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Sorry, moms: Café charges 'corkage' fee for bringing baby's lunch

"No outside food."

It's a reasonable policy in dining establishments, and most parents wouldn't dream of eating a sandwich from home in a restaurant. But whipping out a jar of mushy peas for baby should be okay, right?

Not so much, according to Jika Jika, a café in Bath, England, that recently began to charge a "corkage" fee on outside baby food, reports This is Bath.

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Jika Jika, owned by rugby players Lee Mears and Matt Stevens, began to impose the £1.40 (about $2.21) surcharge for outside baby food earlier this month.

Manager Paul Whitehead said the café offers "a large welcoming atmosphere to all children" and a full children's menu, "including organic baby food."

But the policy quickly drew the wrath of moms in Bath.

"That's OUTRAGEOUS!!" posted a mother at "Mums are their main client base - I think it's disgusting."

"They don't charge for breastfeeding but it's probably only a matter of time!" another fumed.

As urbane parents head to cafés in droves, outside food has become a sticky issue.

When alerted readers about a Brooklyn spot that chastised a mom for feeding her baby fruit and yogurt from home, derogatory comments about "Brooklyn breeders" ensued.

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"Next thing you know they'll be trying to keep kids out of Park Slope bars! The horror!" said one post.

But after less than two weeks, public outrage prompted Jika Jika to drop its corkage fee for baby food, the BBC reports. The café said on Monday that the surcharge was a "wrong move for many" and it was happy to withdraw it.

After all, moms know best.

Should parents in cafés be allowed to bring baby food from home? What about Cheerios for picky preschoolers? Where should restaurants draw the line?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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