In many less-developed countries, a large fraction of households are poor. Aliber (2003: p. 475) claims, “Areasonable proxy for income poverty is child undernutrition”, citing an estimate that about 23% of South African children aged under six are \"stunted? (i.e. below the appropriate height). Low income is not the only reason for hunger: some children may suffer undernutrition because parents (with adequate incomes) choose to buy non-food items, such as alcohol. Standard economic (bargaining) models predict that a woman?s power overhousehold decisions tends to increase as she earns more. This paper contrasts bargaining models with other claims, such as the \"children fare better? hypothesis. South African household survey data are used to investigate child nutrition and domestic violence. There is evidence from various developing countries that children tend to eat better if mothers earn money and/or control household spending; and some children in relatively rich households go hungry, because their mothers lack power over spending. For example, Haddad & Reardon (1993)claim that many children suffer undernutrition because their parents buy non-essential items such as alcohol.