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New Mom Snaps After Stepdaughter Keeps Purposely Touching Her Food So That She Won’t Eat It

Young girl holding a hot dog with mustard on her face.
Glowimages/Getty Images

Some people are very particular when it comes to eating.

Not only what it is they are about to eat, but also how they’re eating it, it’s served and who they might share it with.

One single step out of their usual eating routine could result in their instantly losing their appetite.

After recently giving birth, Redditor Slow_Lengthiness8362 found herself having trouble gaining back her previous eating habits

Not helping matters, the original poster (OP)’s 12-year-old stepdaughter would often behave at dinner time in a way that would eliminate the OP’s appetite, constantly leaving her hungry.

Having finally had enough, the OP decided to take matters into her own hands, and teach her stepdaughter a lesson.

Unfortunately, the OP’s husband believed her actions only made things worse.

Wondering if this was the case, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for throwing my food in the garbage instead of giving it to my daughter?”

The OP explained why she felt compelled to throw her dinner in the trash.

“What I did was wrong.”

“I feel stupid.”

“I kind of snapped, I guess.”

“My husband and I have 2 daughters.”

“12-year-old Hailie, my stepdaughter, and 2-month-old Hannah.”

“Since I gave birth and up until about two weeks ago, I couldn’t keep down any food outside of crackers.”

“It would just make me sick, which the doctors said was because of me adjusting to breastfeeding and that it was normal.”

“So up until two weeks ago, every single hot meal I made was eaten 100% by Hailie and my husband, though I still made myself a portion just in case.”

“Hailie always ate my portion before leaving the table.”

“She would see it set out on a plate for me that I would try picking at, but as soon as she touched it, I would stop picking at it, and she would just take over.”

“I spoke to her about it a few times because I won’t eat anything that another person has touched.”

“It grosses me out.”

“So, she knew.”

“She just didn’t care to stop because ‘it’s not like you’re going to eat it anyway’.”

“My husband has spoken up to her several times and ultimately told me that I just wasn’t making enough food because Hailie was still ‘starving’ after eating her plate and second helpings.”

“When I was finally able to keep food down again, I started making more dinner to combat the issue.”

“Like I made a big sheet pan of lasagna.”

“Definitely should have been leftovers.”

“But my husband had two helpings and the rest went to Hailie because right after I made dinner, the baby was fussy and tired and ultimately needed to be fed so I excused myself to the other room and when I came back a half hour later, Hailie was forking the last portion out of the pan- using her fingers.”

“So, she touched it- I wouldn’t eat it.”

“Or last night, I made 5 medium-sized chicken breasts.”

“My husband had 2, Hailie had two and I had one on my plate.”

“I was eating it slowly, so I wouldn’t get sick.”

“Hailie ate her entire plate and then said ‘you gonna eat that?'”

“And put her finger directly on my chicken.”

“My husband sent her to her room but ultimately, I didn’t eat it.”

“She knew what she was doing.”

“Then tonight.. I made 5 cheese burgers for them (I cant eat hamburger) and two hot dogs for myself.”

“Again, I ended up having to feed the baby directly after finishing dinner.”

“They had eaten by the time I was finished feeding the baby.”

“I make myself up my two hotdogs and Hailie reaches over and picks up the hotdog, bun and all, and flips it over, puts it back down and says ‘was just checking if the bread was moldy’ and then looks up and sees me glaring at her and says ‘oops, sorry, forgot’.”

“‘Guess you’re not gonna eat that now so I can have it if you want’.”

“I took my entire dinner, plate and all, and chucked it in the trash can and walked off.”

“She starts crying to my husband about not meaning to upset me and that she was just hungry.”

“My husband yelled at me for being childish and wasting food and left with his daughter.”

“He said ‘yeah I get that it’s f*cking annoying and I reprimand her every single f*cking time but you didn’t have to stoop to her f*cking level’.”

“You’re more childish than she is’.”

“It’s not just with dinner that this happens’.”

“Even when I was eating nothing but crackers, she would still ask me for my food.”

“She eats multiple snacks during the day, as well as big breakfasts and lunches.”

“She’s been to a nutritionist and she’s healthy.”

