I Bring Food For My Kid Into Restaurants and I Don’t Care What You Think

83a23880-85ae-43a4-80c4-b742523b4b5bAn article on a website called She Knows has been brought to my attention and I feel it needs to be addressed. A few days ago, a writer sneezed while she was holding in a fart and later that night, when she looked in her underwear, she discovered a story called “No, It’s Not Rude To Bring Your Own Food to a Restaurant When You Have Kids.” She immediately pulled that story out of her panties and posted it on the web. And, yes it is rude.

The gist of the article is that the the woman and her husband like to go out to dinner with their kids, but they resent having to go to “family friendly” places like “Red Robin, IHOP and Olive Garden.” However, when they go get Japanese hibachi, seafood or Mexican food, their four-year-old son doesn’t like anything on the menu. Her solution: bring him a grilled cheese sandwich, milk, pickles and apples. She admits to getting “a handful of stares, a few dirty looks,” and I bet most of those come from the people who work in the restaurant. You wanna know why? Because it’s rude.

I get that Mom and Dad are sick of going to places that offer chicken fingers and pasta with butter just so their kid can be placated with food. I can also understand how tempting it might be to bring food to another restaurant so that you can enjoy family time someplace other than Applebee’s. Here’s the deal though: restaurants serve food and they don’t appreciate people bringing in their own. It sorta defeats the purpose of there being a restaurant. When a couple decides to fertilize an egg with a sprinkling of sperm, not only is that the moment that a beautiful life begins, but it is also the moment that they have to give up certain things because now they are parents. Maybe it’s frustrating to go to an upscale restaurant and not see anything on the menu your toddler wants, but did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason the restaurant doesn’t offer chicken fingers and the hostess didn’t give you crayons is because they don’t want kids there? Hmmm, I bet you didn’t think of that did you?

I suppose the other option is to convince the kid to eat the things you like. If you only offer him grilled cheese and chicken fingers he’s only ever going to want grilled cheese and chicken fingers. I have been working in the same restaurant for over five years and have a family that comes in regularly. When their youngest daughter was about 5, I was always impressed that she ate salmon or cod for dinner. I remarked to the mother how rare that is to see and she told me, “Oh, I don’t want my kids to grow up eating mac and cheese for dinner every night, so we’ve always fed them what we like to eat.” This family was in the restaurant last week and that 10-year-old ordered mussels and green beans. The writer/mom says that when her son is 12, she will no longer appease his picky eating habits, but does she think that on his 12th birthday, he’s going to wake up suddenly craving foie gras and squab? Doubtful.

Look, it’s not the end of the world to bring food into the restaurant for your kid. Depending on the state, it might be considered a health code violation and depending on the restaurant they may or may not be okay with it. But to declare it’s not rude is wrong. It is rude. It’s entitled, self-serving and you know it. If you admit to to the stares and then tell us it’s okay to call you rude, this tells me that you know it’s wrong. Maybe the name of the article is wrong too. I suggest this: “I Bring Food For My Kid Into Restaurants and I Don’t Care What You Think.”

Here is the article on their Facebook page. Go check it out and tell me (and them) what you think.

46 thoughts on “I Bring Food For My Kid Into Restaurants and I Don’t Care What You Think

  1. Melissa

    My kid is 6 now and will eat sushi, seaweed salad, curry, shellfish…basically anything I put in front of him he will eat. All of this is because I introduced him to a variety of foods starting when he was just old enough to eat solids. We grew up poor and basically dinner was placed in front of you and if you chose not to eat it then you went to bed hungry. I want to instill that same value in my kids. Furthermore if my kids make a mess in the restaurant I ask the server to bring me the cleaning supplies and I make sure I clean it up..my child my job to clean up the mess they make. He’s well behaved because I never raised him for one second to believe the world owes him something and he can act up and be placated with a reward because bad behavior deserves no reward. If we just raised our children to be respectful and open minded in all aspects of life we would be so much better off as a society.

  2. Kaos

    “I get that Mom and Dad are sick of going to places that offer chicken fingers and pasta with butter just so their kid can be placated with food.”

    Then they should 1) not have kids (best option) or 2) hire a freaking babysitter like grown ups who didn’t want to sit near the ball pen at Mc Donald’s used to do. Or… 3) teach their kids to experience something more interesting than chicken nuggets from an early age.

