Ok, so maybe Jessica Seinfeld isn't a genius. Sure, she has some great ideas for sneaking vegetables into food to entice our kids to eat a bit healthier, but it turns out she's not the only one advocating that we whip, blend and puree our way to their good health. Missy Chase Lapine has some pretty clever ideas of her own for sneaking in good nutrition.
In her book, The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals, Missy offers up yummy recipes for things like burgers, burritos and pasta, with a few surprise guest stars - vegetable purees. She also gives us busy moms some quick fixes for boosting the nutritional profile of kid-approved favorites like Jell-O, Spaghetti-O's and macaroni and cheese from a box. Missy realizes that we don't always have the time to cook, so she gives us some easy ways to have our kids eating more vegetables without them being the wiser!
I really appreciate Missy's opinion on the whole "deception" thing. She discusses how "sneaking" in good nutrition can take the battle of wills away from the dinner table, and give kids more pleasure while eating foods that they'd typically think of as "yucky". Remember how Julie Andrews sings in Mary Poppins, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way"? It's that kind of mentality. It's realizing that you can't rationalize with a three year old, but you can get her to eat what tastes good. As kids grow, you can begin to add more obvious vegetables and let them make choices, while continuing to sneak them in so that they get their daily quota either way. But leading by example is the best way to teach your kids good eating habits that will last a lifetime. If they see you scarfing down a Big Mac night after night, that's what's going to become desirable to them. So eat your veggies too! Because even when you don't think they are, children are watching (and soaking up) everything you do.