Dad Asks If He’s Wrong To Violate Mom’s Strict ‘No Snacking’ Policy

A dad violated a family rule set by his wife, so he went to Reddit’s “Am I the Asshole” subreddit to get the public’s opinion on the situation.

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The dad begins his post by saying food is the biggest topic of conflict between him and his wife.

Me and my wife fight over very few things. Food is the main culprit. My wife is a strong believer in breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack before bed and that’s it. I’m a firm believer in eat whenever you’re hungry.

This has always been a problem, but it was never really discussed. Recently she’s been getting overly angry about it, but I can’t see what the problem is. I’m not going to make my kids go hungry because dinner is in a hour. If they’re hungry, let them eat.

She also complains that they won’t finish their dinner if I let them eat before. Our kids have never in their life left anything on their plates. Most days they finish theirs and steal half of mine.

If this was causing problems at meal time I’d get it, but in my eyes she just wants to constrict when out kids eat (and as someone who grew up in a household like that, it f***** me up pretty bad).

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The mom’s views on food became so strict that it began to have an extremely negative effect on the couple’s six children. Some hoard food and one regularly sobs with hunger.

It’s even gotten to the point where I’ve come home from work to my second youngest (now five, although it’s been happening since he was four) laying on the floor sobbing because he was hungry.

My older four already know what she’s doing upsets them and she’s the one holding food away. My younger two are just angry and hungry. I do want to talk to her about maybe setting up a better eating schedule, though.

She’s all for nutrition, and she follows a guide from the doctors, like each meal they have is precisely weighed. I think they wouldnt be half as hungry if she gave them filling food for once.

The dad has asked the couple’s friends, but they can’t agree on who is in the wrong. So, he took to Reddit to get perspective from people that didn’t have an emotional attachment to the situation.

I’ve spoken to our mutual friends, and they all seem to think I don’t get a say because she cooks and buys the food. Friends that are only mine seem to think, while she’s being unfair, she’s building character in the kids.

I think she’s gonna wind up giving them eating disorders.

Either way, I don’t really have anyone on my side besides the kids themselves.

The consensus? Dad is absolutely not the a-hole, with fellow Redditors unanimously saying his wife’s behavior is dangerous for the children. It is common knowledge children eat a lot because they are growing a lot.


Growing kids can eat ALOT, I know when I was little I’d mow through food like no one’s business and I was a skinny kid. I think a blend of both your and her approaches is good. Structured meal times is a good thing but healthy snacks in between is equally good. I give your wife alot of props though, 6 kids is alot to manage and I can understand why she wants structure.

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But it is important to have some structure with children, so one Redditor brought up a way to compromise.

I agree with this. It’s important they have structured meal times and learn to read their body’s fullness and hunger cues.

I wonder what are the snack options? I can understand mom not wanting the kids to eat chips or a sweet granola bar or a big serving of goldfish or chips before dinner or lunch.

I would make a compromise for snacks within an hour of mealtimes. They can have a snack that is healthy. A hard boiled egg. Carrot sticks. Celery with a little peanut butter. Dried seaweed. Nothing too sweet or sugary or full of carbs.


Other users commented on how watching the mother’s attitude toward food could damage the children mentally.

Yo, here’s to say that OP below says his wife is WEIGHING OUT the portions of food every single day. First of all, setting aside the necessary variations of caloric intake between a 3 year old and a 12 year old, this is not healthy for them mentally. And that’s assuming she’s changing the amounts per kid. OP, you describe your older kids as resentful and knowing their mom is withholding food. Your little ones are SOBBING because they are hungry. Your wife has a problem — whether its an eating disorder, or control issues, I dont know — but you need medical help and stat, because you’re both harming your children.

Edited to say: ESH (except the kids).


One of the kids was literally sobbing from hunger. Little kids dont fake big meltdowns like that. What the wife is doing isnt healthy for the kids and will definitely end up giving them some kind of complex over food.

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Lesson: If you’re trying to prevent your children from hoarding food and sobbing out of hunger, you are definitely not the asshole.

You can view the post and the replies here.

Lead image: Flickr