Kiddylicious Reveals the Lengths Parents go to Build Healthier Habits

A new nationwide study has revealed a list of the most hilarious tall tales that British parents tell their children, with ‘if you watch too much tv your eyes will go square’ (31 percent), ‘if you tell a lie your nose will grow longer’ (29 percent), and ‘the ice cream van plays music when it has run out of ice cream’ (18 percent) all featuring high.

The research, by children’s snacking brand Kiddylicious, found that many of the tall tales we tell our little ones involve food, with number one on the list being ‘if you eat your carrots up, you’ll be able to see in the dark’ (39 percent).

While almost a quarter (23 percent) of parents of kids aged 3 to 7 have persuaded their offspring that broccoli are baby trees, and 15 percent insist that if their children eat spinach, they’ll grow up to be a superhero.

‘Eating crusts will make your hair go curly’ (18 percent), ‘if you swallow an apple pip, a tree will grow in your tummy’ (14 percent), ‘if you eat chocolate before bed you’ll have nightmares’ (11 percent) and ‘chocolate milk comes from brown cows’ (6 percent) also featured.

And 28 percent of UK mums and dads regularly pretend to have run out of crisps and biscuits when their child pleads for something to eat between meals.

In fact, the study found that parents were most likely to fib about food and mealtimes (49 percent) compared to other challenging situations such as bedtimes (44 percent) and getting ready for nursery or school (26 percent).

Nutritionist, Rosie Long explains: “Most young children go through a fussy eating phase at some point in their development, the important thing is not to give up. Research suggests offering the same food up to fifteen times can lead to acceptance, so if tall tales and stealth health choices help get more nutritious foods into the diet and build a positive relationship with food, then what’s the harm?”

Overall, a staggering 94 percent of the 1,500 parents polled said they had told white lies to their kids which their little ones believed to be true, with the average mum and dad telling five porkie pies a week.

The main reason parents fib, according to the data, was to encourage their children to do something that was good for them (66 percent), while 41 percent said it was to encourage good behaviour. And four in 10 (40 percent) of parents said they tell fibs to make life a bit more fun.

A pragmatic 31 percent tell their kids white lies to avoid tantrums and arguments, and a nostalgic 21 percent do so as their own parents told them the same stories when they were little.

The research comes as Kiddylicious launches the first range of ‘baby aisle’ snacks designed with the 3-5 year old age group in mind. Said Yona Ellis of Kiddylicious: “With 60% of snacks chosen by little ones, we wanted to help parents by removing the need for a tall tale at snack time. Portion-controlled for tinier tums and packing a range of nutritional claims, we’ve got something that both parents and pre-schoolers can agree on”.

The latest additions to the Kiddylicious range include tot-friendlier alternatives to mainstream adult snacks, including Veggie Buttons, Popped Hoops and Fruity Drops. The range has been designed to reassure meeting a range of nutritional claims including ‘low in saturated fat’, ‘packed with veggies’ and ‘over 95% fruit’ and exacting standards for allergens, after research showed that parents felt 3-5 year olds had outgrown the baby aisle but were unprepared for more grown-up alternatives.


Eating carrots help you see in the dark (39%)We’re almost there (when asked ‘are we nearly there yet’ on a road trip) (36%)If you watch TV for too long, your eyes will go square (31%)If you’ve been naughty, Father Christmas will fill your stocking with coal (31%)If you tell a lie, your nose will grow longer – 29%I go to bed straight after you do – 29%Oh no, we’ve run out of biscuits/ crisps/ sweets – 28%I can’t find my mobile phone! (when they want to play on it) – 23%Broccoli are baby trees – 23%     If the wind changes while you are pulling a funny face, it’ll stay that way – 21%The ice cream van plays music when it runs out of ice cream – 18%If you eat the crusts of your toast, your hair will grow curly – 18%If you do a wee in a swimming pool, the water will turn bright green – 17%If you cross your eyes they’ll stay that way – 16%Eating spinach will turn you into a superhero – 15%The car won’t drive if all the seatbelts aren’t buckled up – 15%A swallowed apple pip will mean an apple tree grows in your stomach – 14%Smoke alarms are Father Christmas’s spy cameras – 14%The tooth fairy is only strong enough to carry 50p to put under your pillow – 14%If you don’t clean behind your ears, potatoes will grow there – 13%Swearing is illegal – 13%They don’t sell replacement batteries for that (noisy) toy – 12%The police can see everything you search on Google – 12%If you eat chocolates from your advent calendar before the right day, Christmas will be cancelled – 11%If you eat chocolate before bed, you’ll get nightmares – 11%I’m eating salad (when you’re actually chewing chocolate) -11%Strawberries and raspberries are nature’s sweets – 11%The television stops working after 7pm – 10%If you say ‘I don’t believe in fairies’, a fairy will die – 10%The fish is sleeping (when the fish has died) – 10%  The internet gets turned off at 7pm every night – 10%If you pick your nose, your eyes will fall out – 9%If you keep your eyes open when you sneeze, your eyeballs will fall out – 8%The cat went to live on a farm with other cats (when the cat has died) – 8%If you stick your tongue out, it will fall off – 8%If you tell a lie, a red spot will appear on your forehead – 8%You have to whisper in a library so you don’t wake the books up – 8%If you play too many computer games, the characters will get tired – 8%Chocolate milk comes from brown cows – 6%Hummus is unicorn food – 4%

Source: Kiddylicious 2021. Research by Perspectus Global (in field, 13-18 August 2021), n = 1520 respondents with children aged 3-7 years

check out the Kiddylicious range here