Woman Refuses To Give Her 'Heavier' Stepdaughter Birthday Cake — She Doesn't Understand Why Her Mom Is 'Furious'

Let them eat cake!

birthday cake, stepdaughter Kristina Igumnova26 / Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock 

A woman is under fire after she shared that she gave her stepdaughter a low-fat dessert instead of a cake that she wanted as her birthday treat. She claimed that she enforces a “healthy” lifestyle in her home, and often forbids her own children from eating any sugary treats. 

However, many others, including the girl’s mother, are criticizing her for appearing to body shame the six-year-old girl. They say that her behavior is setting her stepdaughter up for lifelong eating disorders. 


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The woman suggested low-fat ice cream instead of birthday cake for her ‘heavier stepdaughter.’ 

Sharing her story to the subreddit thread, r/AmITheA–hole, the 34-year-old asked other users if she was too harsh on the birthday girl. She began her post by revealing that she is the mother of two sons, who are ten and eight years old. Her husband Dirk has a six-year-old daughter named Gwen from a previous relationship, whom they have two weekends a month. 

The stepmother claimed that she runs a “healthful household” and teaches their children to eat food in moderation in addition to practicing self-control when it comes to eating sweets. They are also active, and she ensures that her children are exercising often. 


However, she says that Gwen’s mother runs an opposite household and lifestyle. “In all honesty, that woman's blood type is probably ketchup,” the woman wrote. “Similarly, Gwen is about 20 pounds heavier than a five-year-old girl is supposed to be.”

She admits that she is “sad” for Gwen’s health, and encourages her to make “healthier” choices when she stays over. “I try to teach Gwen about healthy eating and moving around. We have the boys play with her so she's getting active, and we make a distinction between foods that are healthy and ones that aren't,” the woman shared. 

Whenever she sees one of the children grabbing a sweet treat from the pantry, she asks them, "would you like to make a healthier choice?" and urges them to grab a fruit or vegetable. She says that her lifestyle is having positive effects on Gwen, and she now asks her mother to have fruit in their home. 

Recently, the woman and her family had Gwen on her sixth birthday, and she took it upon herself to ensure that she had healthy treats for the big day.


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“While we were talking about what kind of cake to have, I asked Gwen about the healthier choice,” she wrote. “We decided to have some low-fat ice cream so she can still have a sweet treat. It's a brand Gwen loves and asks for every time she's here, so she was happy with it.” 


Although when Gwen went home and reported to her mother how her birthday was celebrated, she was not at all satisfied. “She said then when Gwen got home and she asked about her birthday with us and her cake, Gwen started crying because she really did want cake but didn't want to ‘make a bad choice,’” the woman wrote.“She accused me of fat shaming her and her daughter and that I owe her a cake and a big apology.” 

The woman argued that she was simply looking out for a child in her care, and that she only suggested low-fat ice cream because she cared about her stepdaughter. “I never said Gwen couldn't have cake and she could have had one if she said she wanted one,” she claimed. 

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Reddit users were horrified by the woman’s treatment of her stepdaughter. 

“She’s five. Give the child goddamn cake on her birthday and then go for a family walk after,” one user commented. 


“Are you freaking kidding me? Give the child cake on her birthday! How is a six-year-old supposed to make all these ‘better choices’ when she goes home? Just give good snacks for all,” another user wrote. “You are the adult in this setting. Her diet is a conversation between her parents. Please leave her alone.” 

“Get her a healthier option cupcake/cake for the family and ice cream. There's no reason why she can't also indulge but in a healthy manner. There ARE healthy cakes out there,” another user suggested. 

Many users were concerned that the woman was setting up her stepdaughter for a lifelong struggle with body image issues and eating disorders. 

“The good choice/ bad choice talk is just going to give her body image issues for the rest of her life,” one user pointed out. “As someone with an eating disorder, this is how you give kids eating disorders,” another user shared. 

Eating disorders and body image issues affect over 28 million Americans. Research suggests that children as young as three years old can suffer from body image issues. Contributing factors include social media, comparing their bodies to others, and even the ways their parents talk about and restrict certain foods. Experts encourage various methods that parents can encourage healthy habits without bringing up weight loss or dietary restrictions. 


To promote healthy living without causing eating disorders and body issues, parents are advised to encourage exercising and staying active without the goal of losing weight and to discuss the importance of healthy eating without using the word “dieting.” 

It is all about healthy moderation. The point is, let your kids have cake on their birthdays. 

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.