    We used to take my son out when he was young. We did the obligatory “family” places a lot and used the experiences as a “training ground” for him to learn proper public behavior. If he acted up, out of the restaurant he would go with one of us for a time out of sorts along with a lesson (i.e. “short talk”) about why he had to leave and how others didn’t need to put up with his misbehavior, etc. If it was too bad we wold both leave; one would take him out while the other paid/got anything wrapped to go, because…no one (least of all me) wants to be subjected to a poorly behaved kid even at a family place.

    By the time he was eight years old we were able to take him to nicer, non “family,” dinner after 8 PM type places and he behaved very well. We even had people occasionally (staff and/or other patrons) comment to us how well behaved he was as if it was. surprising to see a child who had manners.

    The thing is we did the work and required our child to learn to be civilized and to understand that not liking escargot (me either btw…ick) did not give him license to demand a PB&J at a restaurant that had no such ingredients on the premises. He thought swordfish (ick) sounded interesting and so he ordered it. It turned out that he loved swordfish (again, ick) but he would never have known that if we’d taken in/ordered mac and cheese.

    Dear parents: PARENT your children.

  3. LuluC

    Just started following this and loving it. From the moment I started weaning our now 4 yro I learned she is going to be different than other kid. I did not wean her with just pureed avocados and sweet potatoes, I weaned her with curry beef and ox cheek stew. She had her first dim sum at 1 year old. She had her first taste of sashimi at 18 months old. I’ve never cooked her a special meal, she eats what we eat and I’ve never just ordered a kids meal, again, she eats what we eat. For the life of me I cannot understand why parents complain that their kids are fussy eaters and that what are they supposed to do if their kids will only eat fish sticks and pesto pasta? One time at a moms gathering I simply said, how about just send them to their room hungry? I was met with, ‘but that’s cruel!’ I said yeah but they learn.

    Kids will understand quite quickly if the other option is hunger then they will eat what’s in front of them. Parents need to be more adventurous with their own food if they want their kids to follow suit. And the bring your own food to the restaurant thing? Unless you’ve got a baby under 1, that’s just damn rude and unnecessary.

  4. Jess W.

    Even with allergies ( which I do get the point there) it is illegal in my state to bring outside food or drink into any place that has health inspections. Everywhere I’ve ever served has a allegen menu, and they make stickers to give to your servers that mark what allergies you or the child have. I’ve had parents upset at a pizza place because we didn’t make food for someone that had dairy/gluten/peanut/onion allergy and was on a blood thinner that made them unable to have vitamin K (all green veggies, canned food). We did not have a fryer or grill, so only offered pizza and salads. Most places (other than that) have grilled chicken and fries or salads for kids. And most places have online menus you can look at ahead of time as well. Absolutely no excuse to take it out on servers and business owners because we will not cater to picky eaters and helicopter parents, or because we do not want to lose our business license for breaking the law. If I have a table that refuses to obey said law, I will let management know and it usually results in us having to ask the whole table to leave. Unfortunate for all involved. Try feeding the child first then purchasing a drink for them and bring activities to keep them busy while you eat what you want.

    1. Kaos

      “Try feeding the child first then purchasing a drink for them and bring activities to keep them busy while you eat what you want.”

      Better yet do what parents did in the dark ages: Feed the fuckers at home, hie a babysitter and go out for an adult only night.

  5. Susie

    The only time I think it would be acceptable is if the kid has a dietary disorder and can’t have, say, gluten or nuts. Most restaurants have options for around that; *however,* most restaurants also have a disclaimer on their menus saying that their food is made in the presence of of allergens, basically not guaranteeing that someone won’t get sick. I shouldn’t have soy, but I take the risk, because I’m an adult and make my own decisions (besides, I don’t get anaphylaxis or *seriously* ill from it, just ill). I probably wouldn’t take that risk with my hypothetical kid, though. If my kid had an allergy, I’d either make something at home so that I know what’s in the food, and he/she can eat at home or we can discreetly bring it to the restaurant. Some people might say, “If your kid might get sick from restaurant food because of cross-contamination, then don’t go out to eat!” but that isn’t realistic. There are always going to be those days where you have to pick something up in a hurry, maybe you’re at a wedding, maybe the kid is at a birthday party, maybe your kitchen sink is busted, etc. There are never guarantees about keeping the kid safe from certain food.

