AITA for letting child at party eat meat?

  1. Absolutely. The kid knows what he’s doing. I used to bring groups of kids aged 7-16 on field trips. And while the forms filled up by parents would say I have 6 vegetarian kids, I’ll end up with just 1 vegetarian kid while the other 5 refuse to touch the vege options and head straight for the meat.

  2. Ha! Pick the Aussie. Yeah she can rack off. Like she expected the ENTIRE party to be vegetarian just because her son is? Incredibly self centred.

  3. I was a vegetarian for years. The first time I purposefully ate meat I chose chicken because it's mild. I was still sick after eating it. And I was sick after I ate pork a few days later.

  4. NTA. I am pescatarian for context. Children (within reason) should be permitted to have some control over their diets. While I don’t want children and I am not planning on returning to eat land animals or fowl, if I had children I would not expect them to hold the same diet as me.

  5. I'm guessing he eats more meat than his mother realizes. She may want him to be a vegetarian but he may feel the opposite. After all there is school, he probably eats meat there as well which is why OP's son never noticed.

  6. Like...he is 10... she told him more than once about the meat and the kid didn't care, but the mom shouldn't lie either. This is weird...

  7. NTA. That wasn't my first thought though. I was going with YTA until I read some of the comment and there was some pretty good points in there. The kid is 10 and knows what he was doing, why he would rub it in his moms face IDK.

  8. Fellow Aussie? My son, at eight was old enough to know what he shouldn’t eat( severe food intolerances) and even to decline politely when his wicked stepmother tried to push them on him

  9. To add to this. Some kids eat the way they want to when their parents are out of sight. Alex may very well enjoy meat and may not have been involved in the decision to be a vegetarian. NTA.

  10. He may very well be a forced vegetarian too. My SIL knew a kid like that, his parents refused him meat but he wanted it and I guess it was a big deal because the grandparents would give him peices of kelbasa and he absolutely loved it. I don't have kids and I'm not able to a doctor or a dietician but I think being a vegan or vegetarian is dangerous for growing children.

  11. NTA. If Alex wanted to eat vegetarian options he would have eaten them. Sounds like his mom is forcing a vegetarian diet on him and was just upset you didn't enforce it as well. That is her problem not yours.

  12. Why would he go home and tell his mom about eating meat if he was trying to do it behind her back whenever he could?

  13. Yeah. Lifelong vegetarian here. You wouldn't catch me eating a meat pie at 6. That boy was probably so happy to eat a meal unsupervised. Alex's mom is TA, and I'm betting she'll find out when her son's grown and wants nothing to do with her.

  14. Yep. My ex and I are vegetarian. Our kids were vegetarian as long as we controlled their diets. Once they got old enough to choose for themselves… not so much. But then my philosophy of parenting isn’t about controlling my kids.

  15. This, yeah. Mom didn’t say Alex couldn’t tolerate meat, so that puts no obligation on OP to ensure he doesn’t eat it.

  16. True but I have seen people who never eat meat throw up when having it by accident. There may be some biological basis for that I genuinely don’t know one way or the other.

  17. NTA. The kid in question was around 10yo, he would certainly know what foods he can eat safely by that age, if allergies were a concern. Despite having all the vegetarian options available, he chose the meat pie. From what you wrote, it certainly didn't sound like she wanted you to prevent him from eating meat. If you had taken it away from the vegetarian kid and forced him to eat the non-meat options, that would be treating him differently than the other kids. Might not be the AH move if mom told you to prevent him from eating meat, but it would certainly feel that way to the kid. And his mom didn't tell you he wasn't allowed to eat meat; just that he was a vegetarian.

  18. The kid was not eating something unsafe for him. The child was eating something philosophically wrong for his mum. Tough.

  19. NTA - I don't think Alex realises he's a vegetarian. If this was about a dietary requirement for health issues or religious reasons (neither if which are mentioned) I think letting him have the meat pie would be problematic. As its a morality judgement then there's a point where the kid need to understand what the moral cause his parents are signed up to and the lifestyle choices this results in. Kid needs educating. Probably a small lesson for OP in marking foods with dietary flags or whatever when hosting folks with requests but definitely not asshole territory for not doing it.

