Mum Refuses to Cater to Picky Eater at Son’s Birthday Party

Planning kids’ birthday parties can be a real challenge, especially when it comes to food and catering. Whether it’s allergies, intolerances, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or something else, there’s always at least one kid at a party with a dietary restriction.

That’s totally fine; they can’t control it! But what about picky eaters? Should we accommodate them or just let them manage on their own?

One mum faced this exact issue when another parent asked her to order cheese pizza for a child at her son’s birthday party because that’s “all he’ll eat.”

The kicker? The kid wasn’t even on the guest list.

A birthday party crasher and a picky eater! What fun!

A mum hosted a small birthday party for her son with food from his favourite pizza place, catering to both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Alongside pepperoni and meat lovers’ pizzas, she ordered a garden pizza with all veggies for her vegetarian sister-in-law and daughter. The meal also included cheesy garlic bread, wings, and Italian salad, with cake and ice cream for dessert.

Her brother arrived with his new girlfriend and her son, whom the mum had never met before. The girlfriend asked for cheese pizza, but the mum explained they didn’t have any. The girlfriend then criticised her brother for not informing his family that her son, who is autistic, only eats cheese pizza.

The birthday party Mum suggested cheesy garlic bread, but the boy didn’t like it, and he also rejected the white cake with sprinkles because he preferred chocolate. His mother asked if they could order a cheese pizza, but the mum, feeling overwhelmed by her son’s Fortnite arguments and other party distractions, responded sharply, saying, “Not everything is about your kid.”

Later, when it was time for cake and ice cream, the mum noticed that her brother, his girlfriend, and her son had left. She received a long text from her brother, accusing her of bullying his girlfriend’s son and setting a bad example for her own children. The mum felt that the girlfriend had been rude and unreasonable, but now her relationship with her brother is strained, and they are not speaking.

As you’d expect, people had thoughts

An AITA Reddit thread can always be counted on for support, opposition, and brutal honesty. The comments on this Reddit thread overwhelmingly supported the birthday boy’s mum.

“That’s not really bullying, it’s the words of a frazzled mother doing too much for too many people when the person complaining could have solved the issue on their own,” says one commenter.

Some got into a small debate about whether the party was at the pizza place or if the mum had ordered food and the party was at her house, affecting her ability to order a cheese pizza if she wanted to.

“NTA. I have an extremely picky eater who also only eats cheese. If we were in that situation, the simple solution is for me to order my son a cheese pizza myself. It’s not that complicated. My son’s eating issues aren’t anyone else’s problem,” says another commenter.

Another injected humour into the comments with

“Party chaos: pizza, cake, and the Fortnite peace negotiations.”

Picky eaters are not bad people

When I was a kid, I had a stepfather (almost). He wasn’t the nicest person to me and my brother. I can vividly remember two occasions when he sat me at the dinner table and wouldn’t let me leave until I’d finished what was on my plate.

picky eater at son's birthday party
Some kids are just picky eaters. Source: Canva

Both of these nights involved food I didn’t particularly like at the tender age of 8. One night was fish, and the other was Chinese food. There was another night when I was younger when I went to bed without dinner because I didn’t want to eat rabbit stew.

To this day, 35 years later, I still don’t eat these two things.

Personally, I would have tried to find something for the boy to eat. But I’m a people pleaser with crippling anxiety who feeds people to show I care.

I am the mum who will make mashed potatoes for the one child who doesn’t eat baked. I’ll make a separate schnitzel for the non-parmy eater, and when I make quiche, I usually make two other different things because I won’t force anyone to eat something they don’t like.

There’s an old school of thought to treat picky eaters as an inconvenience instead of children who don’t like something. However, The Child Mind Institute says it’s important not to try and force kids to eat specific things. As long as your child eats a variety of food and their doctor says they are healthy, there’s no need to fight over every vegetable. Instead, try and respect your child’s preferences while gently encouraging them to try new foods.

This doesn’t mean you have to accommodate pushy parents who demand you cater to their kids’ food preferences, though. If one of my kids was picky, for whatever reason, I would make sure to bring food I know they will eat.

What would you have done if you were in this mum’s shoes? How would you react to your brother texting awful things to you?

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Avatar of Tina Evans

Tina Evans is a complete introvert, an avid reader of romance novels, horror novels and psychological thrillers. She’s a writer, movie viewer, and manager of the house menagerie: three kelpies, one cat, a fish, and a snake. She loves baking and cooking and using her kids as guinea pigs. She was a teenage parent and has learned a lot in twenty-three years of parenting. Tina loves Christmas and would love to experience a white Christmas once in her life. Aside from writing romance novels, she is passionate about feminism, equality, sci-fi, action movies and doing her part to help the planet.

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