21 Food Lies Our Parents Told Us

As kids everything our parents said was gospel, we never doubted their knowledge for a second…until we got old enough to start questioning it. For some reason one thing parents seem to love doing is lying to us about food, what it is and where it comes from – why I’m not sure, I’m not a parent but it seems to be the done thing.

One that has always effected me was what my loving mother and father told me about dates. Apparently they were toe jam, the gunk you could pick out of your toes at the end of the day which was then rolled up into a date like snack which people then ate. Yes. That is what they told me, and I still can’t eat a date.

So here they are, a few of the lies parents have told their children about food:

The Classics:


Bread crusts will make your hair curly


Carrots help you see in the dark


Spinach will make you strong

Cheese comes from quarries


Haggis is an animal that lives in Scotland


Eating cheese before bed will give you nightmares


If you eat the seeds from a piece of fruit, a tree will grow in your tummy


The moon is made of cheese


If you swallow bubble gum it will stay in your tummy for years


Don’t eat fish and then drink milk, you will get spots


You can never eat a whole sugared doughnut without licking lips

The More Imaginative Ones:


If you try a new food you’ll live 72 days longer


Chocolate milk comes from brown cows and regular milk comes from black and white cows (no, no one knows where strawberry milk comes from)


Bubble gum will get wrapped around your tonsils


Fish fingers were actually from a type of fish that had fingers and they cut them off and breaded them


Curly Wurlys were worms covered in chocolate


The ice cream van only plays it’s tune when they have run out of ice cream


Eat your cabbage or your boobs won’t grow


Children don’t drink coffee, if they do they will grow a moustache


If you eat the burnt toast you’ll get rich


The fish fingers on your plate are actually chicken sticks, just eat them


  1. LOL , This is intersting. The only one I remember is “If you eat the seeds from a piece of fruit, a tree will grow in your tummy”. And I was dead scared of eating seed 😉


  2. These are hilarious!!! I’ve never heard some of them, but they would definitely have traumatized me as a kid. But wait – are you telling me that bubble gum doesn’t actually stay in your tummy for 7 years if you swallow it, because I TOTALLY STILL BELIEVED THAT, WTF MOM.


  3. I’m laughing hysterically! I think my parents told me almost all of them and here I am today! No tree growing in my tummy and the gum must have made it out of my body by now! Gotta love the “fear” approach our parents used! Thanks for sharing this!


  4. Haha, these are great! Some of them I definitely remember, like carrots helping you see in the dark.
    And I love the ‘ice cream truck only plays the song when they’re out of ice cream.’


    • I gathered them from people from all over the place, I hadn’t heard some of them either, it’s interesting how different cultures have their own little fibs everyone tells…


  5. Hahaha, I’m not sure how common some of these are, they may be particular to your family! I will say though, that spinach WILL make you strong…not in a magical Pop Eye kind of way but it has a lot of iron and healthy nutrients. And carrots contain beta carotene, which does contribute eye health.
    My mom used to tell me that there was a park in my stomach and if I didn’t eat it, there would be no trees in the park and everyone would be sad.


    • I know there is truth in some of them – they had to come from somewhere after all! I made the list up after asking a bunch of people in various Facebook groups so it’s a collection of different cultures – I noticed people from the same places came up with similar ones so apparently no children are safe from the lies! Haha sometimes you have to tell fibs to get little ones to do things I suppose.


  6. Haha, these are all so funny! I don’t like carrots at all, I never did and I do remember my mother saying that if I eat them I will see in the dark. Same with the moon being made out of cheese. I guess that was a general notion from the cartoons we would watch.


  7. LOL.. I really enjoyed your post and lost into my childhood. I also trick my children with these myths. Some of your food lies are very new to me and some are known to me.


  8. Haha! I remember some of these. Although I will blame Popeye for the spinach lie. My favorite is eating seeds will result in a tree growing from your tummy. My mom would scare me to death with that.


  9. I like the way you have posted it..hilarious!
    I once swallowed a seed and entire night was spent thinking how will I look with a tree branch coming out of my mouth tomorrow 😛 😛


  10. Gosh some of these brought me back in time and some I’ve never heard of. My favorite was if you eat a seed a tree will grow inside of you. Almost 30 years old and still no trees inside my belly lol.


  11. Omg, I have not heard of most of these either! These are absolutely hysterical. I heard the apple seed one, so I was always afraid to see the fruits seeds since I didn’t want to grow a tree. LOL But most of them I have not heard of. Thanks for the good laugh.


  12. oh gosh…now you make me feel guilty …I use most of these tactics for my daughter esp carrots help you see better!lol!


  13. Haha, this made me laugh! I was always told that carrots would help me to see in the dark and I actually love raw carrot now – it’s one of my go to snacks.


    • I’ve swallowed gum A LOT, I wasn’t allowed it when I was younger because I would always swallow it, then in school if a teacher ever caught you with it you’d have to swallow it, so if the tale was true I’d have an awful lot of gum sitting in my tummy!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Lol I’d heard of about half of these.. is it not true then that chewing gum stays in your tummy for years?!


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