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Bringing your own food to a birthday party... is it rude? - Page 6

post #101 of 123
Just a thought i was having on page 1, and am surprised it hasn't been mentioned by someone else, but maybe it has and i missed it.

Maybe you could check what they have actually asked for at these parties? DD loves McD's, and we looked into a party there (but decided against it eventually due to cost vs value) but we were able to select what was available - so i could have said Happy Meals with only water or fresh orange juice and fruit bags or carrot sticks instead of fries, i could have vetoed the other choices too - like say no burgers, or no nuggets or whatever. If that option is available in the US it's possible that the mama concerned has already made sure the healthiest stuff available is what is actually going to be on offer. Worth a look anyway...?

As for the whole intolerance vs allergy thing...honestly i doubt that the mother at a party for a bunch of 2 year olds will have time to think, worry or care about that sort of thing. A simple "i'm just letting you know i'll be bringing food with me - DD can't eat a couple of things served at McD's/CEC so i'm just going to bring similar stuff that she CAN have" should suffice. I DO think it's polite to let the mom know, just in case cost is an issue for her - i could have saved around £6 by knowing ahead of time that one kid wouldn't be eating with us.
post #102 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
so i could have said Happy Meals with only water or fresh orange juice and fruit bags or carrot sticks instead of fries, i could have vetoed the other choices too - like say no burgers, or no nuggets or whatever. If that option is available in the US it's possible that the mama concerned has already made sure the healthiest stuff available is what is actually going to be on offer. Worth a look anyway...?
They don't have carrot sticks in the US (at least not where I am), but they do have pre-sliced apples. They also have yogurt, walnuts, bottled water, etc. There are choices besides chicken nuggets and burgers.
post #103 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Just because it's not an anaphylactic reaction doesn't mean you can't still be allergic. There are various degrees, and yeah, nearly 10% of the population has some sort of food allergy. I'm allergic to coconut, but it's not life-threatening. I'd be really ticked if someone felt I should eat a German Chocolate Cake because I would only be uncomfortable with hives and wheezing, not dead, if I eat it. And yes, I say, "I'm allergic to coconut." Even non-life threatening allergies deserve to be taken seriously.
THANK YOU!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
A toddler with food sensitivities? I can't believe anyone would think twice about mom bringing snacks for her. It's FINE!
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Margaret View Post
I can't believe anyone would think it was rude to bring food that would prevent a toddler from getting sick. It's not a 2yo's responsibility to feel terrible/crazy the rest of the day just to not upset the hostess. I really don't think other kids are going to notice one kid eating stuff from home, either. I would let the hostess know ahead of time in case it would save her money to not provide for the kid.
And yes.

And FTR I would totally not be offended if people brought other food to a party I was throwing, especially if they were sensitive to something. Who gives a rat's patootie what someone else wants to eat? How could that possibly be offensive?
post #104 of 123
The other thing that I wanted to add is that this child is only two, and I don't think you are going to create an eating disorder if you control the foods that a two year old eats. Now, if you are super controlling of an older child, that might be more concerning. I guess I don't like the implication that if you make sure your toddler doesn't eat junk that you are creating a junk food craving monster. As someone else mentioned, hopefully when the child is older and you allow them a bit more freedom, they will make healthy choices because of the earlier foods they were exposed to.
post #105 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsdocmartin View Post
The other thing that I wanted to add is that this child is only two, and I don't think you are going to create an eating disorder if you control the foods that a two year old eats. Now, if you are super controlling of an older child, that might be more concerning. I guess I don't like the implication that if you make sure your toddler doesn't eat junk that you are creating a junk food craving monster. As someone else mentioned, hopefully when the child is older and you allow them a bit more freedom, they will make healthy choices because of the earlier foods they were exposed to.
I agree with everything here.

Yes, early influence shapes later decisions. There's nothing wrong with that... that's called parenting. We all do it in different ways.
post #106 of 123
I don't think it's rude at all to bring your own food. DD can't have dairy and we try to keep her diet as clean as possible otherwise she gets sick. It's simply easier to pack a safe meal for her and a dessert/treat of some kind (if it's a birthday party) because generally the treat is not safe.

