EIGHTY-FIVE per cent percent of parents have admitted to lying to their children, according to research from Mamia, Aldi’s baby and toddler brand.

Aldi research unveils the truths (or in this case, untruths) behind parenting, with many telling on average 10 hilarious little white lies every week.

Enterprising parents have mostly found themselves stretching the truth in a quest to get little ones to eat at mealtime (66 per cent), to stop youngsters doing something naughty (40 per cent) or simply to save time (14 per cent).

Half of the tall tales in the top 10 are food related such as, “eating your spinach will give you super strength” (29 per cent) and “drinking milk will make you grow taller” (23 per cent). While food was the most common battleground, including the classic ‘eating carrots will help you see in the dark’ - used by well over half of parents (58 per cent).


Here are some of the most creative porkies parents tell their children to make life a little easier.

  • “Everyone gets 10,000 words per month – and if you reach the limit, you can't physically speak until the new month begins”
  • “When ice cream goes hard it means it’s out of date”
  • “If you try to buy something on the App Store, Santa will tell me”
  • “The alarm sensors in the house light up when Santa is watching”
  • “If the McDonald’s sign is yellow, it’s closed”
  • “The dog ate your sweets” (it was really me)
  • “YouTubers can see when you’re naughty”
  • “The green things on your plate are a new type of chocolate”
  • “It’s a potato van, NOT an ice cream van”

With 66 per cent of parents blending fact with fiction as well as carrots and swedes at suppertime, Mamia has teamed up with childrens' nutritionist Sarah Almond-Bushell to offer some tips to help parents feel more relaxed around mealtimes and to help tackle tricky eaters.

Ms Almond-Bushell said: “Little white lies work!  Even as a registered dietitian, I am guilty of stretching the truth when it comes to my children.

“They grew up thinking that tuna was actually dark chicken, if they knew it was fish there would have been outright rejection.”

Tips to get your child eating more healthily

Here are some tips to help parents reduce the need for those little fibs and get kids eating more healthily…

  • Provide healthy meals and snacks at timely intervals throughout the day to encourage healthy eating. Little ones are often so tired at the end of the day that they might skip supper – this is totally normal for young children. Aldi’s Mamia Tomato Pea Snaps offer little ones a great tasting crunchy snack without costing parents a fortune!
  • A young child naturally knows what their body needs – amazingly they can self-regulate their food intake provided we as parents don’t regularly intervene. They may not get their full quota of nutrients in one day but by the end of the week they tend to level it out.
  • Young children are highly imaginative, we often refer to this stage as ‘magical thinking’. Try cutting food into fun shapes like sandwiches into teddy bears and peppers into flowers and serving food on colourful plates as these will appeal to their imagination and are more likely to be eaten. Aldi Mamia always has a great range of dinnerware for little ones in its Baby Events.
  • Serve meals family style with each part of the meal served in dishes in the centre of the table. This gets toddlers involved and gives them a small amount of control over the mealtime, deciding how much food goes on to their plate and into their tummies and all the while you are role modelling balanced eating.

To find out more about Mamia, visit the website.