  20. Or the kid isn't vegetarian outside of mom's control. Just because a parent chooses to be vegetarian doesn't mean the kid is. That's still a personal belief and choice.

  21. How do religious reasons differ in this regard from the moral reasons? Both are most likely forced onto the child, before it is old enough to understand the reasoning behind it.

  22. NTA. I feel like she's forcing her son to be vegetarian, she shouldn't be surprised that this happens, then.

  23. Yeah, that's why I went YTA. She could have asked him to make sure he knew what he was eating, and that it was something his mother said he couldn't have, without screaming and disrupting the party and reaching into his mouth to pull the food out.

  24. NTA. He is old enough to know what he wants to eat or what he can’t. It sounds like his mother is forcing this lifestyle on to him, but I could be wrong.

  25. So when I was 19, I went on a humanitarian mission with a group, many of whom were high school teenagers. And I knew the one girl Ray (15 F at the time, name has been changed) because our families are friendly, and I know they're very very vegan. Like the mom's the preachy vegan, like disparaging people who aren't vegans type. She says to me at the airport, "Please help Ray find good food, you know what we eat."

  26. Yes I told the boys what each dish was as I put it on the table - meat pies, vegetarian spring rolls, egg sandwiches, mushroom risotto balls and a fruit platter.

  27. NTA. I went veg when my daughter was born. I let her make her own decision whether to become a vegetarian or to eat meat. She knew at 10 and even younger what she wanted to do and I’ve always respected that. (She eats it. I don’t.) You announced it was a meat pie, and he ate it. We can’t force our beliefs on our kids.

  28. NTA You told them all what was what at the start of the party. He knew what he was doing, let him eat what he wants. It's not an allergy or anything and it won't hurt him. It seems more like his mom is vegetarian and her son is not, so she is mad about it and blaming you.

  29. NTA why wouldn't you serve one of your sons favorite foods at his birthday? I had a friend who didn't eat chocolate as a kid and his mom would be very demanding that there needed to be two cakes at birthday parties. Personally I think it's ridiculous to make everyone around you adjust to your food needs.. If it was that serious his mom should have sent him with food not expected you to watch over what her kid eats. This is a different scenario but my muslim friend in college would go to the bar with us and he'd end up eating 3 giant BLT's. If his parents ever found that out they would absolutely freak out and to me it sounds like Alex wanted to get a taste of food he never gets to eat.

  30. NTA. I've had several friends over the years who grew up "vegetarian" but would scarf down lunch meat like a starving wolverine as soon as they weren't around their parents. At 10 that kid is well aware of meat vs not meat and is starting to make their own choices. And possibly lacking protein as a growing kid needs more than an adult. You announced what was and wasn't vegetarian. That kid made an autonomous choice about what he wanted to eat.

  31. NTA - “how dare you serve any meat whatsoever to your crowd of omnivores when my little princeling is present at your table? The effrontery!”

  32. NTA he clearly understood it was meat as he told his mother he ate meat. The pie wasn’t bought especially for him and would go in the bin if all the slices weren’t eaten so it has had no impact on the number of animals killed. If he chooses to ignore his dietary requirements that’s his choice. A ten year old is not a little kid. They’re capable of independent thinking and choice making.

  33. NTA. A ten year-old is perfectly capable of making the distinction. He can’t claim he didn’t know because you clearly told them all. The fact he told his mother about it sounds a bit manipulative.

  34. NTA A kid who wants meat will eat it. Just because his mom forces him to eat vegetarian doesn't mean he is a vegetarian, which he isn't if he likes eating meat.

  35. Oh so the vegetarian mom goes psycho on you because you didn't enforce her choice on her child, even though you clearly stated what was meat and what wasn't?

  36. NTA. If their kid is on such a restrictive diet, the parents should have stayed to supervise him personally. Poor kid is probably just being micromanaged and will take any opportunity to eat what he actually wants, when he gets to. You had veggie options and that was good enough, barring serious allergy issues (where they STILL should have supervised themselves since that's not on you to police).