There are a couple of kids within our daycare with food allergies and whenever we go to parties or out to eat as a group we always pack food for a couple of the kids.
post #107 of 123
"'I want to eat healthy' is a great reason to give..."

... if your goal is to come across as holier-than-thou.

By even "giving a reason" to the hostess, I think you're kind of putting your food issues right up in her face. I have a 3 y.o. and a 5 y.o. and various of their little friends have eaten food from home at many parties and playdates, and it was most certainly NOT rude nor did I ever ask why the mom was carrying around a little Tupperware of something-that-looked-gross-to-me. It's none of my business. Little kids (ALL little kids) are eccentric eaters in one way or another. I have attended a couple of CEC parties where the parents bought a salad bar meal and served that to their kid instead of pizza. It was no big deal at all. Neither was the separate cupcake served at cake time.

That said, I expect my own children to accept what is served at any social occasion, say "thank you," refrain from criticizing any aspect of the meal, and eat whatever on the plate they find appealing. They don't have allergies or sensitivities and they are no longer toddlers, so my most important goal at this point is to teach proper social behavior related to food. At home, where we eat the vast majority of our meals, I can indulge my preferences for organic free-range local foods. And I don't welcome complaints about those meals, either.
post #108 of 123
I think the reality that you have to look at is whether or not outside food is allowed at the venue. If you look at th McDonalds' party sites....outside cake is allowed only. The same is for Chuck E Cheese
So if a person is really concerned...feed before going...or don't go.
post #109 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsdocmartin View Post
The other thing that I wanted to add is that this child is only two, and I don't think you are going to create an eating disorder if you control the foods that a two year old eats. Now, if you are super controlling of an older child, that might be more concerning. I guess I don't like the implication that if you make sure your toddler doesn't eat junk that you are creating a junk food craving monster. As someone else mentioned, hopefully when the child is older and you allow them a bit more freedom, they will make healthy choices because of the earlier foods they were exposed to.
My comments as far as that goes were more general about bringing food to parties, not specifically about toddlers, since this is in Parenting and not Ages and Stages Toddlers. But I do agree with the specifics, that for toddlers there's naturally more control needed with food. Also that it's normal to bring snacks for toddlers. But as far as the parties go, I dont' think most 2-year-olds even have parties at places like CEC, so this situation seems a bit unusal. Or maybe people just dont' do it here? Usually parties for toddlers are at peoples houses, and the CEC stuff doesn't kick in until around 5, maybe 4 at the youngest.
post #110 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
I think the reality that you have to look at is whether or not outside food is allowed at the venue. If you look at th McDonalds' party sites....outside cake is allowed only. The same is for Chuck E Cheese
So if a person is really concerned...feed before going...or don't go.
Exactly. I would feed your daughter before the party and if she is hungry leet her nibble on a bite or two of salad or apple if those are the only items available that you feel are acceptable.
post #111 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
I think the reality that you have to look at is whether or not outside food is allowed at the venue. If you look at th McDonalds' party sites....outside cake is allowed only. The same is for Chuck E Cheese
So if a person is really concerned...feed before going...or don't go.
this usually does not apply to babies. i always had snacks etc in my diaper bag for my kids. no one has ever questioned me. I wouldn't bring in a bag from burgerking and if I was having a party I wouldn't bring in platters of food for everyone. but one kid with allergies is not usually what they are talking about when they say "no outside food" and I have never seen anyone bat an eyelash at babies and toddler eating their stuff.
post #112 of 123
It's not rude.

I'm vegetarian. I grew up vegetarian and my kids will grow up vegetarian as well. So I know exactly what it's like to bring your own food. I'll be bringing food to my kids' friends' birthday parties.

