Thanks for all of your suggestions. Last night we planned to meet up after I got off of work, have dinner out and then see fireworks. I tried to be really nice and flexible after being so annoyed the other night. Again, I suspect they had eaten right before I got there (they eat massive amounts constantly) and were happy to continue to supply candy and soda to the 11 yo (we were in an amusement area) until I told them I was starving at 8:30 and would like to have something for dinner.
i think that you're approaching this wrong in trying to cater to them. Announce that you are going to get something to eat at whatever time you would normally do so. Don't be waiting on them. Just do what YOU want to do. Announce it matter-of-factly, and allow them to join you or not, whatever they want.
ITA. That's why I said in my first reply, do what you normally would do
, let them know what you are doing, and give them the option to join you or do their own thing.
I have a friend who is hypo- or hyper- something
(I can't remember what it's called) but anyway, if she doesn't eat at regular intervals, she gets sick. Well, in the group we all hang out with, sometimes we get in situations where some want to eat others don't, or some ate a big breakfast and want to skip lunch or eat later, or whatever. Well when my friend wants to eat she just announces it and eats. Maybe that means grabbing a snack out of her purse or maybe that means heading over to the nearest fast food place or maybe that means she's going to go to a sit down restaurant and order -- all depends on where we are and what we're doing.
When that happens, some of us are also hungry and go along, some of us don't, or maybe all of us do. But the thing is, it's understood. She's going to go eat. Whether it's just her or the whole group or some subset, it doesn't matter. She doesn't have to check with us or feel embarrassed or hold out. She wants to eat, so she's going to.
And that really does work. No one is weirded out or annoyed. No one is forced to eat if they aren't hungry and she isn't forced to wait on us to get hungry if we aren't.
The bigger the group, the more likely someone's going to be hungry when others aren't. Quit bending to what you are perceiving as their eating schedule. Stick to your own and let them decide if they want to follow that or do something else.