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Stepmom Called Out For Secretly Adding Gluten And Lactose To ‘Holistic’ Stepdaughter’s Meals

Woman in the kitchen cooking
Eugenio Marongiu/Getty Images

We are more aware than ever before that food sensitivities and food allergies are a real concern for the general population.

But there are definitely people out there saying that they have intolerances or allergies when they do not, side-eyed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit, which only makes it harder for people with real intolerances to eat safely.

Redditor HatNo7106 had become increasingly frustrated with her stepdaughter who claimed to have food sensitivities, despite all of her tests coming back negative.

She became so frustrated, the Original Poster (OP) decided to give her stepdaughter with food with her insensitivities in it, and was pleased when her stepdaughter said the food made her feel better.

She asked the sub:

“AITAH for lying to my stepdaughter that the soup she loves is lactose- and gluten-free for six months?”

The OP’s stepdaughter was going through a series of dietary changes.

“So my (35 Female) stepdaughter (15 Female) lives with us every other week, and for the past year, she has been a nightmare when it comes to food.”

“First, she became vegan, which I have no problems with, I just make her food sans animal products, but that didn’t stick, and that’s normal too.”

“Now she is holistic and she started having allergies from everything: salted nuts, lactose, processed foods, gluten, red meat, mustard, mushrooms, and anything a loser Instagram influencer is making money telling people is dangerous.”

The OP’s stepdaughter’s expectations became too much to keep up with.

“I had enough when she started demanding that I separate her cookware even in the dishwasher. Separate her food in the fridge and freezer.”

“She started taking out all my salted nuts and sugars, etc., and throwing them in the trash because she complained about stomach pain that she attributed to contamination from the pantry.”

“I told her that she should either eat outside or do her own cooking and cleaning from now on.”

“She started raging, saying that I was treating her differently from the rest of the family and I was the evil stepmother.”

“My husband started yelling at me, too. I asked him to take her to do an allergy screening and seek mental help for eating disorders, and surprise surprise, she had no allergies, but her answer was that this didn’t matter; what mattered was what she believed. She said her stomach ache was ‘actually a real thing.'”

“Lactose intolerance exists, but my stepdaughter doesn’t have it. When the doctors told her she could eat dairy, she said she didn’t care what the doctor said because she believed she was intolerant anyway, and that was enough for her. For her, it was 100% in her head because she is mental and needs help with her eating disorders that don’t come from TikTok videos.”

The OP decided to test a theory.

“So I can’t have anything in my house now, and I have to make her food in almost a separate kitchen. I had enough. I started putting gluten and lactose in almost everything she ate, especially the chicken soup that she loves so much.”

“She has been eating this for the past six months until her mom dropped her off one day and stayed for coffee, talking about how actually their health has been better since she started following her daughter’s new kitchen rules.”

“I just said, ‘Really? She feels better?'”

“The daughter yelled at me, ‘Yes, I don’t have stomach issues anymore.'”

“I just calmly said, ‘Great, I wonder what changed because you have been eating the same food as the rest of us over the past months, especially the chicken soup you love so much.'”

“She started yelling and throwing things off the shelves, and her mother started yelling at me, too, and they left.”

“My husband was angry at me and called what I did reckless because she is refusing to live with us now, and I said, ‘Great, if you want her to live with you, then you can move the h**l out, too.'”

The OP stood by what she had done.

“They have filed a lawsuit against me, but it will get dropped the minute the judge looks at the case.”

“My husband is still angry at me, but I will not change my mind that if he wants his daughter, he should move out to be with her, and I would actually understand if he chose his daughter over me.”

“Now she demands that I apologize and divide the kitchen into two areas if she is ‘ever’ to live with us again because she has been having stomach problems since I started feeding her normal food.”

“I urged my husband and his ex to seek mental help for her but told them she is not welcome to my home.”

“I am a nurse, and I work almost 60 hours a week. Making time to make food and clean is a luxury for me, and I will be damned if I start to abide by the rules of a superficial teenager with mental issues and delusions.”

“Also, I do believe in food sensitivities. I know it is not a diagnosis. I also truly believe that many of these ‘sensitivities’ are mental health-related and that professionals should encourage people to go to the root of the cause and not just cut bread and sugar.”

“The ‘I feel so well’ only goes so far, and then you are gonna cut more to ‘feel so well.’ Go to the bottom of the problem instead. Treat your depression or whatever you are suffering from.”


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 empathized with the OP and said that her family was being incredibly unrealistic.

“This drives me nuts. You are NTA. It’s because of people like her, people like me, who actually have food allergies, have such a tough time.”

“She had the tests, she was fine. She’s just mental, and it’s sick her parents are playing along. Since when does a teenager get to rule the house?!?!”

