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My co-worker’s furious I gave her son red wine pasta sauce while babysitting

Mum furious after her co-worker feeds her eight-year-old red wine pasta sauce while babysitting – sparking heated debate between parents

  • A woman has been slammed over babysitting ‘error’
  • She made a pasta sauce using red wine, infuriating the mum

A young woman has been slammed as ‘irresponsible’ after feeding her friend’s eight-year-old son a red-wine based pasta sauce while babysitting.

The 30-year-old woman, Rachel, said she was doing her colleague a ‘huge favour’ by looking after the young boy – and decided to make him her favourite pasta as a treat.

The tomato, red wine and sausage pasta dish was so popular with the eight-year-old that he continued to rave about it for a week.

Eventually his mother asked her work mate for the recipe.

Rachel handed it over happily, but the list of ingredients left the mother furious.

‘She got really angry, and said that it was totally inappropriate for me to serve a child wine sauce,’ she explained.

‘I told her that the alcohol almost entirely boils off when the sauce simmers, but she said that she does not want her kid consuming any amount of alcohol,’ she added.

A woman has been slammed for feeding her colleague’s son food made with red wine sauce 

Rachel went on to explain the mother told her giving a child alcohol without permission was completely irresponsible.

But the 30-year-old refused to back down against her work friend.

She said when she told her friend she was happy to help her out and babysit she asked about the youngster’s dietary requirements.

She thinks her friend should have outlined the ‘no alcohol in food’ request then instead of blowing up later.

She added she grew up eating fruit cake, tiramisu and wine-based sauce so didn’t even give pause to whether or not it was appropriate.

‘None of my friends with kids would have a problem with it either. Is my co-worker being weird?’ she asked on Reddit.

The youngster (not pictured, stock image) devoured the pasta and asked his mum to make it for him - but she was furious once she saw the recipe

The youngster (not pictured, stock image) devoured the pasta and asked his mum to make it for him – but she was furious once she saw the recipe 

Does ‘all the alcohol’ really burn off during cooking? 

A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory showed that it can take longer than two and a half hours for all the alcohol to be cooked out of food to which wine or some other alcoholic beverage has been added.

How much alcohol is left after cooking?

After cooking for 15 minutes, at boiling point, 40 per cent of the alcohol remains

After 30 minutes 35 percent remains

After one hour 25 per cent remains

After two hours 10 percent remains

After two and a half hours five per cent remains.

According to Idaho State University the nature of the dish also makes a difference.

Beer cheese sauce, bourbon caramel and other sauces brought to a boil and then removed from the heat typically retain about 85 per cent of the alcohol.

Diane, cherries jubilee and other recipes that flame the alcohol may still have 75 per cent of the alcohol.

Marinades that are not cooked can maintain as much as 70 per cent of the added alcohol.

Meats and baked goods that are cooked for 25 minutes without being stirred retain 45 per cent of alcohol.

Stews and other dishes that simmer for two and one-half hours tend to have the lowest amounts, but they retain about five per cent of the alcohol.

They said: ‘For individuals in recovery, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and those who choose not to drink for religious, health or other reasons, all of the alcohol does NOT burn off. They may need to opt-out of holiday recipes that include alcohol as an ingredient.

Hundreds of people commented on the woman’s story, most of them sided with her.

‘You did nothing wrong, the alcohol boils off and there isn’t that much in there to begin with,’ one woman wrote.

‘I think your coworker needs to do some research on how alcohol is used in cooking for flavor. It is not harmful at all,’ added another.

One person said there is still alcohol left in the sauce if it has been cooked for less than three hours, but still sided with Rachel.

‘Whatever alcohol was left was not enough to hurt the kid, and it’s pretty common to use wine in pasta sauces – but people should know there is alcohol left unless you cook it a really long time,’ one woman said.

And a biochemist agreed, adding that the amount of alcohol left isn’t usually harmful.


Who is in the wrong?

  • The mum, the food is fine! 213 votes
  • The babysitter, don’t serve kids food made with alcohol! 19 votes
  • Both, communication is the issue! 50 votes

‘In cases where people are on medication it can actually matter – a red wine sc. can easily be strong enough to trigger an antibuse reaction,’ they added.

Some said the mother should have prepared a meal for her own child, before heading out.

‘If OP’s coworker can’t be grateful for minding and feeding her child, she can go ‘wine’ to somebody else,’ one woman added.

Others asked if the youngster was allowed to eat any cookies because vanilla essence is also considered alcohol.

But some people were on the mum’s side.

‘Just apologise and don’t serve kids alcohol-based food without asking first. It’s that easy,’ one mum said.

‘I bet she just was feeling protective of her kid, I can understand that, especially as a knee jerk reaction,’ agreed another.           

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