  37. NTA- you had vegetarian options and the kid chose to eat the meat pie, knowing what it was. It’s not up to you to tell him he can’t. Sounds like the mom wants her kid to be vegetarian and the kid isn’t on board with it. If he was, he wouldn’t have eaten the meat pie. Nor should you cater your whole menu to be vegetarian if you’re not vegetarian just so one guest wouldn’t be tempted.

  38. My niece had a friend in grade school whose mother said she was vegetarian and allergic to eggs. My sister spent a crazy amount of time accommodating the girls diet until one day, the girl tells my sister that she's not vegetarian and she can have eggs, her mom just doesn't want the daughter to eat processed foods. To say my sister was upset is an understatement.

  39. Fuck vegetarians who make their kid vegetarians just bc they are let him eat what he wants unless its poison or actully inedible

  40. NTA. His mother clearly forces the vegetarian diet on him, it’s not your job to do the same. It would be different if he had a food allergy and you ignored it. It’s like those kids that their parents won’t let have candy and then when they’re in birthday parties they’ll get high on sugar because they can. Parents should know they can’t put their kids on restrictive diets and expect everyone to cater to them.

  41. NTA. He clearly ISN’T a vegetarian by choice, and when he’s a little older he’ll be smart enough not to mention eating available meat pies to his mother. He had options available if he wanted them, and if he himself preferred vegetarian food, he’d have stuck to those. Most kids from vegetarian families would have, in fact.

  42. NTA. I've seen this one on repeat in my job. It's the parents who are on xyz diet or have xyz allergies. They tell us their child is the same way. The child actually isn't. I cannot begin to tell you the volume of special meals I have ordered that have sadly gone to waste. These kids always go for the regular meal. The kids with the tried and true allergies and preferences know it and eat the special meal. Clearly, this young man falls into the first category. He probably doesn't even realize that he's supposed to be vegetarian.

  43. Nta At the age of 10 I knew what I could and could not eat due to allergies... that kid is old enough to know.

  44. NTA. Completely right not to humiliate the boy in front of his friends. He's 10. He knows what a meat pie is. Not like he was eating shellfish with a seafood allergy. Little guy needs to learn to be more circumspect if he's going to not so secretly eat meat tho, lol. Have to wonder if he doesn't want to be vegetarian and was getting a dig in at home. 'Mom, I ate a meat pie and it was delicious!!!'

  45. NTA. You didn't poison the lad for one thing, and you didn't force him to eat meat. You even provided several vegetarian alternatives. I think Alex doesn't know he is a vegetarian, or if he knows, he doesn't really want to be one.

  46. NTA. Alex most likely isn't vegetarian by choice and it's something his mother is forcing on him. You gave the options, he chose to eat meat.

  47. NTA, but a quiet, gentle “hey, I just wanted to let you know that our you’re eating has meat in it; are you sure you want to eat that?” wouldn’t have been misplaced. Honestly, I’m kind of wondering if Alex doesn’t actually want to be vegetarian and it’s more his mom/parents determining that for him. If there was a medical reason for avoiding meat, it was on his mom to stress that to you, otherwise, veggie options and meat options coexisting is perfectly fine.

  48. NTA. I am pescatarian for context. Children (within reason) should be permitted to have some control over their diets. While I don’t want children and I am not planning on returning to eat land animals or fowl, if I had children I would not expect them to hold the same diet as me.

  49. Sounds like he is a vegetarian by mom's choice, not his. He may likely eat meat at school, etc when mom isn't watching. Plus, he's old enough that he should be able to navigate it when you've said it is meat. NTA

  50. I went vegetarian when I was 11. At 10, the kid is old enough to know what is and isn't meat, and to make his own choices. The kid isn't vegetarian; he just hasn't told his mum yet.

  51. The boy isn't vegetarian.. his mother is. If he chooses to be one himself he will actually ask is what... And more power to hime if he does so.

  52. You're NTA. Alex's mom sounds like one of those militants who expects everyone else to conform to her dietary choices when she (or her son) is present. She can go pound sand.

  53. My 10 year old isn’t supposed to eat pork (fathers rule, not mine). My kid is very aware of this but still eats pepperoni pizza and bacon despite me always having cheese pizza and turkey bacon available. He’s definitely old enough to know better. NTA.