“I’m sorry about your marriage, and please update us when it gets thrown out of court. I can’t wait to hear about that. They need to reign her in! Good for you!” – throwitaway3857

“It breaks my heart to see my friend with celiac disease and lactose intolerance apologize incessantly when we go out to eat, to me, to the waiters, it makes me so sad.”

“I have an ex-friend who faked celiac disease for years even after a negative test, and when I think back on her, I’m just beyond furious. It’s because of people like her and OP’s stepdaughter that my poor friend feels like she has to apologize for something she has no control over. There are real consequences for this bulls**t.” – samsamcats

“If my kid was having a stomach ache every time she went to her dad’s, honestly? I’d be packing her something to eat while she was there. I’m not going to leave it in the hands of others. Not even her father because he sounds quite useless, to be honest.”

“But no way in the world should this be falling on OP. That kid is leading her parents around by the nose.” – TALKTOME0701

“Your husband started yelling at you about it? Congratulations Husband, you are now your daughter’s chief chef and bottle washer. NTA.” – My_Name_Is_Amos

“If your husband wants to back up his daughter so much he’ll get off his lazy @ss and learn how to support her dietary needs.”

“Him pawning it off on you and then yelling at you while he does f**k-all shows just how ‘supportive’ he actually is. If her mom is drinking the Kool-Aid, she can send your stepdaughter batched meals that can be heated up by little Miss Princess.”

“But I’m sure that won’t be enough. If your husband were to do that in the kitchen, then I bet he would need to build walls in the kitchen to make it into two different rooms, then move all kitchen appliances in one room and buy new ones for the other.”

“That means that she won’t have a decent kitchen anymore for her own needs, in her own home. It’s not a valid solution.”

“He should buy a nearby house to cook for his daughter in, and do so with funds that would not go to his wife in case of divorce nor inheritance.” – LloydBestFan

Others agreed and felt it was time for the OP to exit the situation and the marriage.

“Your husband is a piece of s**t. How did a lawsuit make its way to you? What level of disrespect is this that your husband didn’t protect you from his ex?”

“What is in their blood? Both of her parents are sick. I fear for your safety. These people sound absolutely insane.” – studyhardbree

“‘You’re treating her differently from the rest of the family..?’ You mean, like she asked? She wanted a separate different menu?”

“Your husband is really stretching how long incompetence can be sexy with his inability to cook. Being a good father doesn’t make him a good husband.”

“He doesn’t seem to respect you as a partner or as a professional unless his own credentials exceed your own in the healthcare industry. He should pull his head out of his a** and listen. NTA.” – Last-Butterscotch-68

“She works 60 hours a week, and she still cooks meals for them?”

“He should be grateful, shut up, and help OP cook. If his daughter has all these special demands, she can cook for herself, or dad has to cook for her, but not OP, who already has no free time with a 60-hour work week and probably doing all the house chores.”

“(To me, it sounds like her partner doesn’t lift a finger and has special demands… OP, if you read this, you are way too good for these ungrateful people.)” – Moira-Thanatos

“Lol (laughing out loud), this situation… Throw the whole family out with the trash… including the husband.” – Dramatic-Result-2825

“When you throw the man out, where he lands is his problem, not yours. Don’t worry about him or your stepdaughter anymore.”

“This isn’t something important like a pet where you have to find him a new home before he has to leave. He is a big boy. He can do that on his own.”

“Hmmm, now that made me think about people who keep cheating spouses around. Are they doing it because they are waiting for the right home to come along before tossing them out?” – Stormeigh

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in the comments.

“Thanks everyone for the feedback.”

“I am actually also a very calm person, but this was just the straw, I guess. I took her holistic journey very seriously until it started spilling over into other people’s lives.”

“The fact that she would throw temper tantrums and scream in the car if we ever went to McDonald’s after a day out or picnic and not care that her siblings are in the car and scared of her screaming because we are ‘contaminating the air around her.'”

“Her siblings really hate it when she is around. They tug and hug my leg and refuse to leave my side when she is there. And thinking back, she doesn’t even acknowledge them, only when they’re in ‘her way’ and she is yelling.”

“Yeah, I don’t need this. I think my stepdaughter has been bidding for power over me and her siblings, trying to exhaust me in every way she can and then using her biological parents as her personal punishers. This has been going on for some years now.”

“We are trying another thing before we call it quits. She lives with her mother full-time. They can be delusional together.”

“When she visits (not before the lawsuit is dropped or dismissed), she keeps away from my kitchen so as not to be contaminated and brings her own food with her. She will have a mini fridge and a microwave in her room.”

“She is not allowed on her own with my children without MY supervision.”

“It sounds complicated, so the next step is separation (it could take a while to evict my husband) and eventually divorce.”

The subReddit could not stop shaking their heads over this one, struggling to see a way forward for this whole family, especially while all the responsibilities were being placed on the OP.

It was clear that some new boundaries needed to be set, and as the OP said, if they didn’t work, their futures might require a whole new menu of possibilities.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.