“She has a high metabolism and just constantly wants food- as well as bored eats.”

“Never gains a pound though.”

“She’s 5’2, 86lbs.”

“She’s not overweight.”

“She barely gains anything.”


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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for throwing out her hot dogs instead of giving them to Hallie.

Everyone agreed that even though her husband might have always reprimanded Hallie for her behavior, she clearly hadn’t learned a lesson, and more drastic measures were called for, with others agreeing that Hallie was way too old to behave in such an infantile way.


“Stop eating with them.”

“Take your portion and eat in your bedroom.”- perfectpomelo3


“Your husband has to deal with his daughter.”

“She complained there wasn’t enough food. You made enough food for an army, and she still ate everything she could and ruined (for you) what she couldn’t.”

“She clearly doesn’t respect you, and she thinks it’s funny to hurt you.”

“Your husband, however, thinks it’s okay for you to starve because he’s fed and so is Hailie.”

“So, new rule.”

“He doesn’t eat until you do.”

“You eat first.”

“The baby fusses?”

“He deals with the fussy baby for the 10 minutes it takes you to eat. Hailie touches your food? Excellent, he can eat the gross kid hand food, and you can start the new portion. Even better, Hailie also has to wait.

Or go on strike, let them cook their own food.”

“There’s been some discussion over food scarcity vs power play.”

“So it’s test time.”

“Cook something filling yet plentiful.”

“A massive pot of hearty soup with rolls, or just tonnes and tonnes of rice.”

“Cook as if you’re cooking for the week:”

“If Hailie eats and eats and eats and stops, you are not cooking enough.”

“You need to provide more consistently.”

“If Hailie eats until she makes herself sick, you have a deeper food problem, either developed from scarcity, jealously, or some other physical/mental/psychological issue.”

“Talk to her doctor.”

“If Hailie still puts her fingers in the food, either in yours specifically or in the whole meal worth, then you’ve got a power play, but you could still also have a problem with quantity.”

“1 and 2 are still important here, but you know she’s acting out.”- Natural_Garbage7674


“Tonight fix dinner, remove your portion, and sit the rest in front of Hailey tell your husband he can have whatever she leaves for him.”- Less_Jello_2489


“This is getting out of control.”

“The idea that she gets rewarded with a plate of food every time she sticks her fingers in your food is part of the problem.”

“Because ultimately she continues to get what she wants out of the interaction.”

“She both ensures you don’t eat (for whatever reason, she’s touching your food, not your husband’s), and she gets to eat it in front of you.”

“The reprimand does nothing if it only follows or is followed by a reward.”

“The fact that your husband allows this to happen in front of him does nothing is a problem.”

“He doesn’t offer up any meal and he doesn’t replace the meal you lose every single night.”

“When she’s done with her plate she can leave the table.”

“She doesn’t need to sit there and watch you eat or touch your plate ever.”

“And the second she reaches for your plate it’s time for her to leave the table.”

“And if the baby is fussy he needs to be getting up to deal with the baby while you eat your meal because that seems to be exactly enough of a delay for her to go for your plate.”

“See how he handles her going for his plate.”

“Start off the dinner with a reminder of the expectations.”

“‘You can eat what’s on your plate but you cannot touch anyone else’s plate’.”

“If you do. You won’t get what’s on their plate’.”

“‘If you want more, ask Dad to make you more food or additional food.'”- JetItTogether

“NTA but your husband and stepdaughter are.”

“She sounds troubled in some way.”

“At 12, she should understand what she is doing and be able to control it, so to my mind, she is touching your food to provoke you.”

“I believe you were right to throw your food away; I wouldn’t have touched it after she stuck her grubby hand in it.”

“Your husband needs to deal with this little minx.”

“Is she jealous of the new baby?”- Fancy_Box_3916

Perhaps it was childish of the OP to throw away her hot dogs rather than give them to Hallie.

Even so, Hallie had to endure for one night what the OP has been enduring for a seemingly endless amount of time.

Unlike Hallie, however, the OP had to endure it on an empty stomach.

One can only hope that the OP’s husband might come to realize that ensuring his wife eats takes priority over reprimanding anyone.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.