  54. NTA. You gave him veg options and communicated that. He made his choice and this is going to be between him and his mom moving forward. He is his own person and he's going to decide if he's a vegetarian or not, not her.

  55. NTA. If the child does not share his mother's convictions, how is that your fault? Did she expect you to slap the meat pie out of the poor kids hands?

  56. NTA…it sounds like Alex is only a vegetarian when his mom is around. He is 10 so he knew he was eating a meat pie. And if he is one of your son’s closest friends and your kid didn’t even know he is a vegetarian…Alex goes to school and eats meat when his mom isn’t around.

  57. Alex isn't vegetarian. His mom is and is trying to force her diet on her kid. 10 years old is plenty old enough to know what exactly you're eating. And it's not your responsibility to police him and know what he eats. NTA, but his mom sure is.

  58. Nta. Ugh. These types of parents are frustrating. He's a vegetarian because they make him but it's not your job to police what a child eats at a birthday party unless it involves an allergy. Absolutely do not let veggie nazi mom talk to you disrespectfully again or it will never end

  59. NTA. I coached a kid (10) who’s family was vegetarian and he started going to friends places after school and always wanted to stay for dinner. The parents figured out that he always wanted to eat a friends houses because they served meat. They now serve meat in their own house because the kid wants to eat meat. This kid might be doing the same.

  60. The boy put the food into his own mouth. Are you supposed to chain the boy to the vegetarian table? Are you supposed to police what the boy eats? The boy could attend as a guest of the party. You didnt sign up to to constantly monitor his food intake.

  61. NTA. I grew up in a kosher household and took any opportunity to eat not kosher things outside of the home. Sometimes kids don’t believe in the same things their parents do and they can make their own choices so long as it doesn’t medically harm themselves. It’s not like the kid was brining it home.

  62. He's 10. He knows the meaning of the word meat. And he was already eating it -- taking it away mid-bite wouldn't change that. Sounds like he doesn't want to be a veg...

  63. NTA. My vegetarian nephew (9 yrs) has known he doesn't eat meat for a couple of years now. He asks and let's people know when he's getting food if parents aren't around.

  64. NTA sounds like this vegetarian lifestyle is a forced lifestyle on the kid and it seems like when he’s not at home and he’s with his friends. He eats meat anyways and lies to his parents. No I don’t think you are you can’t force the child To stop eating the meat pie. He was well aware of it since you told everyone what it was kid isn’t stupid I’m sure he knew there was meat in it and I’m sure this isn’t the first time he’s ate meat he just does it in secret actually the mother is an a hole for expecting you to cater only to her sons vegetarian lifestyle, which obviously isn’t his choice and she’s an asshole for forcing him to live that lifestyle when he obviously doesn’t want to.

  65. NTA - you provided a vegetarian choice and Alex chose the meat. I wonder if being vegetarian is his mother's ideal and not his.

  66. This is sort of like the phrase about vegetarian cats and that you know who's the one making the choice.

  67. NTA I have frequently taken large groups of children that age and younger out, the vegetarians always knew and said what they could and couldn't eat

  68. NTA. I became a vegetarian when I was 10. I was plenty old enough to recognize meat and decide whether or not I wanted to eat it.

  69. NTA. This kid is not a vegetarian. His parents don't allow him to eat meat which is not the same thing as being a vegetarian. If his parents wanted you to enforce the he can't eat meat rule they should have explicitly told you that.

  70. NTA. You did what you could reasonably be expected to do. This sounds more like Alex is being pushed toward being a vegetarian by his mother than anything.

  71. NTA. In my experience as a travel chaperone for a decade there are two types of vegan/vegetarian families. One wholly embraces and practices it and the other is inflicted upon the family by a parent and tends to not practice balanced eating. A sub-variant is a kid who declares themselves vegan/vegetarian to just eat whatever they feel like.

  72. Nta…You provided vegetarian options. He just didn’t want them. 10 is old enough to know what you can and can’t eat. It’s also old enough to be making choices about what you want to eat (within reason). My husband grew up vegetarian. At aroun dage 10, he was at summer camp and decided that he wanted to try a hot dog. He’s been a meat eater ever since.

