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Bringing your own food to a birthday party... is it rude? - Page 4

post #61 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
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?


I agree with all of this completely! It isn't always an issue of money either - sometimes it is convenience (as in my case). Also, even the really expensive places to have parties (Pump it Up as an example) also serves soda and pizza, the same stuff you will get at CEC.
post #62 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
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?
:

Tigerchild, as usual, is a voice of reason and wisdom.

OP, I think the suggestion Tigerchild made as to how to phrase things is perfect. Now, hope you and your DD enjoy the party!
post #63 of 123
I didn't mean to offend anyone or to seem like I was looking down on anyone. It may be that I have dietary issues myself, or that I am the odd one out when it comes to not feeding my child large amounts of junk in our families/community, but I do feel like if it is "once in awhile it's fine to have junk", that turns into every single time it is someone's birthday it is equated with junk food, kwim? I guess I feel like these early years are the most important time to instill good habits when it comes to food and that is so hard to do when every time I turn around we are invited to a party where the only options are unhealthy ones I don't want my son eating, and can't eat myself. I don't think any of these parents are bad parents because of this, and I'm really sorry if that is how it came across. Sorry to hijack the thread.
post #64 of 123
Thread Starter 
Thank you all!

It's not a ChuckECheese, it is at a place similar (um.. don't know if anyone remembers the indoor roller coaster place I had posted about in a previous thread of mine about a month ago! That's a story in itself and I've decided to let her ride the coasters just not alone ).

I looked at the website for the CEC like place and they have salads!

As for the McD's party, I might just bring a small container of fruit for her or something.. she might not even eat THAT. I usually do have some snack in the diaper bag for her (don't most moms?) and I may order the apple dippers minus the dip for her

That said.. she is finicky around people. She likely won't even have any desire to play in the play place at McDs. Fortunately this mom has two children with SPD and we have discussed additives before and she said that she would love to eliminate all of it but in her opinion it's "hard to find" and "too expensive", but she had congratulated me for attempting. I have a feeling she kind of thinks of me as the mom who doesn't let her kid have anything because I'm always eliminating something from her diet, and she's really the only mom I can talk to about it because the rest of the family thinks that food intolerances and SPD and behavioral issues are all "made up excuses for bad parenting" or something along those lines. She "gets it" to a certain extent.

Thanks everyone for your replies. DD is sick with a pretty bad cold right now, so she might even miss the first party (not McDs) which is on Friday.
post #65 of 123
mrsdocmartin, I'm with you, I don't want my DS eating "junk" at all... I mean of course we have our own version of "junk food" at home that IMO is healthier etc. but I wouldn't feel comfortable letting him eat regular cake & pizza at a CEC party. I don't look down on anyone that does & I certainly don't expect anyone to accomodate our unusual dietary choices... but I do wish that more people ate similarly to us just for the simple reason of feeling less alone, not always being the odd one out or the weirdo that brings their own food. I also don't understand why anyone feels the need to decide what my DS should eat (you know, the well-meaning but slightly annoying ones who say, "oh he HAS to have a piece of cake, it's not fair to deprive him of it," etc. I feel like everyone should have the freedom to choose how to feed their kids and not feel guilty/rude/etc. if their way is less mainstream.
post #66 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsdocmartin View Post
I didn't mean to offend anyone or to seem like I was looking down on anyone. It may be that I have dietary issues myself, or that I am the odd one out when it comes to not feeding my child large amounts of junk in our families/community, but I do feel like if it is "once in awhile it's fine to have junk", that turns into every single time it is someone's birthday it is equated with junk food, kwim? I guess I feel like these early years are the most important time to instill good habits when it comes to food and that is so hard to do when every time I turn around we are invited to a party where the only options are unhealthy ones I don't want my son eating, and can't eat myself. I don't think any of these parents are bad parents because of this, and I'm really sorry if that is how it came across. Sorry to hijack the thread.
No worries, mama. I agree with this, mainly the bolded part. It IS tough. If DD didn't have the sensitivities that she does, I'd be trying to sail a different ship I honestly wouldn't know what to do in that case- and would likely not go (unless the venue offered something that were healthier or I could prefeed etc.)

Thanks again everyone
post #67 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by karika View Post
In this day and age with all that is known now about additives and such, frankly anyone having a party at a mcd or chuckies is rude to me... well not rude, but way out of touch with reality.

snipped

If you are a tolerating person and can still be around mainstream people, go and do as one poster said, take a variety of food that is yummy and real, and make sure there is a sweet cake so she can have cake when the others do.
Really? You consider a parent's choice of venue for a party "rude?" "out of touch with reality." See I think it's pretty in-touch with reality, in that an awful lot of people have parties at places like CEC and McDs for all of the reasons pointed out.