Here's what you do:
- call the host and explain that you're worried about the food options so you'd like to bring a back up plan
- then you bring the food AND some to share
- you say thank you to the host

Easy peazy.
post #113 of 123
I have a son with an intolerance to dyes and preservatives and while the food isn't life threatening, the resulting behavior is. He loses any sense of fear when he's having a reaction and the behaviors have included climbing into high and dangerous places and running into busy streets. We always take his own food to parties. I would be really hurt if a friend thought I was being rude. Until we cleaned up his diet, he never laughed. I'm not willing to let him be physically and mentally sick because someone used vanillin or margarine in their cupcakes. On the other hand, my older son isn't sensitive to chemicals in his food and he can eat whatever is served. You have to do whatever is best for your child. I would be more concerned if my friend was letting her child be sick from the food I served for fear of being rude.
post #114 of 123
I don't think it's rude and I wouldn't even clear it; I wouldn't go as I hate those palces, but your children deserve your rules, and if junk isn't one then don't do it. If asked if you go, just say allergies.
post #115 of 123
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone The first party went alright, we didn't bring extra food for dd (just some water) because they had the salad. However... she didn't want to eat, she just hid herself in the side of daddy's coat (wouldn't let him remove it) until I was ready to get up and whisk her away to the slides ... so no eating. I did prefeed her though, so that may have contributed it. My MIL did let her eat a mouthful of cake before I said something, and DD wasn't devestated or anything because she was pretty much forced. They also had a pinata and I was planning on distracting her when it broke open (not only because of the candy but for fear of getting trampled) but MIL got her a box of Mike&Ikes, which is her "haircut candy". DD insisted on saving them for a haircut. When we left, we were handed a goodie bag stocked full of candy, and my DH told the lady that our DD couldn't eat it and he was sure that another little girl would probably like to have it instead. Then she stock it in our diaper bag .

So.. not flawless, but not horrible either. The next party may be a problem, but we shall see.
post #116 of 123
We always bring our own food, unless we know ahead of time that the items being served are things that the kids can eat.

I've never had a complaint either- I mention it to the parents beforehand to avoid any surprises, and I make sure that I'm not bringing something that may cause someone else to have an allergic reaction.

FWIW, the kids have food allergies and they're vegan..
post #117 of 123
I would just lie and say my kid has allergies.
post #118 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
Thanks again everyone The first party went alright, we didn't bring extra food for dd (just some water) because they had the salad. However... she didn't want to eat, she just hid herself in the side of daddy's coat (wouldn't let him remove it) until I was ready to get up and whisk her away to the slides ... so no eating. I did prefeed her though, so that may have contributed it. My MIL did let her eat a mouthful of cake before I said something, and DD wasn't devestated or anything because she was pretty much forced. They also had a pinata and I was planning on distracting her when it broke open (not only because of the candy but for fear of getting trampled) but MIL got her a box of Mike&Ikes, which is her "haircut candy". DD insisted on saving them for a haircut. When we left, we were handed a goodie bag stocked full of candy, and my DH told the lady that our DD couldn't eat it and he was sure that another little girl would probably like to have it instead. Then she stock it in our diaper bag .

So.. not flawless, but not horrible either. The next party may be a problem, but we shall see.
Gotta love MIL's....

I would say though, next time take the goodie bag. That's kind of like a "gift" & I would not give a gift back to the giver. You can just give the candy to coworkers/save it for visitors/put it in a decorative jar & regift/whatever. Unless there was a clear shortage of goodie bags for some reason of course!!
post #119 of 123
I admit that I haven't read the replies yet.

I don't think it's at all rude because she has sensitivities/intolerances to all the food they serve there.

I think that since she's 2, she's at a golden age where you can say, "You know how 2 year olds can be about the things they will or won't eat." Even if your kid is not actually a picky eater--you're not lying. 2 year olds can be picky about what they will or won't eat.

When she's older, if she still has a sensitivity to those items, personally I would lie and call it an allergy for the sake of smoothing over interactions. If she no longer has any sensitivities to those items, then personally, yes, I do think it would be a little rude to bring her food. For me, it would partially depend on how often these parties/outings are. My son's cousin loves squeezy cheese and Easy Mac. I let him have them when we're visiting her, because it's so infrequent and they both enjoy it so much. If we visited her every month, that would be a different thing.
post #120 of 123
It's SO common for people to bring their own food around here, I don't think anything of it.

It seems that half the kids have an issue with certain foods, or are vegetarians. I LOVE it when a mom brings their own food to a playdate or party I'm hosting. It's so hard to try to selects foods that every child can eat and I'd hate to have a child hungry or left out.

I've never seen a child with a food issue or special diet get upset when they couldn't eat the cake or cupcakes or candy at a party. ESPECIALLY if the mom has brought along something they can have. Kids will tell you at a very young age what they can't eat.
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