A South Asian woman took to Reddit after an upsetting encounter. Her neighbor, dubbed “Linda,” asked her to watch her son for a few hours. During lunch, the boy asked to try the woman’s food, roti, and brinjal sabzi. But afterward, the neighbor was furious. She berated the woman, accusing her of “force-feeding” her son “ethnic food.” And “G-d knows what’s in it!” Afterward, the woman asked the Reddit forum, Am I The A**hole?: “AITA for feeding a kid ethnic food without his parent’s permission?”
Woman is Furious at Neighbor Over “Ethnic Food”
“My neighbor, let’s call her Linda, is a single mother of a sweet little 7-year-old boy called Ben,” the woman begins her post. “Linda and I are always cordial to each other in the hallways, but I don’t know much about her.”
However, Linda asked her if she could mind Ben for a few hours. She had an important meeting and was crunched to find a babysitter. The neighbor agreed. “The next day, when she dropped off her kid, she gave me his lunch: vegetable sandwich and orange juice and told me not to give him any candies and that he is allergic to almonds.”
When lunchtime came around, the neighbor prepared roti (a kind of flatbread) and brinjal sabzi (a sort of eggplant curry) for herself. “Ben asked me whether he could take a bite from my lunch, and then he ended up loving it and ate two rotis. I was happy to see him gulp all that up, but unfortunately, he was full from the rotis, so he barely ate his sandwich.”
That evening, Linda picked up Ben and thanked the neighbor. However, she returned some time later, incensed. “She told me that I had no right to force feed her son ethnic food, and G-d knows what’s in it. She said that she was trying to transition her son into the vegan lifestyle, and I just sabotaged it from giving him food she has never even heard of.”
The neighbor tried to explain that her food was vegan and healthy. Plus, Ben ate it by himself, without any coercion, but the mom refused to listen. She was furious at the neighbor for feeding him spicy food that could make Ben sick and called her an a**hole for feeding him without parental permission. 
The Positive Responses
Most of the comments took the neighbor’s side, discussing how Linda seemed biased against “ethnic food,” incorrectly assuming it would be too spicy. Plus if this was a concern about feeding Ben animal products, she would have calmed down once she learned the food was vegan-friendly. Instead, she harped on the foreignness of the dish.
Additionally, many people pointed out that South Asian food is a great option for vegans. “If you want to go vegan, Indian food is the way to go. There are so many cuisines and recipes to choose from. Anthony Bourdain said he didn’t miss meat when he had Indian vegetarian meals… So her vegan outrage is some hot bulls***.”
Some believed she might have been furious that her son chose the neighbor’s food over her own. “I really think that she might be more jealous than he liked food you cooked rather than eating the sandwich she made. That might be why she talked about how it was too spicy and would make him sick etc.”
The Negative Responses
However, the neighbor was not free from criticism. “If you already know that Ben has a food allergy (almonds), it was not a good idea to give him some food he had never tried yet without making sure that it would not trigger an allergic (cross-)reaction. That would have been your responsibility as a temporary caretaker.”
Additionally, it seemed the mother didn’t want the neighbor to feed Ben since she packed him lunch herself. But some disagreed with that point since she didn’t specify that. Instead, she notified the neighbor of his dietary restrictions (no almonds and no candy). They add that the mother should have been grateful the neighbor was expanding Ben’s tastes since kids tend to be very picky.
Sometime later, the neighbor updated her post, thanking everyone for their support. Many people wanted her recipes for the roti and brinjal sabzi. “Thank you for being so kind. I tried to read and reply to as many comments as I could, but unfortunately, I might have missed many too. I sent the recipes to the people who had asked for it, but if I missed out on any, please message me so I could share.” 
Because anyone could post anything on Reddit, it’s impossible to verify how true this story is. However, sharing yummy recipes is always a good finale.
- Woman furious at neighbour for ‘force feeding ethnic food’ to her son.” Independent. Harriet Brewis. May 15, 2021
- “South Asian Woman Shocked After Neighbor Accuses Her of ‘Force Feeding’ Son While Babysitting.” Yahoo. Bryan Ke. May 17, 2021
- “AITA for feeding a kid ethnic food without his parent’s permission?” Reddit.
Attention: While many of these stories are interesting, and we would love to take their word for it, the content in this article was taken from an unverifiable source (i.e., a Reddit forum). As such, we cannot guarantee that these events truly happened in the way that they are described in the original source.