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Jun 5, 2009 05:58 AM

Strawberry etiquette question

I recently brought a plentiful fruit salad to a picnic with friends and both families picked out strawberries only to give to their children. Full plates of them (which weren't even eaten, but who's counting!)

To be clear, there was nothing wrong with the rest of the fruit. Pineapple, ripe honeydew, green and red grapes, blueberries and kumquats. It was not cheap or store bought fruit salad, it was fresh and good.

I was surprised by this. First, my child eats all of the fruits that were in the bowl. There is no fruit that he doesn't eat. But if he only ate strawberries I might fish out a few but not a plateful.

These are our dear friends. If they fish out every strawberry i serve them for the rest of our days, I will continue to overlook it. But I do think that it is both strange and rude.

What do you think?

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  1. I think it is extremely bad manners, and strictly antagonistic to all codes of etiquette, to observe and comment upon the dietary habits of others, especially one's dear friends.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PSZaas

      When I am antagonistic, I feel it's important to bring a sense of strict discipline to the table.

      So is this something that you would do? What if a host served a tossed salad with artichokes? Would you fish out every one and put them on your plate?

      1. re: PSZaas

        Of course it is, but w/ that said, I think it is extremely bad manners to pick out the items you like from a mixed dish/salad/whatever on a buffet. Would you take all the pepperoni off a pizza leaving the ripped off pieces for others or pull all the whipped cream off a trifle?

        Since they are your dear friends, I would wait until a good time came up and then try to approach the subject in a light hearted way. If you wait 2 years fine, you love them, but if you see an opening bring it up. Your friends are doing something they see as nice for their child, but teaching your child to take only their favorite things and leave the rest for others (dear friends) is not a good lesson.

        I understand not wanting to have parenting fight w/ close friends btu when iti comes down to it you want your friends' kids to be cool. Time is on your side

      2. It is a bit rude but not so strange when you check the price of strawberries against the price of other fruits. They probably don't spend the money on strawberries even though their kids REALLY love them. Since this board IS often about observing and commenting upon the dietary habits of others, even dear friends I don't know why it is bad manners or antagonistic. JMHO

        5 Replies
        1. re: Linda VH

          My 3 year old daughter loves strawberries and I buy them year round (against my CH principles!). They are not what I would consider expensive even in the middle of winter. At parties these days, most people seem to have fruit trays rather than salad. But I honestly might pick out a few strawberries from a fruit salad because she wouldn't eat the other fruit so why not leave it to other people? She does eat many fruits, but not melons. When faced with a fruit tray I do generally try to include at least one fruit that I am hoping she will acquire a taste for. This actually worked with pineapple last week but that was the first time in quite a while that she condescended to try something new. I am generally quite aware of what she will and won't eat and would rather not look rude by having an plate full of rejected food. But in light of this thread, I will try to be more considerate of what hosts without small children might be thinking - I suspect most of my friends understand however, as I see them go through the same selection process for their own kids.

          1. re: julesrules

            Just to let you know, our children are all the same age.

            1. re: Kater

              I was replying more to Linda VH. I just doubt that your friends are too cheap to buy strawberries. They are pretty cheap these days, year-round. And while I don't exactly excuse picking through a fruit salad, I was trying to explain why a parent may choose, at a party, to present their kid with foods they like. I don't feel the need to fight the food battles in public at what is supposed to be a happy occasion.

              1. re: julesrules

                But picking out a "few" strawberries for your child and removing ALL of them, as Kater had said happened, are two different things.

                1. re: julesrules

                  they are not too cheap to buy strawberries - but they indulge their children in ways that I find really nuts!

          2. I'm with you, Kater, in thinking this is quite rude towards you but, also, it's not helpful to teach the kids that they can have anything they want, especially when they are in the company of other people. I remember that I went through long phases of disliking many things when I was younger but a golden rule was to eat whatever was put in front of you.

            The whole point of sharing food is actually sharing and that should apply both to adults and kids, in my opinion.

            1. I honestly thought, when I opened this thread, that I was going to find some humorous riff on the earlier "Blackberry etiquette question" thread.

              'Course that was the phone, not the fruit.

              Sorry, I'll slink back into the shadows now.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Monch

                I opened the Blackberry thread earnestly expecting to learn that someone had fished the blackberries out of her fruit salad.

                I was so let down that I made a thread of my own.

                1. re: Monch

                  haha, me too.

                  the proper thing for the parents to do is make the kids a plate of the salad. if the kids THEN choose only to eat the strawberries, so be it.

                2. I have friends who exhibit similar behavior. I find it disturbing, esp when the kids don't eat what was picked out for them. :(