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Mom Demands Teen Stepdaughter Cook When She Visits After She Keeps Throwing Away Full Meals

Woman cooking from cookbook recipe.
Yuri_Arcurs/Getty Images

Food isn’t cheap, even if you’re cooking your own meals. So when food is repeatedly wasted, people get upset.

A stepmother dealing with a wasteful stepdaughter turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Fluffy-Muffin-2267 asked:

“AITA—told stepdaughter she had to start cooking all meals when she visits?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I have a 19-year-old stepdaughter (Molly) who attends college 2.5 hours away and visits us a few times a month for 2-3 days at a time. For the most part, she’s pretty good, and I do love her and enjoy planning activities and outings when she’s here.”

“For the past six months or so, Molly has become extremely picky about the food my husband or I cook, but not any other food. She will try a dish, take 1 bite, and if she doesn’t like it, throw it in the trash.”

“I mean, throw the entire dish in the trash, not just the bite she tried. For example, I’ll make a homemade lasagna, that she’s had many times before, she takes a bite, decides its not to her liking and immediately tosses the entire pan into the garbage.”

“This always happens when neither myself or my husband are in the kitchen with her. We’ve both asked Molly why she throws the food out, and it’s always the same response—it wasn’t any good, and she can’t eat it.”

“We’ve asked her to please stop throwing away entire dishes because we will eat them, and she says she doesn’t want to even look at it anymore. As far as we know, Molly only does this with us.”

“I finally told Molly and my husband—he agreed with me—the next time she tosses a dish either of us has made, she will assume full cooking responsibilities when she’s here. That way, whatever is made will be to her liking.”

“It happened again, and I stuck by what I had said. Molly got upset and went to her mom’s, 30 minutes away, because according to Molly, her time with us or her mom is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not having to do chores.”

“Molly’s mom called my husband in a rage, screaming how we are treating Molly unfairly; she’s a child; it’s not hard to just fix a different meal to make her happy and accuse us of emotional and mental abuse.”

“Molly’s mom does not cook, so they either go out or order food for all of their meals.”

“Molly is currently refusing to visit unless I apologize to her and agree she can do what she wants with the food. My husband misses his daughter, but he’s siding with me on this, saying Molly has been wasteful and disrespectful of our cooking and hospitality.”

“We never cook anything we know she dislikes. When she’s here, we tend to make dishes that she’s always enjoyed before and ask for her input and suggestions, but she always says she doesn’t care what we make.”

“I feel bad because I know this is hurting my husband and I do miss Molly, plus I want her to spend time with us and have a good time doing so.”


The OP summed up their predicament.

“I upset my stepdaughter by telling her she has to start cooking the meals when she’s with us since she likes to throw away food.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Most Redditors felt the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Wow. I mean, that’s an amazing lack of self-awareness. She doesn’t seem to care about the cost of such waste. Truly, I’m baffled here.”

“Consequences suck, but there it is. You’re nicer than I am, though; you only want her to cook what she will eat. I’d go a step further and demand reimbursement of the cost of any dish she so brazenly throws out.”

“I’m glad your husband is sticking with you in this. The daughter is, obviously, 100% unreasonable here.”

“You are NTA. Time for this 19-year-old child to grow up.” ~ IamIrene

“Genuinely, if I were in your and your husband’s shoes, I’d be telling her that:”

“1)her next and subsequent semesters will NOT be funded by you unless YOU get an apology AND she reimburses you for the food she’s already thrown away.”

“2)she needs to hold summer jobs if she’s ever to be supported by you with her schooling.”

“3)she can go to your house, but you will not make any food for her; she’s entirely responsible for making or buying her own food. I’d go as far as locking the fridge when she’s there, so she doesn’t throw away your own foods as revenge”

“Seriously, she’s more than lucky that a parent has supported her thus far. So many students have to take student loans and WORK their way through school.”

“She’s showing a complete lack of gratitude and responsibility. You and your husband are NTA.” ~ ScoobaChick28

“There is something deeper at play here. I’m not sure what, but it’s something. ‘I’m not coming back unless you apologize to me and tell me I’m allowed to do whatever I want’?”

