A father feels wrongly accused by his own wife of “starving” his son.
The eight-year-old and his father spent a weekend at home together, while the mother enjoyed a short trip.
But during that time, the child refused all meals offered – and then, on returning, complained to his mother that he hadn’t eaten in two days.
“I can’t feed him”
The man shared in an online group that his wife accused him of “starving” their son.
“He’s a notoriously picky eater. My wife usually takes care of his food and keeps complaining that he doesn’t eat vegetables or meat,” he writes.
“She fights him for hours, then gives in and makes him chicken nuggets or macaroni. I’m not allowed to feed him because I’m not trying hard enough, although she can hardly get any actual food into him.”
The father explains that he wanted to try a different tactic.
“She set out early Friday morning and I started making breakfast; Eggs, bacon and toast for both of us. He refused to eat any of it. I made lunch; two turkey sandwiches, he refused to eat any of them. I made meatloaf for dinner and he refused, I put him to bed.
“He was begging for Oreos or macaroni all day, and I said he could eat or just not eat the food I make. I will not ask him to eat his food. I will not bargain with a child to eat what their body needs to survive.”
The boy remained without food until his mother returned on Sunday evening.
“He ran out of bed and yelled at her that I starved him for two days. She started yelling at me and I showed her all his meals in the fridge that he hadn’t eaten.”
But the woman wasn’t convinced, so, ‘Now I’m being kicked out of the bedroom and she’s comforting our son and ‘feeding him’.’ She says I starved him, but I made sure he had food .
“There were other things to eat like yogurt, apples, bananas. He knows how to get food. He is not autistic and the only sensory issues he has are sensory overload and loud noises.”
“He may have an eating disorder”
Many commenters dodged the marriage issue, wanting to help the child.
“You probably didn’t expect him to last this long without giving in and eating the food,” wrote one.
“This should wake up you and your wife to the fact that not only is he picky, but he may have an eating disorder…
“We normally assume that children do not starve. But children with ARFID [Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder] starve because they avoid “unsafe” food so much that they override their normal survival instincts.”
Another said: “I used to be a picky eater, now I’m 32 and have my own child.” If you make food a struggle, you will be the one who loses.
“My parents, and after them my in-laws, tried to support me. I stayed underweight until I moved halfway across the world to another continent. Once the pressure on me eased, I slowly started eating more.
“Go to a professional, your wife’s method is wrong, but yours isn’t right either. Together you two make it worse.”
There were also some who wished to note the marital disruption in relation to food as well, and this person wrote:
“It sounds like you went out of your way to make this a power struggle, especially when your wife wasn’t around and chose foods you knew he wouldn’t like. Otherwise, instead of taking the electronics away from him because he doesn’t eat corn-beef hash, you would have thrown in some fruit and some foods that a typical eight-year-old likes to eat along with new food.
“I’m going to ignore the relationship between you and your wife because it seems completely dysfunctional and tell you that you only increased your son’s fear of food and probably made things worse. “