FTR - I consider myself a very mainstream person who enjoys the company of lots people to my left and to my right.

Peace and harmony.

post #68 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
Really? You consider a parent's choice of venue for a party "rude?" "out of touch with reality." See I think it's pretty in-touch with reality, in that an awful lot of people have parties at places like CEC and McDs for all of the reasons pointed out.

FTR - I consider myself a very mainstream person who enjoys the company of lots people to my left and to my right.

Peace and harmony.

Well said.
post #69 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!
Yes, very good advice. I think bringing your own food because you think CEC food is crap is kind of rude. I TOTALLY agree that CEC food is crap...but I also don't mind letting my kids cut loose once in a while. I have strong opinions about food too...but I'm just not gonna bring veggie sticks for DS when everybody else is eating cardboard pizza. I'm just not. (But I would if he were allergic.) I think you should definitely frame it in terms of "We're trying to isolate some food sensitivites..." Very good advice.
post #70 of 123
In addition to our *weird* food preferences, my son and I are GF and were GFCF for a long time. We take food almost everywhere we go.
I usually try to prefeed him too. Everyone we associate with knows about our food issues, so people usually let me know what they will be serving ahead of time so that I can plan accordingly.

I don't think it's rude AT ALL to take food to accommodate you child's (or your) needs, but I do think it is generally polite to give the host(ess) a heads up about why you have different food and to be sure to partake of anything that you can of what they provide and ohh and ahh over it - especially if they prepared it with your needs in mind.

Melinda
post #71 of 123
If there is no medical (allergy), vegitarian, or religious reason to I think it is in appropraite.

We must accept sometimes our kids will eat crap foods. Birthdays are one of those times.

Parental obession can cause Orthorexia Nervosa.

Being healthy and eating heathly does mean keeping a balance. If you are worried about sugar buzzes, then fill your kid up befor hand. Let him know why.

Remember, everything in moderation.
post #72 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsdocmartin View Post
I didn't mean to offend anyone or to seem like I was looking down on anyone. It may be that I have dietary issues myself, or that I am the odd one out when it comes to not feeding my child large amounts of junk in our families/community, but I do feel like if it is "once in awhile it's fine to have junk", that turns into every single time it is someone's birthday it is equated with junk food, kwim? I guess I feel like these early years are the most important time to instill good habits when it comes to food and that is so hard to do when every time I turn around we are invited to a party where the only options are unhealthy ones I don't want my son eating, and can't eat myself. I don't think any of these parents are bad parents because of this, and I'm really sorry if that is how it came across. Sorry to hijack the thread.
I think that part of the learning process is to be able to navigate the territory. Complete abstinence from junk food may work when you're there, but IME, it's the kids with a lot of restrictions who are the ones completely pigging out on the crap when parents aren't around (especially if it's sugar and processed stuff). As I alluded to above, I don't disallow my kids the food at parties - in fact, I keep pretty mum. Based upon their taste preferences, they just actually don't *like* the stuff, but they've definitely sampled it without me hovering and lecturing about how terrible it was ( = forbidden fruit).

Then again, I was never a big believer in abstinence.
post #73 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
If there is no medical (allergy), vegitarian, or religious reason to I think it is in appropraite.

We must accept sometimes our kids will eat crap foods. Birthdays are one of those times.

Parental obession can cause Orthorexia Nervosa.

Being healthy and eating heathly does mean keeping a balance. If you are worried about sugar buzzes, then fill your kid up befor hand. Let him know why.

Remember, everything in moderation.
I agree with this. If there's a religious dietary issue, or an allergy, or someone is vegetarian or vegan, and there won't be stuff for them, then it's fine. Otherwise, yes I think it's rude.

I don't think it's healthy to control every bit of food that enters your kids' mouths. I think the controlling aspect of that is less healthy than the food. A party here and there at CEC isn't that big a deal.
post #74 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
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... .)
The problem with this is that allergies, intolerances, and even preferences disguised as such then get all lumped together in the minds of some. Then people like my little sister, who has a life threatening shellfish allergy, has to worry if people take her seriously. The word allergy is overused and it is losing it's very important meaning. I'm NOT saying that food intolerances are not important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
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.
I agree. Parents have the right to feed their children whatever they see fit. I don't think it's rude at all to bring food to a party or function. I also think the parent can just be pretty honest if any explanation is needed, "she reacts to certain foods". Simple .
post #75 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabutterfly View Post
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.
Honestly, when children have food allergies, they adapt very quickly. My dd's allergies are extensive and very severe. She does not eat anything that we have not prepared ourselves at home (even if we could find something at a restaurant that she could eat, the risk of cross-contamination is too high). We go to restaurants and parties all the time, and she's never cried or been upset about what she can't eat. Even as a toddler, she knows that many foods could make her seriously ill. She sometimes expresses the desire to--"I wish I could eat crackers like that"--but in a very matter-of-fact way.

