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Parent Called ‘Jerk’ For Telling Mom Friend To Have Her Daughter Checked Out For Food Allergy

Young woman eating salad in restaurant, alone.

Giving advice on how a parent should act is rarely easy.

That’s why so many people choose not to speak up.

But sometimes, other parents feel compelled to do so

When these instances occur, usually, there is a lot of discomfort.

So what does one do?

Redditor Mundane-Jaguar1039 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 telling my parent friend that she needs to cook and that is why her daughter isn’t eating?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My daughter has had a best friend since kindergarten, they are in 7th grade.”

“This year Sara has gotten quite thin and her mom has come to me saying she isn’t eating.”

“My daughter backed this up and said that she picks her food at school.”

“I thought it was an eating disorder at the time and told my friend to take her to the doctor.”

“My friend needed to leave for a work trip this week and asked me to watch over her.”

“No big deal, she will stay over for the week.”

“First night I made meatloaf and she ate it.”

“She didn’t get sick.”

“The rest of the week, anything I made, she would eat no issue.”

“She even came back for seconds with most meals.”

“At the end of the week, she asked me why my food didn’t make her sick.”

“Apparently she only eats TV dinners at home which make her feel like crap.”

“The school food also sometimes makes her sick, so she is cautious about it.”

“My guess is there is an allergen in preservative foods.”

“She needs to get that checked out”

“I dropped her off and pulled my friend to the side and told her everything.”

“I told her that she really needed to cook and take her to get her allergy checked out.”

“She was not happy I said this and basically called me a jerk for overstepping.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“AITA? Should I apologize?”

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.

“NTA. She isn’t eating because the TV dinners are making her sick.”

“The solution is for her not to eat those TV dinners.”

“That means mom has to cook.”

“Mom got defensive because she knows she is being a generally crappy parent in this aspect.”

“She can- batch cook, crock pot cook, meal kit cook, or find ‘fresh’ premade meals.”

“She can not just let her kid starve or be ill all the time.”

“Can you send food with your daughter during the week so the kid has a dinner that night?” ~ No-Locksmith-8590

“It’s insanely easy to avoid proper cooking nowadays.”

“I hate cooking, I just buy lots of frozen food that I can stick in the oven or air fryer.”

“It takes like 30 seconds of effort to heat some salmon, microwave some rice or quinoa, and do some frozen veg, it doesn’t have to be unhealthy.”

“It’s not like the only options are ‘TV dinners’ or ‘a meal that took 4 hours to prepare,’ there’s so much room in between for reasonable compromise.” ~ binglybleep

“Honestly if the girl is in 7th grade, maybe OP can teach her and her daughter how to cook a couple of basic meals.”

“In 7th grade, you’re what, 12-13?”

“Kids are taking home ec classes at that age so I see no issue if the mom is going to belligerently refuse to cook for her child.”

“All of this is assuming OP isn’t calling C[hild] P[rotective] S[ervices] to report this friend.” ~ spookyxskepticism

“That’s a great idea.”

“My 12-year-old can make basic meals for himself, and my 10-year-old already bakes with me.”

“Since the friend’s mom doesn’t cook, the girl probably has no clue about a kitchen.”

“She can learn a few easy things using fresh ingredients, even if it’s just tossing a salad with boiled eggs and cutting up some fruit.” ~ FearlessProblem6881

“The adult child of a crap parent here.”

“Your friend is neglecting her child, which is an insidious form of abuse.”

“She knows her TV dinners sicken and starve her child… and controls the food supply so there’s nothing else for the hungry child.”

“I suffered this too.”

“That’s abuse.”

“She knows what she’s doing.”

“Thank you for addressing it.”

“Now, tell the school, please.”

“When enough adults address the abuse, she will care about her own image enough to feed her child.”

“She heeds the social pressure.”

“Of course, she will find other ways to abuse that poor kid, but at least let’s give the child a chance to see that her suffering is neither invisible nor unsolvable.” ~ wehave3bjz

“I had to report a mom to CPS for this issue.”

“She wouldn’t feed the child things they can eat without getting sick and wouldn’t allow the child to eat elsewhere.”

“Fortunately for said child, I’m a mandated reporter and so I filled out a report.”

“Now the child has things they can eat in their home.”

“Starving your child by feeding them things that make them sick is not ok.”

