Should You Sneak In Your Veggies?

By Laura Moncur @ 8:57 pm — Filed under:

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids Favorite Meals at Amazon.comBooks like The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids Favorite Meals suggest you should sneak vegetables into your child’s diet by pureeing them and adding them to their favorites. Mimi Sheraton thinks that’s wrong:

Aside from being deceptive and breeding distrust, she asks a more important question?

In the end, I suppose one has to ask an even more basic question: Do vegetables treated as prescribed and in the amounts indicated by Seinfeld-the-Deceptive and Lapine-the-Sneak really add enough nutrients to a child’s diet to make the plotting and pureeing worthwhile? How valuable can one half-cup of spinach puree and one half-cup of carrot puree be when they are first cooked, then are again subjected to the heat of baking, finally to be divided among 12 brownies? And can there be any meaningful nutrition from a quarter-cup each of carrot and sweet potato puree divided amongst 10 portions of soup?

I sought the advice of Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University and the author of What To Eat. “Philosophically and practically, this is not really an effective approach,” she said. “It will not develop an appreciation of the flavors, textures, and interests of various vegetables, which is what you should try to do by introducing them over and over again until they catch on.”

The way I look at it, what if you ALWAYS put pureed carrots into macaroni and cheese? You tell the children about it and they watch you make the recipe that way. Would it make your mac and cheese a little healthier? Yeah, a little… Would it be deceptive? Not if you’re up front about it.

All kids go through phases where they just won’t eat certain foods. I’ve heard that it’s because their taste buds are more sensitive to the bitterness that accompanies many vegetables. Masking that flavor is one option to get them to eat their vegetables, but more importantly, providing a good example is FAR more powerful.

If YOU eat your vegetables, you do more than all the blenders in the world could accomplish.

Via: aliza sherman rants and raves: The terribly wrong message sent by Jessica Seinfeld and Missy Chase Lapine. – By Mimi Sheraton – Slate Magazine


3 Responses to “Should You Sneak In Your Veggies?”

  1. tanya Says:

    I think people are making too big a deal about this. My parents used to disguise medicine to get me to take it. Kids are not going to like everything that is good for them, so get it in how you can while you can. They’ll probably get an appreciation for the taste.

  2. Sarabeth Says:

    I have to agree that sneaking in veggies isn’t the way to get kids to like veggies. Setting an example by eating vegetables is best. Keep putting those types of food in front of the kids.

  3. iportion Says:

    While I want to get the sneaky chef children will eat stuff that taste good. Adding fresh veggies and whole grains as a side and eating them myself will have more of an impact. I think adding is just a treat, but make sure it’s well ground.

    My mom used to hide carrots in her pizza sauce but she did not do it very well. It just made me hate carrots a veggie I used to love. I now love carrots again. I realised I just like raw better than cooked.

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