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Old Wives Tales: Part 2

On some random Saturday when we were young, my sister and I were chowing down on some Pringles.  My one-of-a-kind grandfather noticed and immediately scolded us saying that we shouldn’t eat those anymore because they are not real potatoes.  He said they were poison.  Pringles were poison?  Well that was a bit of news.   After all we were children of the 80s…we ate crap, crap, and more crap!  I’m sure he was just looking out for us, as Pringles probably aren’t the most natural food in the world.  Now, this didn’t exactly deter us from eating them, but we always gave it a second thought.  Were these things really poison?  Clearly they wouldn’t sell these things is they we poison. Hmm…we shouldn’t be eating these…. And we most definitely didn’t eat them around my grandfather cause if we were eating poison, we didn’t want him to know.  It became a family joke.

But years and years later we were at a family function and there was bowl of chips (definitely not Pringles – probably Lays or Wise…).  My grandfather is munching on these chips, looks at me  – and wouldn’t you know –  he says “You know what potato chips are good?  Pringles!”   I stop in my tracks and said “But you told us those were poison!”  I called for my sister, then my mother and then my father and replayed what my grandfather had just said.  Without prompt, every single one of them said “But you said Pringles were poison!” and we had one of the biggest laughs ever.    He didn’t remember ever saying that all those years before!  So we had a new family joke on top of the old family joke.

There’s nothing funnier than the family dynamic.  So much so that I asked the Facebook crowd for funny stories of something their parents/grandparents may have said when you were younger – it wasn’t actually true, but you actually believed it for years?    Alas, my hunch about the family dynamic was true – silly, fun, endearing…but also strange and sneaky.   I dedicated a recent post to it – Old Wives Tales.  But an overwhelming amount of the feedback I received was about food and I had to dedicate a second post to our exaggerating ways.

I get it – it can be problematic to persuade children to try something new.

  • “I swear to you.  It’s most definitely chicken” –  when referring to veal, pork chops or any other type of light meat we try to serve.
  • Then there’s the cauliflower fried rice.  “Try it – it tastes exactly the same” –  my girl was NOT having that…
  • I even convinced myself many years ago that portabella mushrooms actually tasted like steak when I was on a diet.  In reality, they do not.  At all!
  • Dowsing the spaghetti squash with tomato sauce to hide the fact that it’s not actually pasta.  Oh, and there’s most definitely no tomatoes in tomato sauce.

Still, what can we do?  We must get our children to believe!   Parents say all sorts of things to get kids to eat certain foods – and to NOT to eat certain foods.

Ice Cream and Candy

  • My friend’s dad told her and her brother that the ice cream truck rings it’s bell when it’s OUT of ice cream! (Bridget M)
  • I jokingly told my son the ice cream truck was a music truck because he was allergic to dairy. But I neglected to straighten it out for a long time. Oops! (Stephanie H)
  • I told my oldest daughter that lollipops were decorations. It worked until she saw another kid pull off the wrapper and pop it in his mouth. (Kristina P)

Fast Food Fibs

  • I used to tell my kids that McDonald’s was closed. Every. Single. Time. And when one of them would point out people inside I would tell them it was the cleaning crew. (Lauren T)
  • My dad told us that Oreo McFlurries were made from the crushed up Oreos they sweep off the floor in the factory. (Megan D)
  • My son once got physically ill after eating Boston Market.  In reality it was the extra large Sprite he drank way too fast, but he has had an issue with Boston Market food ever since.  Tonight, my husband brought in dinner from there.  As we sit down at the table, my son looks at the food and says “Oh no…not from there...”  We look at him and say “It’s from the supermarket – relax!”  He sits down and eats dinner  – no further questions or reaction.   And PS – he did not even notice the empty Boston Market bag sitting about 3 feet away from him.  (Anon)

Fruit pits!

  • After eating watermelon at nursery school I got very upset because I swallowed a seed. The teacher told me not to worry, and that I was very lucky because now a watermelon would grow in my tummy. I walked around all day waiting for it to grow! (Karen S)
  • When my husband eats an apple – he eats the WHOLE apple.  Well, not the stem – but everything else.  Pits, core and all.  I was convinced that instead of giving birth of a human, I’d give birth to an apple! (Anon)
  • My sister told me you can get pregnant from orange seeds (Debbie K)


  • My mom didn’t want me to drink coffee. I must have been 8 or 9. We were at my Aunt’s house and she offered me coffee . My mom told me I couldn’t have any because I would get caffeine poisoning. That didn’t work for more than a few years. My cousin and I still laugh about it!  (Elyse R)
  • My brother told me Mountain Dew was maggot piss.  I still believe him to this day.  (Heidi S)

Parents Know Best

  • My daughter went through a phase where she got angry when we ordered food from the Chinese take out.  She simply refused to eat it. We continued to order Chinese food, but told her that her meal was cooked at home.  We even went so far as setting the scene and putting the food in a pan on the stove.   Seems like a lot of effort, but she eats the food now! Hopefully we won’t have to do this forever though….(Anon)
  • I was told that burping in a Chinese restaurant was a compliment to the chef. (Erica B)
  • My parents told us that all the vitamins were in the crusts of the bread. (Kristina P)
  • Ooh….when I found what stuffed derma really was, I was so mad! (Steven J)

….And last, but definitely NOT least….

And the winner this time around is one of my fellow Suburban Misfit Mom writers….

My friend’s Dad told me he worked for Sunpat (they make peanut butter in the UK). He said his toe nails grew super fast and they used his toenail clippings to make crunch peanut butter. Not sure when I figured out he was lying but I’ll be 49 tomorrow and I still can’t eat peanut butter, lol. (Julie L)

These poor little unsuspecting kids!  But guys – the kid ate a vegetable and didn’t explode….maybe I won’t need to make up a story next time around??  That might be the biggest old wives tale of them all…

Bon Appetit! Except peanut butter….THAT I might not be able to eat for a while…

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