“CPS responded within a week.” ~ Hydrangeas0813

“These girls have been best friends and this seems like it’s a new issue.”

“Perhaps the mom’s work schedule has been changed, or something else is going on, but to me, it doesn’t seem like neglect or abuse.”

“Yes, the mom needs to get her tested or take her to the doctor so they can figure out what’s going on and change things to help her gain weight.”

“They should also look into learning how to cook some healthier options or teaching the daughter.”

“It could be a food allergy.”

“Could be a health issue not yet diagnosed.”

“Could be just the food mom is providing.”

“This also could be a poverty thing, maybe times are tough, and they can’t afford ‘healthy food.'”

“Something could also be going on with mom; maybe she’s got some depression going on, and she just can’t get it together enough to cook.”

“It could also be an eating disorder, and she didn’t feel comfortable there so she didn’t get ‘sick.'”

“Way too many possibilities to jump right to abusive or neglectful parent.”

“That said, the mom should be concerned and figure out what is going on and do her best to fix the problem.” ~ ssf669

“This is very possible, and something OP 100% should consider and watch for.”

“But it is worth remembering that the kid’s mom has brought up her concern that her kid isn’t eating to OP.”

“It’s very possible that the mom is defaulting to TV dinners because they’re easy, and isn’t aware of the fact they are the cause of the daughter feeling ill.”

“The daughter may never have even mentioned feeling ill to her mom and only said things like ‘I’m not hungry’ or ‘I don’t feel like eating.'”

“If the mom eats the same meals and feels fine, it’s easy to see how she could miss the connection.”

“Even her reaction could easily be a defensive reaction to being told that she’s feeding her daughter poorly.”

“My experience is that 9 times out of 10, people react very defensively to any information that challenges a core belief, and if she sincerely believes she’s feeding her daughter properly then it’s no surprise that she lashes out and gets defensive.

“If she already feels overwhelmed with life, the thought of having to cook or prepare food would have added fuel to that fire as well.”

“The key is what happens next.”

“Do the TV dinners vanish?”

“Does she start bringing food to school?”

“If those don’t start happening, THEN it is 100% time to report her.”

“But I don’t think there is enough information in OP’s post to immediately assume abuse is happening.”

“It seems just as likely that an overworked, single parent didn’t realize her time-saving meals were hurting her daughter and got embarrassed that someone else diagnosed her shortcomings.”  ~ The_T0me

“I agree. NTA she went to OP for advice.”

“Having the child for a week in her care showed her what the problem most likely was and so she shared that with the parent.”

“She got all defensive because she realized it was her fault for feeding her kid TV dinners every night and not cooking meals.”

“But no one was really blaming her, just stating facts as she sees them to help the child.”

“I get it she works and she’s tired.”

“But she just found out that TV dinners are not the way.”

“It doesn’t have to be hard though.”

“I work and I still cook.”

“It’s a balance.”

“And hello fresh helps me a lot too lol.”

“A co-worker of mine pre-cooks on Sundays for the whole week.”

“I guess mostly casseroles.”

“She said her husband gets home before her so he knows at a certain time to take one out of the freezer and pop it in the oven for whatever temp she writes on it.

“By the time she gets home, it’s done.” ~ Frequent_Couple5498

“NTA. Your friend left her daughter in your care and you were sharing that she does in fact, eat.”

“It’s going to require more than TV dinners.”

“People are going to argue in this post how you said it is what makes you the AH but the facts remain the same.”

“The girl could have digestive issues with processed foods and her health is a priority.”

“Not your friend’s feelings.” ~ Misplac3dMuggl3

“She left her daughter with her friend for A WEEK and SHE thinks OP is overstepping!!”

“I agree with you, the facts remain the same and she should be grateful someone is trying to help.”

“It’s her daughter’s nutrition at stake at a time when her body may need it most. NTA.” ~ TangFish96

“NTA. The kid’s health comes first, feelings later.”

“Fact check: she ate and felt well at your place but didn’t elsewhere.”

“You flagged a potential issue, no harm in that.” ~ juraegorov2t9tc

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

She originally asked for your help in figuring it all out.

You gave her your best advice.

It doesn’t sound like you were accusatory.

She may have some guilt over this and is lashing out at you.

Hopefully, she’ll come around.