Everyone has a different food palate, no matter their age.
Your palette is going to be strongly informed by your childhood household, the culture(s) of foods you're exposed to right away, your sense of adventure, any allergies or limitations, and of course - personal taste in general.
In general, a lot of kids have simpler palates simply from a lack of exposure (when compared to adults). This isn't a universal truth, but it applies in many cases.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for not apologizing after offending her friend and making her feel 'mom-shamed.' She wrote:
Background info- My husband loves cooking. He goes all out for dinners and even his lazy meals can seem extravagant at times so our children have a mature palate. He especially loves when we have guests. That's when he goes all out for sure, he plans his meal in advance and gets extremely excited. My husband and I had a dinner with our friends and our kids.
My husband made us Arabic salad and garlic bread on the side with mashed potatoes and braised duck served with a sauce. When everyone came we had three parents and seven children. My husband I served everyone food, and everyone was complimenting it. But my husband noticed one of my friends - let's call her Melissa, her child (6) was not eating.
So he asked him if he didn’t like the food and he nodded his head no Melissa chimed in and said he doesn’t have a mature palate and my husband said sorry, we have more mashed potatoes maybe he can eat it without the sauce. Melissa said he doesn’t eat mash. My husband said that's fine I can microwave or make him something quick.
Melissa said "thank you" and told him frozen chicken nuggets would be good my husband said ooh we don’t eat frozen food but how about cereal, pb&j/ grilled cheese, or leftover spaghetti bolognese and she said cereal. Next thing that happened my husband served the ice cream and carrot cake.
Melissa's other son (8) said this ice cream was soo good. My daughter (4) said me and my daddy made it we don’t eat the store-brought crap. (This is my fault. I was mocking my husband earlier asking him what he was making and he said ice cream and I said in a sarcastic way that we are too good for store brought crap huh).
It was a force of habit, me and my husband thought that if we don’t point out we used a bad word our daughter would not notice and obviously we were wrong but I am 100% sure she didn’t say it with any bad intentions. Everyone laughed.
Now yesterday I received a call from Melissa saying she felt like me and my husband were looking down on her and mommy shaming her because we said we don’t eat frozen food.
I was just about to apologize because I never want to make someone feel mommy shamed until this woman said she feels sorry for my daughter because she can already see my snobbishness and self-centeredness spreading to her because of that comment my daughter made about crap ice cream.
And that where I draw a line. I told her to not mention my daughter name when wanting to address me and she shouldn’t worry about feeling inferior because she will never be invited to my home again.
Our friend decided to get involved and they kept saying that I should apologize because they don’t want to be left in the middle and they felt like I was wrong because I should have known the food was too mature for a kid's palette. I honestly don’t care.
I have friends outside of this friend group and honestly don’t mind cutting them off. I know this might be an exaggerated reaction but I am very sensitive about my daughter, and want to know if am overreacting.
I feel like it’s totally fair that someone could interpret “we don’t eat frozen food” as opposed to “we don’t have chicken nuggets” as a dig. Your daughter also sounded like she was repeating something snobby that she had overheard. Your friend is out of line for passing judgment on a 4yo though. I feel like ESH.
ESH It sounds like you do judge other people with regards to what they eat and your daughter is learning it. As for the chicken nuggets, your husband could have simply said we don’t have any and offered the choices on hand. Your friend went too far imo but you are the bigger AH for not taking other people’s likes into consideration when inviting them over for dinner and making judgmental comments.
How do kids get a mature palate? By trying new foods. If you only serve them chicken nuggets then that is what they will be used to. NTA. She stepped way over the line insulting your four year old daughter. You were already being gracious by offering alternatives. That being said there are some personal areas for improvement on your side of things:
It was rude of your daughter to call it "store-bought crap". She is 4 so I don't blame her, but it might be worth a gentle correction. Your husband didn't need to say "we don't eat frozen food." Just saying "We don't have chicken nuggets" would have been sufficient. It wasn't wrong, per se, but a different approach would have made your guests more comfortable.
Your husband's comment does imply a judgment against eating frozen food, and based on her request it is clear that is something she does. It is best to avoid criticizing something that another person uses/likes unless your relationship is relatively close.
NTA. Melissa is taking that dinner as a personal attack, probably because she already knows she's feeding crap to her kids and feels guilty about not making home-cooked meals. This is a "her" problem, not a "you" problem.
Though, if you want to smooth things over you could assure her how your husband cooks has nothing to do with judging her and remind her that your husband accommodated her child on the fly! Which is more than I would have done, lol. I say all of this as someone who raised a picky eater (who turned into a marvelous and adventurous cook herself).
I never made my kid's issue someone else's...she knew her kid was picky and she knew where she was going for dinner (assuming your husband is kinda known for his cooking). She could have been prepared. She wasn't and that's probably something else she's trying to blame on you.
Kids are parrots. They repeat everything bad we say at that age. You clearly already know you messed up with calling non-homemade ice cream crap in front of her, and she did what kids do and repeated that to your guests. From an objective person that sounds pretty snobbish. I'm like your husband, I cook everything from scratch, every single day. I also host regular dinner parties.
Pro top, always have a kid-friendly item (like chicken nuggets) at the ready. If ppl ask for something and you don't have it just say, "sorry, we don't have any ATM". Why would your husband feel the need to point out that your family doesn't eat food that your guest clearly finds acceptable.
If I'd been at that dinner party - even though I also don't purchase frozen food - I'd have felt uncomfortable and a little bit like your family were snobs.
I'm a person who frequently hosts dinner parties serving minimum 3 but usually 4 or 5 courses. I won't even buy cereal - I make everything, yet I've never been called a snob. I am taking everything you said as fact and I would have felt like your family judges other ppl if I'd been sitting at that table. I would have felt uncomfortable sitting at your table - please reflect on that.
This is a major ESH situation, no one is a villain and no one is a hero, it just sounds like an awkward dinner party where people got in their feelings, respectively.