DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a 3-year-old child who is a picky eater. He is healthy, and the pediatrician has advised me not to stress him by forcing him to eat things he does not like.
My parents invite us to family dinners on Sunday, but my dad always serves very savory or complex dishes, and my son just eats bread. I'm not sure whether to say something to my father -- although he is fully aware that my child never eats. I'm not sure whether just to stop going. Do the hosts have an obligation to provide food everyone will be able to eat?
GENTLE READER: Happy as your son's pediatrician apparently was to provide advice, Miss Manners does not see this as a medical question.
By your own description, your son can eat the food provided. He simply does not wish to do so. Nor is it a question of going hungry, as the bread meets his exacting standards.
Your parents have met the requirements of hospitality, though perhaps at the cost of endearing themselves to the next generation. Miss Manners would think that the latter would be punishment enough for most grandparents without requiring more extreme measures. You may tell your son that he does not have to eat everything provided, so long as he is polite and discreet.