“Uhhhh, absolutely not. No child will be dictating terms for me in my own home.”

“There is precisely 0 acceptable reason to throw out an entire dish just because you’ve decided you’re too good for it.”

“I get the sense this is mom’s doing, somehow. With the no-cooking, all the takeout, etc… It seems like something regarding her influence is making Molly behave this way, and I wouldn’t stand for it either. Mom’s reaction and accusations affirm this theory for me.”

“I get that you and your husband both miss Molly, but agreeing to her ‘demands’ would do nothing but enforce that she runs things in you and your husband’s house, and I that’s not acceptable.”

“Personally, I would have no problem telling her as much. ‘Hey, there is no logical reason for you to be behaving this way, so what is going on?’.”

“‘I’m supposed to just apologize to you and agree to let you throw away perfectly good food and be wasteful because you’ve decided you’re too good to eat what we make? No law says you have to eat the food we prepare, but it doesn’t give you the right to take it and throw it out either.”

“Obviously NTA.” ~ Aggressive-Bed3269

“1.) Molly is not a child”

“2.) Molly’s mom needs to learn what constitutes ‘mental and emotional abuse'”

“3.) It sounds like Molly’s mom never followed through with consequences, which is simply what you are doing”

“4.) Food costs money, honey! What better time to teach a ‘child’ the value of a dollar than now, while she is in college?”

“She’s going to be on her own soon, and needs to learn that you can’t just toss meals aside with the expectation that *someone* is going to buy her replacement food AND cook it for her.”

“NTA, OP. It sounds like Molly and her mom are f*cking around. But, they’ll find out.” ~ slackerchic

“NTA. Molly is acting like an entitled, selfish brat. Anyone in their right mind knows it’s unreasonable to throw away an entire dish of good, fresh food.”

“Maybe send her to the homeless shelter and see how her perspective changes. She doesn’t understand how expensive groceries are nowawadays either, she needs a reality check.”

“Something is making her act this way. Maybe find the root of it. That or it is her entitlement issues.”

“You do not owe her an apology. Stand your ground and be stern, girl.”

“I know you and especially your husband miss her but she will eventually come around. Something’s going to give eventually.” ~ Shadge_Shtorie

But a few criticized the OP and Molly’s parents for enabling her, deciding everyone sucked (ESH).

“Stop funding her life. Pay just tuition and meal plan. She can get a job for anything else she wants to buy.”

“What an entitled brat. I’d be utterly mortified if I raised such a wasteful and self-entitled brat.”

“But it may be too late to for her to grow into a decent person given how her mother has enabled this toxic behavior and dynamic.”

“NO, wait. ESH because I just saw that you are fully funding her education AND she has $2,000 per month to just SPEND?!? Your husband, her mom, and both sets of grandparents send her $500/month free and clear.”

“You are all enabling her. You and your husband helped create this monster.”

“She can either respect you and your extremely simple request or stop funding her education.”

“If she wants to have school paid for by you, she can do something as simple as to NOT THROW AWAY THINGS THAT DON’T BELONG TO HER.”

“Time for your husband to actually parent her instead of throwing money at her.”

“It’s absolutely nuts that a teenager would have $2000 in spending money per month. They’ve absolutely contributed to creating this monster.”

“No teen needs that kind of money.”

“If responsibility had been taught, the teen would be saving the money, but I seriously doubt that’s been happening given that she’ll throw away an entire tray of lasagna if it isn’t to her liking after one bite.” ~ Ok_Expression7723

“Problem is that she’s not a child. She’s 19, and it sounds like she has no sense of reality because she was raised as a princess.”

“And even now, her mother is siding with her and treating her like a child.”

“I’m going with ESH because it’s way too late to expect this young woman to act like an adult when she was not raised to become one.” ~ Primary-Criticism929

While some felt the parents were also responsible for Molly’s behavior, everyone agreed it was unacceptable.

Hopefully, Molly is getting her wake-up call that it’s no longer tolerated.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.