Mom packs kid a meal for restaurant


‘You want me to pay $6.99 for chicken tenders and fries?’: Mom says she prepares packed meals for her kid when dining out, sparking debate

‘Smartest and most financially sound choice I’ve ever made!’


Maya Wray


Posted on May 21, 2023

A mom’s TikTok went viral after she explained why she doesn’t order food for her child whenever she and their family eat out.

In the video, which has been viewed 325,100 times as of Sunday, user Karlie (@unbreakablemomma) showed the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cheese cubes, diced bananas, and chocolate Larabar she packed for her son. 


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“Call me cheap. Call me whatever. But if we’re going out to a restaurant, I’m packing my kid a meal,” Karlie said in the video.

She said that ordering and paying for food that her son would just throw on the floor was “crazy,” and that whatever she packed for him to eat would likely be healthier than restaurant menu options. 

“Also, when we get to a restaurant, my child is not waiting for anyone to take his order. He wants to eat now. I can just hand him this and let him go to town,” Karlie explained in the video. 

Because her son doesn’t care what he eats, she said, her system works. If he asked for something from the menu like a grilled cheese sandwich, she would order him one. She also added that she usually orders him chocolate milk as a “little takeout treat.”

“And after he finishes his food, he’s usually eating off my plate,” Karlie said before ending her video.

One user likened her method to a form of abuse, which others were quick to shut down. “I used to be a server and my bosses NEVER cared,” user Lindsey (@lifewithlindseyy) revealed. “They had kids and knew they didn’t always eat what was on the menu. Simple.” 

“Bringing a packed meal for a picky toddler who likely won’t eat anything there anyways? No it is not abuse,” user Jordyn (@j.wandcsmama) wrote.

“The child is being fed so I don’t see how this is abuse at all,” user Paige Colburn (@lindsaypaigesargent) observed.

Many users supported Karlie’s idea. “This is actually genius,” user Emilee (@b.eelime) wrote. “My son is so picky and I always end up paying for something he doesn’t eat.”

“As a server you have no idea how many times I picked up a kid’s plate that wasn’t even touched,” Anastasia (@mazieee07) shared.

Other users criticized Karlie, stating that it was unfair to her son to go out to a restaurant but not be able to eat anything off of the menu. “In my house everyone eats out or no one eats out! My parents had the same rules!” one shared.

“I tried doing this once and I felt so much mom guilt. Like I was leaving her out or something,” user Lindsay (@lindsaysilvaaa) revealed. 

“I get it! Sometimes I take my son out for special mommy and me meals!” Karlie replied. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Karlie via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: May 21, 2023, 2:24 pm CDT