Many people will absolutely refuse to eat certain foods or types of food for political, religious, or health-conscious reasons.
Or simply because they don’t like them.
It can be challenging if people with different eating habits or diets live under the same roof.
But as long as everyone is respectful of each other’s dietary restrictions and preferences, there is no reason they can’t make it work.
Redditor ifedthem was excited to host his two nieces while his sister was away, aware that his sister was raising them to follow her own dietary beliefs.
But when the two girls expressed interest in eating the food the original poster (OP) was cooking for himself, he felt no guilt in letting them try, believing they were old enough to decide for themselves.
Even though his sister was not remotely pleased by this.
Wondering if he overstepped, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for letting my nieces eat the food I made for my wife instead of the food my sister bought for them while they stayed at my house?”
The OP explained how they didn’t think it was such a big deal to allow their nieces to expand their palettes, but his sister and mother felt otherwise.
“I’ve been debating asking about this, but the situation has turned into an all-out drama within my family.”
“My sister Kylie and her husband are both vegetarians.”
“They have 2 daughters aged 10 and 13 and they raise them on a vegetarian diet.”
“My wife and I aren’t against vegetarian meals, there is some great plant-based cuisine out there and we forego meat often.”
“Recently, they stayed with us for two weeks while my sister went on a business trip with her husband.”
“She provided pre-prepared meals and snacks for her kids.”
“The first few days, we all ate vegetarian, but their stay with us coincided with my wife’s week of darkness, and my wife likes chicken, liver, and some lean beef during that time.”
“She told me she was really craving stuffed chicken breasts so I made some mushroom-spinach stuffed chicken breasts for her and heated up soup for the girls.”
“The oldest asked if she could try some.”
“She hasn’t asked to try any of our food before, so I asked why, and she told me she has been trying some of her friends’ lunches at school and she’s already tried Lunchables and deli meat sandwiches.”
“I asked her if her parents knew, and she said no.”
“Ultimately, I cut a chicken breast in half and let her try it- it’s just chicken, after all, not crack.”
“Then the youngest wanted to try it.”
“They liked it and ate it with their soup.”
“The following day I made my wife the traditional monthly meatloaf and this time, the girls ate our meal instead of one Kylie prepped for them.”
“That’s pretty much how the rest of their stay went- I’d let them try what I made if I cooked two meals and let them decide if they wanted some of what I made for my wife or what their mother prepared.”
“The girls visited with my parents, and from my understanding, the youngest let the cat out of the bag by asking for a stuffed chicken as they had at Uncle’s house.”
“I learned this when my mother called me to hem me up about disrespecting Kylie’s parenting style.”
“She told Kylie about it, and I got it from my sister too.”
“I let it roll off my back and didn’t say anything. The girls are already trying things away from their parents. No point in pointing that out and potentially making my sister hover around them.”
“However, the girls are now being fussy eaters and are questioning their parents as to why they can’t have other things that they’ve found they like, and I’m getting blamed for it.”
“The only ones who don’t think I was out of line are my father and wife.”
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 was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for feeding his nieces meat.
Just about everyone agreed that the OP did nothing wrong, as both of his nieces were old enough to decide what they liked and wanted to eat, and if anyone was being unfair to them, it was the OP’s sister.
“These kids are 10 and 13.”
“They are old enough to decide if they want to try foods other than vegetarian dishes.”
“I think it would have been rather cruel to say no to them wanting to try what you had prepared.”
“Sister needs to understand that perhaps her children do not want to maintain a vegetarian diet.”
“They are trying food at school and your house because they are curious.”
“Turning this into a huge thing might backfire on your sister.”- Lazuli_Rose
“But it sounds like your sister needs to listen to her children.”
“They clearly don’t want to be vegetarian and enjoy eating meat.”
“She should respect their food choices and not try to force them to follow her diet.”- CinderDroplet
“It should be up to the kids if they want to be vegetarian or not, and it shouldn’t be forced on them.”
“You fed them healthy normal meals. There is nothing wrong with that.”
“I have a mom friend that was a strict vegetarian when she had kids. She would let her husband and kids choose what they ate, and she would even make them chicken and other meats at times.”-Tonikaya1001
“Her kids are exposed to different foods in school.”
“They are experimenting because they want to.”
“You didn’t force it.”
“But the parents are.”
“They should respect their choices as they get older.”
“How would they feel if they had no say in what they eat?”
“It’s fine to want to raise your kids a certain way with food, but at some point, they need to make those decisions for themselves.”
“If the parents keep forcing this on them against their will, it’s only going to lead to resentment.”- Prudent_Border5060
“If they wanted to have their kids follow their rules, then they shouldn’t have left them with y’all.”
“Secondly, it’s a social norm of the ‘cool Aunt’ or ‘cool Uncle’ that lets their nieces/nephews do something the parents wouldn’t normally allow.”
“Lastly, enforcing diets on kids is weird in general.”
“Glad you didn’t indulge that.”- Relixen
“I’ve never understood parents like this.”
“It’s like a parent of an elementary-aged kid saying their kid has never had sweets, yet they send them to public school where I can guarantee they’d had sweets on numerous occasions.”-Usual_Zone2543
“Kids should get to choose what they eat/don’t eat as long as it’s not obviously junk food all the time.”
“It’s one thing to restrict due to health reasons or allergies, but these kids are old enough to have opinions and choose to expand their palate.”
“I’m not saying a parent needs to custom prepare food for a kid at their request.”
“I’m saying if food options are available, a kid should get to choose what to eat and should be encouraged to try new things.”
“In this case, the chicken/meatloaf were already made, and they asked to try it.”
“They have asked to try their friends’ meals, and that’s fine (they didn’t ask their friends’ mom for something specific and expect it).”
“Parents shouldn’t force their lifestyle on kids.”
“If the kids want to try other foods, let them.”- Irishlady84
“I think maybe you could have called your sister about this after they tried the chicken and given her a heads up but still not an AH.”
“The kids wanted to try a new food, and you appropriately talked to them about it.”- jrm1102
There were a select few, however, who felt that while the OP didn’t do anything wrong, he still should have probably checked with his sister before letting them eat meat or, at the very least, told her after the fact.
“NTA overall for letting them eat the meat, but Y-T-A for keeping it from your sister.”
“She should have been made aware even if she wouldn’t/doesn’t approve.”
“If you had been the one to instigate your nieces eating meat, or had snuck it into their food, or only gave it to them out of spite for your sister, that would be a different story where YWBTA.”
“But in this case, the girls are old enough to decide for themselves, and they requested to be served meat.”- One_Plant_7544
There was no way the OP’s sister wasn’t going to be frustrated that her children wouldn’t share her beliefs when it came to food.
At the same time, she should have known that as they grew up, they were eventually going to have the urge to explore a bit more, and her influence on what they could and couldn’t eat was going to diminish.
Even if the OP hadn’t served them meat.