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Bringing your own food to a birthday party... is it rude? - Page 3

post #41 of 123
it isn't rude at all. the food at those places is yucky. and loaded with gluten and HFCS. i would call it a food allergy and bring your own stuff. ds#2 had a friend with food issues and his mom always brought along food for him. never once did i think it was rude. honestly i would think it was rude if people got upset about what you needed to do for your family.

good luck!

h
post #42 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelpie545 View Post
I've brought tons of extra food into CEC including my own pop, apples, chicken, and homemade cake w/o any issues. I've done it both concealing and not concealing it. Honestly from what I've found most CEC aren't organized enough to even notice and if they are, no one gets in trouble, especially if you already bought food from the establishment as well or are part of a group that has. You only have a "hostess" if you buy a party too (most parties come with a cake, pizza, and certain amount of tokens included in the price). A lot of people just show up with a group since it's free to get in and there are no reservations unless you are paying for a party. There aren't enough staff to really "keep an eye" on the situation, and I've never, ever heard of one getting in trouble for "allowing" anything. Seems like that's something that manager would handle anyway.
We've only been to CEC once, but they didn't allow large bags or asked to check them because they had a "no outside food" policy. They were very organized about the process of getting in and out, so I assumed that was the franchise's standard. We've never been to a party at one - just went once because DS wanted to see what it was like to go. (And I didn't mean hostess, as in employee, but the mom who put together the party.) In general, my point was that if you're going to do it, the courteous thing to do is check the policy at the party location and let the mom planning the party know.
post #43 of 123
I think this is all about how you frame it. Framing it as: "We're on this specific diet due to some food sensitivities we're trying to isolate: is it okay if we bring DD her own food?" is polite and fine.

Framing it as "HFCS is terrible and we don't eat it and you are terrible for having a party at a place I disapprove of" is rude.

Food is a sensitive topic. Just look at the feathers getting ruffled in this thread!
post #44 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. .
But, THIS child isn't allergic. Her mom wants to make better choices, and avoid the whole behavior after the fact. I think lying about a medical issue minimizes the problems of those people who really have that medical issue.

(I know the OP never said she was going to lie about an allergy...I am just saying this in general)
post #45 of 123
not really sure why people are even thinking it is rude or would find it rude if someone brought food to their house. how about if the tables were turned and it was your child? everyone needs to do what is best for their children. you don't need to be rude, or lie, BUT you don't need to feel bad for not feeding her crap food.
i have friends with many different food issues and things they do and don't want their kids to eat, so either i make stuff for everyone or they bring their own and never once have i felt bad or that it was rude or put out. even when it was my own home cooking. i want everyone to have a good time and i want the kids to go home feeling good afterwards, not feeling bad for days after. that in my opinion is the ultimate in rudeness, getting offended over someone trying to take care of their kids. sheesh.
post #46 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
But, THIS child isn't allergic. Her mom wants to make better choices, and avoid the whole behavior after the fact. I think lying about a medical issue minimizes the problems of those people who really have that medical issue.

(I know the OP never said she was going to lie about an allergy...I am just saying this in general)
but see there is a food issue here if after eating that food the child feels bad. just because she doesn't need to be rushed to the ER doesn't mean it isn't a good idea to avoid those foods. and to think that she should just suck it up and deal with the behaviors after is rude. why would anyone want a child to suffer for CEC and McD'd food?
the OP should just tell the person that her dd can't eat those foods and bring her own. anyone who gets upset by it is just not really informed. i mean really.
post #47 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
I think this is all about how you frame it. Framing it as: "We're on this specific diet due to some food sensitivities we're trying to isolate: is it okay if we bring DD her own food?" is polite and fine.
I agree, however, most restaurants will not allow outside food. I'm sure they wont notice at McD's, but you may want to check about the other one.

A two year old is definitely young enough that I would not consider it rude to avoid feeding them party foods. Maybe there are some healthy options, like someone previously posted, a salad bar or something.
post #48 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
But, THIS child isn't allergic. Her mom wants to make better choices, and avoid the whole behavior after the fact. I think lying about a medical issue minimizes the problems of those people who really have that medical issue.

(I know the OP never said she was going to lie about an allergy...I am just saying this in general)
Most people don't have a clue about the differences between INTOLERANCE and ALLERGY. It's just easier to say "allergy" because that's easily understood. The OP isn't lying... she's dumbing it down so that people understand... "if my child eats this food, there are consequences". If someone is holding a party at McDonald's they are most likely not thinking about the quality of the food or its impact on people.

