can not eat. Which is literally what I tell me kids when they won’t eat their dinner.” – BasicDesignAdvice

“Do you trust your husband to take her allergy seriously? Now and in the future?”

“I hope the answer is a deep and true yes and he’s just acting spoiled instead of being actively dangerous to your child.”

“It also sounds like his whole family might be prone to ignoring her allergy, and that can end as poorly as possible. It only takes once.”

“He needs to be her advocate and defender, not the ‘Come on, it’ll be fine,’ person.”

“NTA.” – Wuellig

Others reassured the OP and said she wasn’t asking for too much.

“You said, ‘I didn’t think it was too much to ask to have one day that is catered to my daughter, when she’s going to have to spend the rest of her life working around everyone else.'”

“NTA. It is absolutely not too much to ask. Your husband and his family seem to have no consideration for your daughter.” – False-Mail-940

“A simple fun dinner you could make is fajitas. Beef/chicken/shrimp don’t have dairy or eggs – just meat, corn, grilled veggies, and dairy-free cheese (I use a grateable block of goat’s milk feta that tastes like mild cheddar).”

“For snacks: Chips and salsa should be fine, just check labels. Bowls of different types of chips is good for kid’s party food.”

“Dessert is really easy – buy vegan ice cream. It will have zero dairy or eggs. My favorite brand is “So Delicious” – it’s made with soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc., and is amazing!! Instead of a cake, why not make your own sundae bar?”

“So you have a ton of food options. I’m allergic to dairy (not lactose intolerant, but allergic) and to eggs. If you are ever unsure, buy the vegan version because it cannot be made with either ingredient to qualify as vegan.” – capyber

“Seriously though, this is her day. It’s not her dad’s day, and it’s not her cousins’ day.”

“Yeah, she’s just a baby right now, but she’s going to live with these restrictions forever.”

“You (and hopefully your husband) don’t want to set the precedent that for her birthday, not only does she have to spend all day seeing and smelling a bunch of delicious food she can’t eat, but she has to watch all her family members eat while she alone goes without.”

“Basically, if they have to be bribed with Little Caesars to show up, go ahead and knock them off the guest list.” – readshannontierney

After receiving feedback, the OP shared a few updates.

“I have no problem making foods including meat, and have already told everyone this. I tend to just default to saying vegan instead of ‘egg-free and dairy-free’ just because it’s faster, which is my bad.”

“I’ve found a few options of food that do contain meat, that are still allergen-free that I hope will make everyone happy.”

“Also, I didn’t realize that soup would be considered so weird. We live in California, but my family and I were all born and raised in Germany.”

“Where we are from, it’s not unusual to have soup for a dinner. If you Google gemüsesuppe you’ll see what I’m talking about. But at this point, soup is off the table.”

Though the OP agreed to change the menu for the birthday party someone, the subReddit in no uncertain terms thought it should still be geared toward the birthday girl.

The one-year-old would spend the rest of her life being careful and accommodating others while she navigated her dietary needs. Having a birthday that suited her needs was fair, and not being able to “put up with” that for one day was really telling.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.