That said, when we eat out, we do go out of our way to prepare something yummy for her so that the event is still "special." We have a fool-proof allergen-free cupcake recipe, for instance. Perhaps because my dd has so many food allergies, I don't go crazy with making sure she doesn't have any junk at all. We don't typically buy stuff with food dyes, for example, but I'm not going to sweat it if she has the Jell-o they serve at school now and then, as it's pretty much the only school treat she can eat. There's so much she can't participate in, and her eating is already so "different"--I want her to experience some of the joy that a good junky piece of cake can bring, yk?
post #76 of 123
I would bring food for DD. I would not bother to announce it to the mom hosting the birthday party - I mean really, how much pizza does a 2 year old eat? One square maybe? If there are a bunch of other adults eating, that is a drop in the bucket. Also people understand that little kids are picky and won't eat just anything that is put in front of them.

I agree with not even bothering to bring up allergies because most people just roll their eyes at that. On the off chance that anyone asked or commented on what she was eating, I'd just say 'Oh she's such a picky eater that I brought a few things for her just in case" and leave it at that.

And if the party were not a family affair, I'd probably skip it. I have done that a few times. (I'm with the pp who said that having a party at Mc D's or CEC is what is appalling, not you not going or not eating the food there.) I also have no qualms about calling in sick the morning of the party saying oh DD threw up a little this morning and we think we should stay home just in case. But I am kind of "bad" that way... I like to control what my kids are exposed to for as long as I can get away with it.
post #77 of 123
Generally I would think it was rude. Especially if you were just being a food snob (and we are vegan but generally wouldn't have eaten chuck e cheese under any circumstance, worst pizza ever and they have a spokes rat...really?! mcds on the other hand I still crave from time to time....but now there is nothing on their menu I can eat. However as my kids are older we would just skip these parties. So as not to be rude about the food) So yeah I am kinda a food snob but totally relax it at parties and stuff. especially for my kids..

BUT

your dd clearly has real issues with certain foods. You really have little choice. And I would still consider your dd a baby and it is always always fine to bring food for a baby to a resteraunt. I do not think prefeeding a toddler will really be enough. she is likely to want food there. She is a baby. they always want to try out what other people are eating unless they have something similar.

So I would alert the hostess of your childs food issues and why you will be bringing your own food. I would try to bring something similar to what the other kids are eating (a pizza or burger) or see if there is an alternate menu item you can purchase for your dd at the resteraunt. but whatever works. I don't see anything wrong with helping your dd participate without messing up what you are trying to do with her diet. And parties at these places are fun. lets face it, no one is really there for the cardboard pizza anyway they are there for the games and rides and playground....even if you plunked a happy meal down in front of her she would likely not really pay much attention to it past the toy.

also In those environments especially, she may get over stimulated and aggitated. you don't want to add foods in that will crank her up as well. you want her to be able to enjoy the party. and everyone else. I think you hostess would understand this without taking any offense.
post #78 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmansions View Post
I would bring food for DD. I would not bother to announce it to the mom hosting the birthday party - I mean really, how much pizza does a 2 year old eat?
Many places that host children's parties allow X kids per party, or you can pay per person for anyone above that. If this child is included in the party rate, then yes, the mom should be told, just because it's the polite thing to do.
post #79 of 123
my ds is allergic to dairy, which is in everything.... most people we would go to a party with know this. i ask if theyre doing ice cream, so i can bring him his own. i ask about the cake (most everyone i know uses a mix, and some mixes are dairy free, most bakery cakes arent) and what food will be served to see if i need to bring him anything.

the last party we went to, the cupcakes were fine, but the icing wasnt, so she left one un iced for ds. there were fruit and cheese skewers, and she left a few cheeseless. the food had somethings he could eat, and some he couldnt, so i just fed him what he could have
post #80 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Many places that host children's parties allow X kids per party, or you can pay per person for anyone above that. If this child is included in the party rate, then yes, the mom should be told, just because it's the polite thing to do.
With the McD's party, i'm not sure how this works. I'd venture to ask you all but knowing that many moms on MDC don't do McD's... I don't know if anyone would know. Well... okay. Does anyone know?

With the other party, the package is for the pizza and wristbands to ride the rides (looked the food part up with the party packages on the web site). I was speaking to my DH about this, and he told me that the mom said "oh, try and get there around 6 (there was no time written on the invitation) because I only have x amount of wristbands to give out. So I'm guessing, that if there's not enough wristbands for everyone she invited (or for everyone that will 'show up'.. DHs family has that tendency to just show up at a party uninvited), there won't be enough food for everybody. So I don't think that will be an issue there (as far as the hostess purchasing too much food).
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