Besides... a parent should never have to feed something to their child that will make the child miserable just for the sake of propriety. (And we are very keen on social manners, so I don't take these things lightly when I say that.)
post #49 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
But, THIS child isn't allergic. Her mom wants to make better choices, and avoid the whole behavior after the fact. I think lying about a medical issue minimizes the problems of those people who really have that medical issue.
I don't know, the behavioral issues sound like they could be allergy-related to me. I guess everyone has different definitions of 'allergy' and some are more lax. Would 'food intolerances' be better? (I actually struggle with this concept because I have some suspected bad intolerances with symptoms that are worse than some of my actual food allergies... even though the allergies cause little poison-ivy like bubbles to form around & inside my mouth/throat... they aren't life-threatening but they're still allergies & the intolerances can be worse than that for me)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
Framing it as "HFCS is terrible and we don't eat it and you are terrible for having a party at a place I disapprove of" is rude.
Do people really say stuff like that? Or is it implied in how they say things? I am kind of feeling paranoid now... I had no idea so many people thought it's rude to bring your own food, I've done this so many times & I never meant any rudeness or disrespect. At various times I've just said I had allergies or I'm vegan or whatever truthfully applies to the situation. I hope no one thought I was being rude or saying they were terrible for having junk food...

I'm also curious on policies like "no outside food" -- I've always wondered what you do if you get caught. I often bring something with me (even places where it's not allowed & they search your bags -- I usually put things in my coat pocket or disguised somehow) but never got caught. I feel like a fugitive!! However these places do not offer anything that suits my diet, and I have hypoglycemia so I can't just not eat for a few hours. I don't understand the no outside food policies in situations like this (though I understand if people are bringing their own chips/soda/candy to save money & the establishment doesn't want to lose out on the $$)

I guess I'm getting OT a bit...

OP, this is a great thread, very interesting to hear the different responses!
post #50 of 123
I doubt anyone would notice, at least at CEC. Though, in your situation I would probably feed the LO before heading out, and then find something appropriate from the salad bar if need be.

(now, I do let my kids eat at CEC and McDonald's - b/c I'm of the opinion that doing so occasionally is not any kind of big deal... but they aren't intolerant/allergic.)
post #51 of 123
I've hosted parties where most of the kids were intolerant to one thing or another, or vegan. I worked hard to make sure everyone had some fun food they could eat. BUT one friend said not to worry about abything but the cake, and she brought her ds's own food. It made things a bit easier as far as finding and preparing food, and I appreciated it. (though I totally didn't mind accomodating him either).

I don't think it's rude at all to bring a few snacks if you have a special diet. But you should mention it to the mom ahead of time, and don't diss the food she's serving! Make sure it's about your dd's sensitivities, and not about how bad hfcs is!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
DD doesn't have any food allergies, per-se. She was sensitive to gluten as a baby and now it gives her behavioral issues, we suspect. Currently we're making a highly concerted effort to 100% eliminate artifical colors and HFCS because they make her fly off the handle. We've also eliminate nearly all processed foods from her diet. She is making a positive change
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
But, THIS child isn't allergic. Her mom wants to make better choices, and avoid the whole behavior after the fact.
But it seems to me that if her dd "flies off the handle" after eating atificial colors, that she does indeed have an intolerance to those. Ime, most kids don't have dramatic behavior changes after eating specific foods unless they are very sensitive to them.
I agree with you though, that it shouldn't be called an allergy if it's not. I'd say dc is sensitive or intolerant, if it were me.
I do think that a lot of intolerances that aren't "real" allergies can be pretty severe. But that's neither here nor there
post #52 of 123
YES, but, if you read what I said, I agreed with not feeding the little girl the crap at the party. I just don't think it's right to call it an allergy. I also agreed that she was making the right choice by feeding her healthy foods while she still has control.
post #53 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
I think this is all about how you frame it. Framing it as: "We're on this specific diet due to some food sensitivities we're trying to isolate: is it okay if we bring DD her own food?" is polite and fine.

Framing it as "HFCS is terrible and we don't eat it and you are terrible for having a party at a place I disapprove of" is rude.

Food is a sensitive topic. Just look at the feathers getting ruffled in this thread!
pretty much what I was going to say.

If you explain that you're eliminating XXX from your DD's diet because you've noticed XXX reaction when she eats it than I can't see how a reasonable person would be offended by you bringing food for her.