    Having said that, if the little fucker is just being picky and whiny and won’t eat what we’ve ordered for him, he can choose to not eat it, my husband and I will enjoy the kid’s meal while describing how it tastes (hoping he’ll cave and eat the food); if he doesn’t eat it, then he will make up the money we paid for his dish with housework.

    tl;dr I can understand if the kid might get really sick from some foods. But if he’s being THAT picky, give him up for adoption.

    1. Kaos

      “Having said that, if the little fucker is just being picky and whiny and won’t eat what we’ve ordered for him, he can choose to not eat it, my husband and I will enjoy the kid’s meal while describing how it tastes (hoping he’ll cave and eat the food); if he doesn’t eat it, then he will make up the money we paid for his dish with housework.”

      That whole eating it and describing it thing…doesn’t work and the kid will think you’re stupid. *You* ordered the food why should the kid pay for it? Were you going to make him/her pay for it if s/he ate it?

  6. Alaskanfirebunny

    Aside from all of the great comments, which I wholeheartedly agree with (I will never work in a restaurant that serves kids ever again because of parents like these), one thing is really bugging me…

    Her last name is Italian, they were eating at a fancy Italian restaurant, and neither of them like “red” sauce??? Smh

  7. April

    From the time my kids were able to eat “real” food, they ate what I ate. when they were toddlers, that meant cut up items from my plate. Once they were older, they ordered what was available from the kids menu. We never took our kids to places that did not have a kids menu.

    As a result, I have two teenagers who can ALWAYS find something to eat at any place. I have a picky eater, and yet she has never had a problem at any restaurant–she can always find something she likes. The other kid will eat about anything.

    I always wonder what these parents are like at home. Are they a short order cook? If the kid doesn’t like what you made for dinner, do you cook a substitute dinner? What if two kids want different things?

  8. Jim

    I have two kids, one of which is extremely picky about what she eats. She has very sensitive taste buds and only will eat bland food. We have been taking both kids to high-end restaurants their entire life. Even as toddlers we check if they allow kids or not and things like that. Due to the area we live in MOST restaurants allow kids since it is a very suburban area with lots of dual income families that take their kids out a lot. Most restaurants in this area have a kids menu or things on their normal menu that can be easily created. Almost any restaurant can do things like buttered pasta or other simple dish that take the normal things on the menu and makes it kid friendly. One restaurant I went to had just opened and they said they didn’t have a kid’s menu yet, but we could bring something in with us until they developed their kid’s menu. We did that. We can usually find something on the menu that appeals to the kids. The only type of restaurant we can’t find anything on the menu for my daughter is Indian. None of the dishes, including the chicken dishes are bland enough for her. We usually either let her eat first when going Indian or ask the restaurant first if we can bring in an outside meal. They never have a problem, because they don’t mind having 3 paying guests and 1 non-paying guest.

  9. Julia C

    Yeah, I guess I’m a rude tacky bitch, but as the mother of a child with severe allergies when she was under 2, I struggled when we went on vacation. So, yes, I was the “cunt” with a “fuckling” as some of you have graciously put it, who brought food for her child into the restaurant. Only because once, some air headed vapid server and chef decided dairy free and egg free was only an optional request and could not comprehend the meaning of the word allergy. Imagine everyone’s surprise when we had to pull out benadryl, an epi pen AND call 911. So, yes, I brought my own food for her into restaurants while traveling. So, while I normally laugh and roll my eyes along with these comments, for once I want to tell people to get their heads out of their asses. Sometimes families need a night out. Sometimes I want to go out to dinner and not worry someone’s going to kill me kid, who, deserves to be able to eat with family at a family restaurant while on vacation.

    1. Alan H.


      Considering the other mitigating factors, I wouldn’t consider your situation tacky at all. Food allergies are nothing to screw with and if you can’t be absolutely sure the restaurant is going to understand that (and take it into account), they shouldn’t have a problem with what you’re describing at all. If you were to come in to my place of employment and calmly explain it that way, I know I wouldn’t (and I’d make sure no one else did either).

      My problem is with people who aren’t on vacation and don’t seem to be able to read the signs we have up saying, “No Outside Food or Drink.” The people who bring in food from some of the other places close by (being in the City Market in KC, there’s lots of them). My livelihood is based on being able to sell those people food and/or drinks and then getting tipped off the total. It’s those people who do it just because they think they can (they can’t) that really chap my hide.

