Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts

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{Does a question about mealtime etiquette in the past belong here, or is there a better spot?}

Back in the 1940's, was it acceptable polite behavior to prepare a dessert for a family meal but then deliberately not serve the dessert to the children?

This afternoon I listened to a recording of an old radio show from 1940.  It included a commercial for the sponsor (a brand of gelatin dessert mix that is still sold in the US today).  The announcer asked the listeners to remember how terrible they had felt as children when their families had served dessert at meals but had not allowed them (as children) to eat it.  Well, of course, he suggested that the listeners buy his brand of gelatin dessert because they could serve it to every member of their families, even their children.

Excuse me?

Was this just nonsense written up for an advertising campaign, or was it an accepted, polite behavior for dessert to be served to the adults but not the children at the same meal?

Maybe the dessert had booze in it? That's my best guess.

I've never heard of that.  DO you think they were referring to desserts that had alcohol or maybe were considered "too rich" for a young child's sensitive tummy? It also just occurred to me that during part of the 40's sugar and other things were rationed and so dessert in general were rare treats and maybe sometimes were just served to adult guests.

I think that many foods were felt to be too rich for children...things with lots of sugar, cream, slices would make them sick.  This held true for regular foods, not just desserts...children were fed bread and milk, porridge, eggs, etc.

Various foods were supposed to give you indigestion. In o elf the Anne of Green Gables novels, one of the children is not allowed shortbread as it was seen as too rich for childrens stomachs.


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