  73. NTA. He’s old enough to decide what he wants to eat as long as he’s not allergic to it or something. You did right by providing the options and let him choose. The only way you’d be the AH here is if for some reason it wasn’t clear it was a meat dish and you didn’t give him a heads up, esp if this was for medical or religious reasons. Otherwise, let the kid make his own choices.

  74. NTA his mother is a vegetarian he is a child that will probably eat what is given to him. Vegetarianism is a choice.

  75. Nta, I grew up as the only voluntary vegetarian in my household (weird kid, still weird adult) my mom said one day when I was a toddler I refused to eat meat and never touched it again. I grew up knowing exactly what was meat and not eating it because I didn’t want to when I went to birthday parties I’d just snack on chips and vegetables or offer the pepperoni off my pizza to my friends

  76. I was vegan when my daughter was young and I tried to serve a wide variety of foods for her. She liked a lot of the vegan versions of food that I ate (meatless chicken nuggets, tofu dishes etc). But I never restricted what she could eat elsewhere. My dad would fry up bacon for her then use the grease for pancakes. She loved it. She is 24 and mostly vegetarian now but loves trying all different foods. My biggest concern when she was a toddler was getting adequate nutrition, which can be challenging as a vegan toddler. It’s easier now with all the nut milks and a wide variety of products for vegans. But I knew if I restricted what she could eat, she would just eat it elsewhere. One of her friends would come to our house and gorge on food…because her mom limited what she ate at home to a ridiculous degree and she never learned self control or the basics of nutrition.

  77. We are vegetarian. My son was around the same age, when at a school function (where everyone brought a dish) he picked up a chicken sandwich and said "Oh Mum, these cheese sandwiches are amazing!". I just laughed and said "Babe, you've just had your first chicken".

  78. Dang that little boy gobbled up that meat pie & then snitched to his mom. That’s the kind of kid that gets your kid to do dumb stuff & then acts all innocent when it goes sideways. NTA

  79. One of the kids at school isn’t allowed to eat pork.. literally ate sausage rolls whenever he could get his hands on them. He knew what he was doing and I think this kid did too!

  80. NTA Alex KNOWS his mom wants him to be vegetarian, he just doesn't care and eats what he wants when she's not around. A kid that aged can't be forced into a meatless diet, they're going to do what they want. It's not your job to be the food police.

  81. NTA I chose to be a vegetarian at 11, whist a year older than Alex, I knew to ask and check the food before I consumed it wherever I went and if no option was provided for me at a friends house I would just eat a piece of bread or fruit though this was very rare, most parents were very accommodating. I feel like a 10 year old could manage that as well so unless Alex has some mental issues or is neurodivergent and can not understand to ask/pick out the vegetarian food this absolutely wasn't your fault.

  82. Apparently this is not gonna be a popular opinion based on all the NTA, but imagine if this was any other diet based on a belief system. Muslim, Jewish, etc. Parents are obviously forcing their beliefs on their kids in those scenarios as well. That's how belief systems generally work.

  83. NTA, the guest didn't want vegetarian food. His Mom should have sent over food for him if it was that important to her. The jury is still out on the young guest. He probably eats meat behind his mother's back all the time.

  84. AUTOMOD Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read

  85. Sounds like momma demands him to be vegetarian and Alex gives no f's. Reminds me of my niece and nephew. SIL forced them and my brother to be veg, first opportunity (Christmas with Granny and aunt) they ate meat.

  86. NTA. I’m pretty sure you’ll find that Alex is in fact Not a vegetarian… but his mother is and is forcing her choices on her son.

  87. NTA. It's on those of us with by choice dietary restrictions to manage what we eat. He's a kid, but you're not his parent. And no harm done - it's just one pie. This just isn't your problem in any way.

  88. NTA. I'm raising vegetarian kids. They're aware of their dietary restrictions way younger than 10, and can ask if they're allowed to eat something. My 6 year old might forget about stuff like gelatin, but a meat pie? Not in a million years.

  89. NTA kids know, some don't, it's no different than kids who aren't allowed to have sugar that go wild at parties their parents aren't at. But all these comments about posters knowing people who force diets on their kids, unless cultural or religious if it doesn't harm them or allergies and intolerances, is astounding. If I decided to go veg or vegan or anything else and I had kids I'd never force them to live the same way as me and let them decide and have both options available.

