Whether it’s telling your kids that eating their carrots (which are basically orange chips) will give them superhuman vision in the dark, or that eating green beans will make them taller, we’ve all told little white lies to our fussy children to get them to eat.
Anyway, Italian pesto and pasta sauce brand, Sacla’ have been asking parents about the food fibs they tell their kids to encourage them to eat their vegetables.
The survey of 2,000 parents revealed that more than half of the UK’s children (56 per cent) are considered fussy eaters and not only are white lies the fastest way to clear a child’s plate, but that it’s the nation’s mums (56%) who are most likely to bend the truth when it comes to mealtimes.
One in five mums and dads have revealed that they’re mostly likely to resort to white lies with their little ones to avoid family rows, with one in six saying they simply feel they’re out of options.
Two thirds of parents admitted to trying out the old classic – that carrots help you see in the dark, to get their children to eat carrots – even though the family favourite didn’t make the top ten list of most hated foods.
Top of the list of foods that kids try to avoid are Brussels sprouts (41 per cent), followed by olives (40 per cent) and completing the list are spinach (36 per cent) and asparagus (35 per cent).
READ MORE: Top tips for coping with a fussy eater
The research also revealed that more than half (57 per cent) regularly say eating certain foods will make their child “big and strong”, while 34 per cent have said that eating crusts makes hair curly, while 17 per cent claim that eating green beans will make you taller.
Inventive and alternative names for some of these daily staples include “baby tree” for broccoli, “orange chips” instead of carrots and salad being described as “dinosaur leaves”. More than one in three parents admits to making up these new names in a desperate bid to get their children eating better.
The classic tactic of hiding vegetables by blending them in a sauce is also a favourite for fussy eaters, with one in four parents admitting to doing this. However, the research also revealed that one in five modern families teach children that “the ice cream van plays music when it’s run out of ice cream”.
Here’s the top ten list of white lies parents tell their kids to convince them to eat…
- Carrots help you see in the dark (63 per cent)
- This will make you big and strong (57 per cent)
- Eating crusts will make your hair curly (34 per cent)
- Blending veg into a sauce and calling it tomato (24 per cent)
- If you don’t clean your ears, potatoes will grow in them (22 per cent)
- Ice cream vans only play music when they have run out of ice creams (20 per cent)
- Drinking milk will turn you into a superhero (17 per cent)
- If you swallow an apple pip, an apple tree will grow in your tummy (16 per cent)
- Eating green beans will make you taller (16 per cent)
- All meat is chicken (10 per cent)
Sacla’ is working with celebrity chef Rachel Allen to develop a range of recipes to help families cook healthy and tasty meals.
The popular cook and mum-of-three says: “Mealtimes together are the best times and it shouldn’t need elaborate lies to get kids eating well – even though we’ve all told a few in our time!
“However, parents can make the job easier by finding a few key staples that everyone likes and that can be used in a variety of different ways to create family meals.
“Keep it simple and these innocent little fibs won’t be needed any longer.”