Of course if you imply that the food the host provides is nasty and unhealthy and not good enough for your kid then it's very rude and people will be offended.
post #54 of 123
Closed pending review. I'll get it back open as soon as I can.
post #55 of 123
Reopening.
post #56 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by marimara View Post
If I were you, w/ a 2yo who has displayed what I felt were food intolerances, I just wouldn't go. The only reason I went when dd was 2 was because it was family, if it wasn't I wouldn't have gone, no question.
This. I think it would be hard for a 2 year old not to share in the cake eating part. If you wouldn't be serving your dd cake, do you think she will be upset? You know your dd best - mine would cry, but maybe yours is used to not eating what others eat.
post #57 of 123
I have a mom in my group who is trying to eliminate gluten from her child's diet, she is seeing remarkable changes in her behaviour.

I think I'd try to 1. Feed my LO before going. Someone mentioned that LO often don't eat at parties because they're so excited, so I think this is a really good idea.

2. Bring some snacks, if people at the door give you a hard time, just say that your child has a gluten sensitivity, hopefully they'll be reasonable.

3. Explain to your host, maybe asking if you can bring something. Just be frank and honest, maybe use some examples of how it alters her behaviour.

4. Expect for your LO to want to at least have some cake, they're yummy, they're pretty and the rest of the kids will be having some, so prepare for that in some way.
post #58 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsdocmartin View Post
Also, does anyone else think it is frustrating when people choose to have a toddler's birthday party at these restaurants that serve nothing but horribly unhealthy food? Allergies aside, when I invite small children to my home, or on an outing, I try to feed them at least moderately healthy foods. I can see a school age child choosing a place like McD's or ChuckECheese, but a two year old???
I happen to think I am a pretty good parent and I chose to have my son's 2nd b-day at CEC. It was his FAVORITE place on earth at that age, I was 9 months pregnant and needed a place that we could just pop in a have an impromptu b-day party with minimal fuss and planning. We met a few friends there on a weeknight, had pizza, cake, salad and the kids had an absolute blast.

There are some of us on MDC that are ok with our kids having junk food occasionally. And really, what is so bad about pizza and salad? CEC actually has a great, very healthy salad bar.
post #59 of 123
I don't think it's rude at all, especially if you have allergies. My daughter attended a Jewish day care although we were not Jewish. The day care kept kosher - dairy and meat separate - as did severa, but by no means the majority, of families. It was very common at b-day parties for certain families to bring their own food - some for religious reasons and some for allergies. I don't think it's a big deal at all.
post #60 of 123
I think bringing it without a heads up to the host will probably be perceived as rude.

I might also frame it as "My kid has problems with <insert ingredients here>. Do you know if there will be veggie/fruit/blah choices or should I bring my own? I didn't want to offend you, it's no problem bringing our own stuff, we are used to it, but I wanted to let you know so it wasn't a suprise!"

As people get to know your family and you stay in touch, I think you will find good party throwers tend to think proactively if they know your family has an allergy/sensitivity. One of DD's classmates is GF and dairy free. As it happens I too had to go GF for awhile last year (part of an elimination diet thing), so I knew of an AWESOME source that has beautiful, scrumptious, gluten and dairy free cupcakes (with fluffy icing!). So after I sent out the invitations I also sent out an ingredient list for the cupcakes to classmate's mom. If there was something in there that she couldn't have or if she prefered to bring her own food it was cool (because I wouldn't have a problem eating those cupcakes, actually my kids/hubby wouldn't either because they are great and not gross or weird tasting like a lot of GF "replacement" stuff, at least IMO). Classmate and mom were thrilled, I didn't realize that mom was also sensitive to gluten, so even mom got to have a treat at the party (I bought a pack of two) which she doesn't normally, and she has a new brand that is safe.

So my vote would be to communicate with your host and give her a chance to take care of you. Lots of people don't mind and enjoy going the extra mile for guests, or won't mind at all if you bring your own stuff with a heads up.

Also, please don't judge people who hold parties at Mickey Dees or whereever. Depending on the area you are in, these may be the only indoor venue they can afford, because most of the time they are free or extremely low cost, have ample parking, and are in a somewhat centralized location. Not everyone can afford to rent a community center room or a more upscale venue, not everyone can accomodate people at their house. So I would really caution against stereotyping what the parents are like based on where they hold the party. Because they have it at CEC or McD doesn't mean that they don't give a rip about nutrition--it might just mean that they want to invite all their friends but can't do a house party, and the food/place is within their expense range or they know it will entertain the kids easily, and they're doing the best they can. If it offends your sensibilities to the point where you're going to look down on the hosting parents or families, it's probably kinder to just not go, KWIM?
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