  90. My sis is a hardcore vegetarian for the last 30 years, but she cooks meat for her partner and for guests. She would never dream of forcing her choice on others. Funny enough even people who know her dont do vegetarian food for parties. Except mom and me.

  91. NTA. I have a 12 yr old son who is celiac. He's known what he can or can't eat for years now (certainly well before he was 10) and will always check with us (or whoever) prior to eating something he doesn't immediately trust. If that lad is a veggie and it means something to him then he'd have known to ask or would have realised early on when eating it.

  92. NTA. That kid knew exactly what he was doing. I’d say he’s a vegetarian at home because his mother is an uptight tyrannical dictator with major control issues. (Probably squeaks when she farts)

  93. She was annoyed that you served any meat at all? That's not reasonable and for her to expect that of you is an obscene level of entitlement.

  94. You provided suitable options, you weren't supposed to police what the kid ate. Vegetarianism is a preference, and in this case its the parents' preference, not the kid's. It's not like an allergy where you would have been expected to take more care for a kid in your care. NTA

  95. NTA. The kid is not vegetarian, the mom is and is imposing it on her son. Now he may grow up and descide to be vegetarian or even vegan, but unless it's for allergies who are you to tell that kid what to eat or not to eat.

  96. Kid is 10 not 2. I bet he's been trading lunches at school for years when mum wasn't watching. If mum was this concerned she could have stayed to watch what her son consumed. It's a dietary preference not a health requirement.

  97. NTA. That wasn't my first thought though. I was going with YTA until I read some of the comment and there was some pretty good points in there. The kid is 10 and knows what he was doing, why he would rub it in his moms face IDK.

  98. NTA. He's old enough to make his own food choices. You provided plenty of options and let them know what they were. It sounds like his mother is forcing vegetarianism on him but he's not a vegetarian.

  99. I'm listening to more parent sleep over stories...I did share below that my mom and dad just dropped me off and said have fun and her meds for funky tummy. They didn't know what I ate until I came home.

  100. NAH. Your job as a host is to offer suitable and considerate options, NOT police a guest's informed personal choices.

  101. NTA. This boy obviously eats meat when his mom isn't around. If he had been vegetarian for long, a meat pie would have made him sick.

  102. Nta in your Edit since you announced the food I think it’s pretty clear cut. I don’t know how that kind of error could be done as an accident but I would let someone know in the future because if it is an accident and they’ve been a vegetarian a long time, it can make them sick to eat animal proteins. Their body might not be used to it. Doesn’t seem to be an issue here.

  103. NTA. At that age, the children need to supervise what they eat. You can give them info about what it is and maybe a gentle reminder “your mom told me you don’t eat meat,” but that’s it. Of course you don’t need to have no meat available.

  104. NTA A 10 yr old is well able to know what he should eat according to his family's lifestyle and maybe to decide for himself if he wants meat.

  105. NTA, if her child had an allergy to a certain type of food then I would expect you to be more diligent about what he eats at your home but if it’s preference only (and doesn’t seem to be his preference) then you are off the hook. You did nothing wrong.

  106. NTA. It sounds like Mom wants the kid to be vegetarian, but he eats meat when he's not at home. 10 years old is certainly older enough to know the difference, and old enough to be sneaky.

  107. NTA. I was raised vegetarian. Well before I was 10 years old, I understood how to tell which dishes had meat in them (especially if they were labeled "meat" ffs), or to ask if it wasn't clear. And if I'd wanted to try meat, I could've easily done so and my parents would not have minded at all.

  108. NTA: She's mad you didn't force her son - and everyone else - to eat vegetarian. I suspect he eats a lot more meat than his mother imagines he does.

  109. NTA. He knowingly served himself meat despite you providing vegetarian options. You didn't dish it up for him or not tell him it was meat. He's 10 and old enough that you shouldn't have to watch him every second like a much younger child. These things all absolve you in my mind.

  110. NTA. He obviously knew it was meat because his mom got mad when he told her. So if he eats it on his own there’s not much else you could’ve done!! I became a vegetarian at 10 and my siblings all ate meat. I just ate something separate.

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