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Parent Called Out For Forcing ‘Insanely Picky’ Nine-Year-Old Son To Cook His Own Food

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Deciding what you want to eat can be a difficult decision.

And kids are notorious for making food choices far more stressful than necessary.

But do parents do enough investigating as to why kids are so picky?

It’s all part of the learning experience right?

Case in point…

Redditor UsefulSkills wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for making my son make his own food?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My son 9 M[ale] is insanely picky.”

“He won’t eat almost everything.”

“This started when he was around five.”

“He would come home from kindergarten with untouched lunches except for his yogurt and applesauce.”

“We took him to the pediatrician, who said we needed to consult with a dietician.”

“While we were waiting for approval from our insurance we tried different things to get our son to eat.”

“Eventually we figured that he will eat stuff like mashed potatoes and soup, anything he doesn’t have to chew.”

“So we just started accommodating that.”

“We tried to make balanced meals, mixing soft vegetables into his mashed potatoes and such.”

“We figured he would grow out of this, but he never did.”

“I got sick of making separate meals or eating pureed food every night.”

“I started bringing my son into the kitchen with me and teaching him to use a blender and other kitchen tools.”

“Now, my son makes his own food almost every night I cook.”

“My wife still makes separate meals for him.”

‘She says I am an AH for making him make his own food.”

“I supervise him and help him with whatever he needs.”

“I think he needs to know how to make his own stuff, because there is no way people are going to accommodate this throughout his life.”

“We’ve been fighting about it more lately.”

“Oh, and we never did figure out why he doesn’t like chewing.”

“Dietician referred us elsewhere and insurance wouldn’t pay.”

“But it doesn’t really matter at this point.”


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 our OP WAS the A**hole.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“YTA – not for making him cook, but for failing to get him the appropriate medical care to work out if there is a serious issue.”

“Edit… Because everyone seems upset that I am calling OP… YTA for not pursuing further medical intervention.”

“The main reason I am saying that is that OP said they had been directed to further inventions and ‘because insurance wouldn’t pay and it doesn’t matter why a literal child won’t chew’ has elected to not pursue them or insurance approved alternatives.”

“The solution of ‘punish child by making him cook mush’ rather than get a 2nd or 3rd job in 5 years to pay for the additional intervention as to why he will only eat mush makes OP YTA.” ~ F**kUGalen

“YTA. Doesn’t sound like he tried that hard and now he just says it doesn’t even really matter.”

“Except it kinda does! If he really wanted to do something, he would be looking for alternatives.”

“Having the kid make his own meals while everyone else is cooked for, isn’t going to help matters.”

“It’s a way to no longer deal with the problem, and then the kid can develop a complex bc he doesn’t get the same effort from his dad than everyone else.” ~ Drama_Queen2013

“You haven’t had a special needs child have you?”

“At some point the millions of doctors appointments are unbearable.”

“They found a liveable solution for now.”

“And 9 isn’t that young. He isn’t cooking entire meals alone.”

“He’s learning how to prep his own food. If kids can’t use a blender at age 9… that’s a problem.”

“Five year olds can freakin’ navigate iPhones and computers for goodness sakes.”  ~ Save_the_Manatees_44

“Even taking this assessment (that there is an undiagnosed medical issue here) at face value, OP would still not be an AH since OP has spent years working through this with their pediatrician and associated team.”

“This describes a NAH situation.”

“Parents taking the advice of a team of medical professionals about the well-being of their child is basically never an AH move.” ~ poke0003

“My son had this exact issue.”

“I took him to an OT and speech therapist and they worked with him.”

“He had sensory processing disorder and swallowing/ chewing issues.”

“It was about 6 months of therapy and they gave us exercises to continue.”

“He has a normal diet now. This stuff needs to be treated when they are young.”

“It affects their school and education too.”

“YTA for not getting your child treatment and instead turning this into a life long issue.”  ~ Illustrious-Owl-7199

“You’re supposed to trust your doctor, but if the doctor can’t eventually help, you get a second opinion.”

“Everyone has failures, blind spots, areas they aren’t strong in, personal prejudices, ‘Oh, I didn’t think of that’s, etc.'”

“Lots of people treat doctors like towering, authoritarian geniuses, but they’re mostly just normal people who are good at memorizing lots of information and taking tests and who are willing to dissect a pig or three.”  ~ RishaBree

“YTA and have you lost your mind?”

“You think it’s good parenting to just ignore that your kid only eats puréed foods at 9 year old, for his whole life (you said in a comment)?”

“Food aversions are a thing, often related to other conditions that also call for treatment.”

“Medical issues with jaw/throat/teeth, too.”

“There are doctors and therapists devoted to exploring these issues and finding solutions.” ~ RB1327

Someone had a different ideas…

“NTA. I have a 9yo and we’ve only just recently started getting her into making her own foods.”

“Not because she is fussy but just for independence and because she can so why not?!”

“When I make dinner and she doesn’t like it or is being fussy, she knows it is then her responsibility to find something else to make.”

“This is so she understands the time and effort it takes for us to make her food and gains more appreciation.”

“But having her make her own things like fried eggs or pancakes 100% on her own makes her feel like a kitchen Queen and it’s lovely to see.”

“It’s been helpful for times like when I’m too unwell and my husband isn’t home or when we are all busy or she just feels like it.”

“We still make her breakfast/lunch/dinner BUT sometimes we leave it up to her for when she is hungry.”

“But at the same time my husband and I don’t make food for each other and not include her, unless she has already got a different idea of what she wants to eat.”

“Then she can make something different.”

“Every family is different though and what works for one may not work for the other.”

“If your son is adapting well and enjoying the process then why discourage it!”  ~ catduck-meow

“I agree. We are teaching our 7 year old how to prepare some of her favorite things.”

“Age appropriate, of course. No sharp knives or the stove. But, a microwave at 7? Hell yeah!”

“Because cooking is a lifelong skill.”

“And I have a picky daughter, as well.”

“This way, when she wants to go to a sleepover, or her grandparents’ house, and they don’t know exactly how to prepare food the way she prefers, she is empowered to feed herself.”

“NTA, OP. Teaching kids to cook is an important skill.”

“Doubly so when they have unique preferences.” ~ Ihaveapeach

“I’ve been cooking basic foods for myself since I was like 5.”

“It was a very valuable life skill that my parents taught me.”

“Now I can cook basically anything.”

“My boyfriend whose parents never had him cook anything?”

“Over 30 and feels stressed when he’s in the kitchen cooking anything more complicated than scrambled eggs or stir fry.”

“NTA more kids need to learn how to cook for themselves, especially if they are very picky eaters.”  ~ bananamjlk

OP came back with some reaction…

“I’d appreciate it if people would answer the question I’m actually asking (is making my son cook an AH move?) instead of trying to armchair diagnose him.”

“Our pediatrician is highly qualified and works with a dedicated team.”

“I’m listening to them, not a bunch of random people on the internet.”

“The fact that you think you know more than his doctor, who has known him nine years, and has a plethora of information about his health, based on a short post, with a tiny amount of medical information. shows you really shouldn’t be giving out medical advice.”

OP… this is not an easy fix.

Reddit is all over the place with thoughts.

But most feel maybe it’s time for some extra opinions.

Although teaching a child to cook is a life essential, it’s also essential to understand food aversion.

Good luck.