      You? You’re just trying to protect your child and nobody should have a problem with that.

    2. Sin4salvation

      No one mentioned kids with allergies. I work in pizza, so the cheese/gluten thing is pretty common. We are generally happy to grant special menu requests, or in the past, used allergy free cheese for a child’s pizza. In those cases, we want our customers happy, and usually those customers treat you well.

      This woman isn’t doing it because she needs to. She’s doing it because shes tacky. And, like some of the others stated, she’s now probably in that mentality of “our bill was only 20, I’ll leave 4” instead of “our bill would have been 28, I’ll leave 5/6.” and of course, a dollar doesn’t make or break a server, but they add up over a shift.

    3. Cameron Rose

      Sometimes families need a night out. Sometimes I want to go out to dinner

      Then maybe you should get a sitter

      how did you prepare food while on vacation?did you rent a place with a kitchen

      1. Julia C

        We absolutely rented places with a kitchen while on vacation- we eat at home every night with the exception of the night we arrive (8 hour drive so we eat out on the way) and then eat out on the way home.
        And yes, we get babysitters or just skip eating out altogether.

    4. The Bitchy Waiter Post author

      We are not talking about kids with allergies, Julia. No one wants to kill you or your kid.

      1. Julia C

        It just seemed people commented on more than just this lady’s blog. Did anyone bother to ask why these people bring their own food? Up until she out grew her allergies, anytime we went into a restaurant and I had to bring my own food, I made sure I called ahead and asked. I’m just trying to point out, in the words previous posters used, that there may be reasons these other people bring food.

        1. Snowy

          You’re reading too much into it–or rather, not enough. She never mentions allergies, never even goes int he ballpark. She only says that they were catering to their son’s tastes. (“Up to our eyeballs with french fries and burgers,” “he was letting our son’s palate dictate where we dined out as a family,” “Titan would only touch the baked ziti with meatballs.”)

          No one would begrudge a parent trying to keep their child alive and healthy. But that is clearly not the case with her, and that is why so many people are taking umbrage.

        2. Samm

          Hi Julia, I was that child with allergies between the ages of 4 and 14. My mother always made sure I had eaten BEFORE we went to the restaurant. It’s quite possible.

    5. Shannon

      Severe food allergies are a whole different story. We are not talking about a child who will die if he/she eats certain foods, we are talking about parents who bring McDonald’s into another restaurant because little titan won’t eat anything else. Speaking to your server before the meal starts to let them know of your child’s food allergies is very helpful.

  10. Lisa Alessandro

    Wow where to start. I will be visiting this lady’s website after this and perhaps she will be able to answer some of the points I will be making here. First, I actually thought it WAS a liability to bring food into any restaurant across the country and not in just certain states. As a restaurant owner my policy is that you CAN’T so she WOULDN’T be a customer of mine law or not. You may be serving crud chicken fingers that are cooked before you heat them or you may have a classier one that requires a modicum of cooking. Nevertheless, your child gets sick in my restaurant, the health department and the negative feedback fall on me whether your child ate my food or not. I am not a fast food restaurant and weather you “stop by Burger King” or bag your own, ya can’t bring it with you. Where does this woman think the “cost of a meal comes from”? Does she think that her ribeye steak, baked potato, and side salad that cost $18.95 is the same if she purchased it from the supermarket and that nothing else goes into it. Here’s why I say that. Does she bring plates, silverware, glassware (a drink?), napkins, and condiments for her child when she comes to your restaurant? Does she clean the part of the table he sits at or sweep the floor? If it’s a particularly long dinner, does she take the child to the bathroom for either it’s intended purpose or to clean him/her up? Who does she think pays for that (the owner). Who does she think takes care of it (waiter, dishwasher, hostess)? I’m sure that there are naysayers out there that say that providing ketchup, water (why buy the kid a drink at this point),10 napkins, 10 minutes of post visit cleaning, and no extra tip because well the kid didn’t eat anything…is the cost of doing business. Ya NO! If you want to have a family meal, go to a family restaurant. Expect to eat food(s) you would make at home in a somewhat crowded and noisy restaurant with paper place mats and crackers on the floor OR hire a babysitter.

