Parent Backed for Wanting to Take 'Secret Bag of Food' to Wealthy In-Laws

A Mumsnet user recently posted a "mostly tongue-in-cheek" thread about their "proper stingy" in-laws.

In the post, which can be seen here, user BruhWhy, explained that they live in the United Kingdom, and see their in-laws every six months or so. "When they visit I make sure I pull out all the stops to make them feel welcome and well-fed, think lovely salmon fillets, steak," the user wrote, adding, "We don't have loads of money but I really try to make sure we're good hosts."

The user claims their good hosting is not reciprocated, despite their in-laws being "really well off."

"When we go there we get fed TINY portions of bland, badly cooked, slimming world food (DH's stepmum is lifelong slimming world) which we find odd because FIL is a fantastic cook," BruhWhy wrote, mentioning a recent visit when "the kids were ravenous and kept asking for snacks." According to BruhWhy, it irritated their in-laws who "kept saying 'they must be bottomless, do they eat this much at home?'"

"They're really slim and healthy kids," the user added in their post. "They just need more than a chicken leg, a single potato and two florets of broccoli to last them 6 hours! So based on that reaction I don't feel I can really be honest with them, it'll just cause tension. So I'm thinking about it taking a secret bag of food like a proper coward."

According to the British National Health Service, boys aged 7 to 10 need between 1,649 to 2,032 calories a day, while girls require 1,530 to 1,936 calories per day.

Meanwhile, 90 percent of 1,169 users on Mumsnet voted that BruhWhy was not being unreasonable.

woman sneaking food
A stock image of a woman sneaking food out of the fridge. A Mumsnet user recently posted a "mostly tongue-in-cheek" thread about their "proper stingy" in-laws. evgenyatamanenko/Getty Images

Newsweek spoke to licensed professional clinical counsellor Linda Whiteside about the family issue.

"As a family counselor, I think this post brings to light an issue that many people can relate to when it comes to visiting in-laws. The original poster already said that their post is a tongue-in-cheek one, but from my perspective as a counselor, I think her frustration is palpable and 100% valid. Imagine going out of your way to be a gracious host to your visiting in-laws and when it's your time to visit them, you aren't treated the same way even though they have the ability to provide nice meals for their family guests," Whiteside said.

She added: "The advice that I can give to the original poster and to the people who are reading this and going through something similar, is to give them the same treatment you're receiving. Don't cross oceans for people who would not even dip their toes in a puddle for you. It's only going to cause more stress on your end."

Mumsnet Users React

User Turefu agreed with Whiteside, commenting, "When they'll ask next time 'do they eat that much at home' tell them with smile: they eat more, they're growing. When is your turn for them to come, cook smaller portions or less expensive food."

Many other users agreed, "Agree with the posters saying stop feeding them so well when they visit! Give them the teeny tiny portions and your kids proper portions separately, and obviously you and dh do some secret kitchen eating!" said MichelleScarn.

Another asked, "Can you hide cereal bars...bags of crisps etc in your handbag or car so that you can discreetly give the children a snack every so often."

However, user LivesOnPigeonStreet wrote: "If she is always on slimming world they probably just don't eat that much. They probably don't want your massive portions. I doubt his rich parents don't want to spend money on food for their own grandchildren."

Newsweek could not independently verify the details of the case.

If you have a family dilemma, let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.