"Eat your carrots!" exclaimed the caregiver firmly to my children, who, like most youngsters, were trying to avoid contact with anything remotely resembling a vegetable.
"Carrots are good for you!" she continued.
"Eating them will help you see in the dark."
When the caregiver proclaimed this dubious benefit, I was immediately taken back to my own childhood, recalling a press-clipping photograph pinned on the kitchen wall, showing Group Captain Cunningham climbing out of his Bristol Beaufighter, thumbs up, stating he owed his night-flying success in spotting and shooting down German bombers solely to eating carrots.
The clipping was on the wall in an effort to persuade me to consume more "carrots on a stick" - a wartime substitute for icecream or frozen ice blocks.
Sadly, the belief that eating carrots improves your ability to see in the dark is urban mythology.
There is some scientific evidence supporting the claim that, as carrots contain vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, they give minor benefits to eye health.
But the now well-established folklore that consuming carrots improves night vision was a ruse created by the Ministry of Information in 1941 to disguise the use of newly developed and still top-secret radar, installed in the RAF's night fighters.
The system rapidly proved successful in helping to find and down enemy aircraft attacking Britain under cover of darkness.
A prolonged propaganda programme boasted of the exploits of the pilot John Cunningham, who was nicknamed "Cat's Eyes" by the RAF because of his remarkable tally of 20 kills as a night fighter.
The ministry glibly said he owed his super-sharp night vision to the vast number of carrots he consumed.
I was also deluded by this make-believe, and recall going for a bicycle ride in the dark after several helpings of carrot pudding and wondering why I still kept running into unseen kerbstones.
In an effort to interest my children in carrots, I changed the subject by telling them about a successful vegetable orchestra in Vienna.
"They use carrots sculpted as flutes and clarinets and tour the world," I explained.
"Gee Dad!" they exclaimed, "will they ever visit New Zealand?"
"Sadly," I concluded, "that's unlikely because the beagle hounds would have hysterics when they started sniffing a vegetable orchestra's luggage at border control."