Don't judge me, but... I'm furious with my friend for giving my child one of these.

I don’t know what to say to this mum, who just thought she was giving my daughter a fun lunch.

When my 5-year-old daughter asked to go on a play date with a new friend, I was, at first, hesitant.

I knew the mum a little bit, but not that well.

My daughter didn't know this food existed. She does now.

But then another of my daughter's friends were going, and her mum assured me it would be fine.

I have been pre-occupied with a newborn, so my little 5-year-old has had to do a lot of imaginary alone play in her room or the garden. No wonder she was excited about going to the the movies with her 2 friends.

I could see the joy exploding out of her as she run up the drive way when the mum dropped her off.

"She had a wonderful time," the mum shouted from the car. "She's had lunch."

As I took my little bubbling 5-year-old inside, she couldn't speak quick enough to tell me about her play date. She could barely sit still, which I thought was excitement. But it was something else.

Then she shoved a little toy figurine in my face. "And we got this."

"It came with the cheeseburger." Cheeseburger?

Apparently, the so-called "lunch" my daughter had been provided was fast-food. Cheeseburger. Chips. Chocolate chip cookie. And a Coke.

In my family, we eat healthy food.

I strongly believe that what I give my kids to eat now, will set them up for a healthy future. It will also set them up for not craving sugar and fat and food that really isn't food.

The "lunch" she just had was none of the above. Sure, we eat burgers in my house. But when they aren't made of lentils, I only use fresh, organic, hormone-free meat. I highly doubt that is what this fast food place uses. My daughter has also only ever had water and freshly-squeezed juice as a treat. Sugar is a definite no-no.


I was infuriated at this mother for not giving my daughter a healthy meal. Sure, she gave me a 3-hour break where I was able to finally get to the pile of laundry while the baby slept.

Yes, she didn't know my rules when it came to food, although she's my friend, so she knows I'm a healthy eater. And yes, she had declined my offer to give her money for the movie ticket.

But I would rather have given her money, and for her to buy my daughter a salad sandwich on wholemeal than have a hyperactive, bouncing off the wall 5-year-old that was about to crash.

I thought about saying something to this mum. But my husband said my complaint was over-the-top and would just create more problems than solve anything. He said, just tell your friend our child has allergies (she doesn't).

And of course, now that my daughter knows these things exist, she wants them. She's been asking when she's going to have a Coke again. Argh!

Worst of all, that mum has already texted me asking whether we can do it all again because "they all had so much fun".

I don't know what to do.

Should I say something to the mum? Or just refuse all future invites?

If, like this reader, you have a dilemma that you would like advice about, please email [email protected] with Don’t Judge Me in the subject field. You will be contacted before publication, and your identity will be protected.

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