Sharing meals in families is something quite fundamental where social behavior and rules can be observed. It is here that some important lessons and values are passed down by caregivers; however; those who failed to learn can sometimes get excluded from a shared dinner in their teen years or later.

This happened to this Redditor’s 16-year-old son who invited himself to a snack labeled “don’t eat” and meant for Thanksgiving, and was then asked to either replace it or be banned from Thanksgiving dinner the next day.

More info: Reddit

A woman labeled snacks meant for Thanksgiving with “do not eat”, but it didn’t stop her son from grabbing a bite

Image credits: berenice martinez (not the actual photo)

The 16-year-old is a big fan of cheese, therefore his mom tends to sometimes label food he isn’t supposed to eat

Image credits: Kindel Media (not the actual photo)


Image credits: Weak_Sherbert426

So the mom did this with the snacks that were meant for Thanksgiving, labeling them “do not eat”


Image credits: Askar Abayev (not the actual photo)

Yet, the boy took a bite and a lot of snacks were missing from each plate, disappointing the mom who had worked extra hard to make them

A woman brought it to the Reddit community online after her 16-year-old son ate snacks despite them being labeled as “do not eat” and was given options to either compensate or be banned from sharing Thanksgiving dinner with the others the next day.

The woman explained that her son loves cheese a lot, and for this reason, his mom makes sure to label food that he is not supposed to eat. So she did the same this time, labeling all the food meant for Thanksgiving as “do not eat.”

The woman’s son indulged in the designated food nonetheless, leaving each block of food no longer uneaten. The woman was livid as she had to go the extra mile to make good-quality snack plates.

The woman told her son to go to the store and replace all of it which would cost him around 70 dollars; otherwise, he won’t get to eat their Thanksgiving meal.


The 16-year-old refused to replace the snacks and thought his mother was a jerk to insist on it. The woman’s husband sided with his son as well, as he couldn’t see why his wife was so livid about it.

The woman’s mother-in-law stepped in and suggested bringing a nice cheese board if the boy refused to either replace it or work for 11 hours to make it up. The boy didn’t seem likely to change his mind and the mother reassured everyone she would keep her word.

The mom requested her son either replace the food or be banned from Thanksgiving meal the next day

Image credits: Alex Guillaume (not the actual photo)

The woman’s husband sided with his son, yet the mom reassured him she wasn’t going to budge

Verywell Family discussed the importance as well as ways to set healthy boundaries for kids, noting that pushing boundaries is in kids’ nature and is an important part of growing up and becoming more independent. Yet also warning about the need to teach kids to test their limits respectfully and to know that, ultimately the parent is in charge.

They listed the reasons why kids need boundaries set by their parents and these included a sense of security. For example, kids who can usually convince their parents to do whatever they want would feel like they are more powerful than their parents and this tends to make kids feel anxious and insecure. 


Similarly, a lack of boundaries skews kids’ sense of themselves, rather than encouraging good self-esteem, it sows the seeds of entitlement by sending a message that the people and things around them exist to meet their needs and always give them what they want.

Finally, setting clear boundaries reduces conflict as kids, in time, learn to modify their behavior rather than going back and forth every time trying to convince parents to give them what they want.

When it comes to ways to establish boundaries, Verywell Family listed teaching one’s kids to express their opinions and needs respectfully by modeling the preferred behavior among other things, being clear about what is in the “absolutely no-go zone”, being consistent and following through on the consequences, and finally, having patience.

Coming back to the original story, the woman’s post gathered 14.9k upvotes in just two days and people judged that the mother was not a jerk in this situation. Many aspects were brought in by commenters, as they emphasized the responsibility and effort involved in cooking big family dinners.

As noted in the most upvoted comment by busyshrew: “It’s not just the money – it was the time planning, the drive to, the shopping, the LABELLING DO NOT EAT THIS”. Others backed the mom as well, noting that directly related consequence is the best way to teach a kid.

Finally, some commenters brought attention to the father not seeing the problem in the kid’s behavior, undermining the mom’s decision and thus undermining their overall combined parenting effort.


Redditors sided with the mom’s decision to not let her son have Thanksgiving dinner unless he compensates for eating the marked-off snacks