  11. Rose

    What I don’t understand is that her husband offered to call the fucking babysitter!!!! But she just HAD to drag the kid along???
    Are you serious? Just leave the kid at home! Its not a vacation or trip to a museum. The little fucker won’t be missing out on anything.

  12. Jeff

    I agree with Bitchy – if you don’t want picky eaters, you have to feed children a variety of foods (within reason).
    In the long run it will make it much easier to enjoy a variety of restaurants.
    That, or get a babysitter when you want to go somewhere fancy.
    Bringing food for a child is tacky…

    1. Diane

      We took our girls everywhere, including to the sushi places. That’s where our oldest, at age 5? 7? discovered her favorite food at that time – smoked eel. and where is “within reason”? We are pretty much adventurous eaters…hubby’s had fried shrimp heads, he said they were just really crunchy & tasted like shrimp. Although, I did not warn him on his first time of having horseradish in Tallinn (not sauce). Also, if you don’t have your kids at least even try something new, how are they going to actually find out what they like/dislike? The only time we actually brought food for a child, was when they were still babies, eating that puree stuff out of a jar. And that lasted not very long, they went to eating what we ate, as soon as they were able to.

  13. Keith

    Oh my God, “fuckling” is the most brilliant word ever. I’m stealing it and using it on a regular basis.

  14. Tracy

    I love how she gets knocked up (twice!) and the rest of us are victims as a result. No one wants her fuckling at a nice restaurant, anyway.

  15. Jennifer

    I also like the people that say things like… My child doesn’t like the complimentary bread, what are you going to give him complimentary instead?

    Nothing bitch, you should have gotten a babysitter.

    1. Erika

      Nothing tops your response, but if I were feeling particularly generous that day, I might say “your child gets a complimentary corkscrew to play with, madam.”

  16. Jennifer

    I used to like the people that would hide the food for their children in their purse/ backpack and think we aren’t going to notice the child eating McNuggets.

  17. Clay

    the thing is..if they want to go to an “adult” restaurant where the menu is not child friendly then maybe they should get a …….BABYSITTER!! someone that stays home with the child, feeds him his sammich , pickles and apple and they have a nice quiet dinner out. Imagine that..what an idea!! What burn s me up is when they hand the food to the server asking to have it heated and plated, then use all the silver, napkins and condiments on the table( that I have to replace) and then I have to clean up the little f***s mess…and they dont have the courtesy of the decency to tip properly. We have guests that tell us thier kids eat free even though they dont and after I dont charge them they still stiff me. Dont think I’m going to bend over backwards to feed your little monster food that you brought from home, then clean up behind it, and you stiff me on a tip!! I’m telling you up front we do not do that and walk away. I’ll send the manager over and let him explain it to you if need be, but I’m not doing it.

    1. Erika

      And hoo boy was she pissed when she had to settle for Titan, because that was actually her second choice for a baby name, but that cunt Amy from the birthing class just had to go into premature labor and steal the name Reignbeau right out from under her.

    2. Arglebargle

      Two sons named Titan and Tristan. I hope she names #3 Tower. And that he turns out to be a dwarf like mommy!

  18. Kat

    Every comment on the original post is telling her what rude shit she is, thank God people outside of the service industry also get it. I would also like to know who thinks apples, pickles, and a grilled cheese is a balanced dinner??? I guess I’m too hard on my two year old who is usually forced to eat baked chicken with quinoa and vegetables for dinner. Except for last night when we went out and he happily are pad tai and spring rolls with my husband and me. SMH

  19. K

    I’m a mother of two. I either A- take my kids somewhere they will have options they like, or B- tell them to not eat if it makes them happy. This woman will be coddling her children until she’s sitting in class next to them in college, giving them the answers.

  20. getbent

    That website is absolute trash. I don’t expect anything class from someone who would write for them. Hey parents, your spawn is your mistake and just because they don’t like what your eating doesn’t give you any right to potentially get a restaurant in trouble. Get a sitter or stay home and spare us all your speshul snowflayke.

    1. sara bosely

      it is rude and entitled and illegal, at least in oregon. it’s a liability issue, what if the kid got sick and they try to blame it on the restaurant? it’s a little petty-power-trippy of me, but i enjoy going up to people and saying “gosh i’m sorry, we don’t allow outside food in, it’s a health hazard. sorrrrry.” because duh, of course you can’t do that.


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