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Deceptively Delicious – Hide the Veggies!

deceptively-delicious1.jpgI must give Oprah another big hand for yet another great show. Today I tuned in to hear about Jessica Seinfeld’s new book called Deceptively Delicious. The concept behind the book is pretty amazing. Jessica was tired of chaotic dinner meals where her kids would refuse to eat their veggies, crying and spitting them out, and making her feel like a failure as a mom. She was so discouraged by this that she decided she needed to come up with a solution. The most obvious choices these days it seems is to keep fighting with your kids about eating their spinach and lima beans, making the whole family unhappy at dinner or to just give up….let them eat whatever they want so everyone can have a little peace. Except mom wouldn’t really have peace…she would know that her kids were not eating healthfully, so Jessica came up with a third option…get creative and hide the veggies so that her kids would not even know they were eating them. As she said on the show moms often think…”well if I just let them eat what they like they will ultimately get their nutrition from other foods” but this is just not so anymore. There is too much junk food on the market and MANY kids are eating diets composed of junk with NO nutritional value.

This attitude is more prevalent than many of us realize. One little boy I know quite well, for example, hates just about every vegetable or healthy food there is. He is all about chicken nuggets, hot dogs, pizza, cheeseburgers, chips, and cookies and since this all he ever wants to eat that is what his parents would give him every night. Many times they would swing through the fast food drive through for him so he could eat a hamburger and French fries while they ate a home cooked meal. It was not worth the fight for them and they just wanted to assume that he would make up for the lack of nutrition elsewhere….but he wasn’t. Morning, noon, and night he was eating junk. Last time I saw him he was 10 years old and already at a very unhealthy weight that would probably be considered borderline obese.

I have never had to worry about this issue very much. My kids have always been very adventurous in what they eat and they actually like their veggies. If you ask my oldest what he would like to eat above all else and he will likely tell you he wants calamari (squid) dipped in spinach pesto and broccoli covered with cheddar cheese. They love my vegetable casserole just as much as they love homemade pizza and they fight over who gets the biggest helping of sautéed mushrooms. But even so I think this book sounds wonderful and I am dying to try some of the recipes.

Basically Jessica spend about an hour a week pureeing vegetables like broccoli, squash, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, peas, and beets and throughout the week she mixes the purees with everyday foods like macaroni and cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, tacos, banana bread, cookies, brownies, and cake. Her kids never know the difference and she gets them to eat their veggies without even knowing it. She still serves vegetables with every meal but she doesn’t stress if they don’t eat them because they ARE eating some in disguise.

Oprah tried many of her recipes and raved over them as did many kids in a taste test. It was another good show and the book looks promising.

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  • I’ll have to check that out, thanks for the review

  • A friend of mine just told me she saw this on Oprah too! I checked another book out from the library called The Sneaky Chef and it is the same concept – sneak purees into different foods. We are trying pizza with white beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes blended into the sauce tomorrow. I am having people over so I’ll see how their kids do too – mine will eat all of these without sneaking but I want to try this first and build up to cauliflower which they both refuse to touch.

  • melinda

    I tuned into Oprah to watch this program…..I thought it was tastfully done and would be willing to try it myself!!! So, I’m going to request this cookbook for Christmas….my hubby is always looking for something to give me….and I think this would be a great addition to our family. We try so hard to eat healthier, but sometimes my boys (ages 4 and 2) turn their noses up…..but I have noticed if its at Grandma’s house….same fresh veggies…they will eat it right up! But, I love cookbooks… I think I would certainly put this one to good use!!!! Thanks for the post!!

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  • Ashley S.

    I really intend to check this book out from the library once my request comes through. I do a lot of the stuff that she seems to do already but I would love to have a weekly game plan, lol.

  • christina

    i tried some of the recipes and my kids ate them…Im looking for the pudding recipe . does anyone have that?

  • I blogged the show too:

    I had already had the book on my wishlist, but went ahead and ordered it after the show. My son is also a good eater. He eats all veggies, except broccoli. In fact his favorite food is black beans. I have always offered him fresh, whole foods from the time he started solids. He does eat some dry cereal, but for the most part we stear clear of the processed stuff. I really think shaping their tastes from the beginning helps a lot too. Mostly, I want the cookbook to sneak more nutrition in food I’m cooking for DH and I! LOL We are the junkfood lovers in the house.

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  • Hi – I thought your review of this book was illuminating, well-written and fair.

    I really disliked this book on so many levels (and I ranted about it like a crazy woman on my blog) and even though I still have some real issues with this kind of “hiding” philosophy, I enjoyed reading about your enthusiasm for the book and your stories of kids.

    Thanks for the balanced piece. I may send some of my readers your way to check out “the other side”!

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  • Tif, I just linked back to you today.

    mama k’s last blog post..Deceptively Delicious: The Aftermath

  • Jaide

    The reason you’re kids like vegetables is probably because you got them started on the right track in the first place. If you don’t start your kids eating junk everyday when they are young they will not develop this tendency to only like such rich-tasting foods. Some kids will be difficult too and a good mom would not give in and go to the fast food place. A good mom would be strong about it, serve the food to the child and if he/she refused to eat it a good mom would ignore the fuss and fits and let the child either eat it or leave it. They will not starve to death if they pass over one dinner and chances are they will come to the kitchen asking for their untouched dinner to be re-heated for them and eat it vegetables and all before bedtime rolls around.

  • I am not sure I like the “good mom” label or the one size fits all instruction. I consider myself a good mom and I value my children’s opinions and preferences. Some things they just won’t like…just as there are many things I do not like. I will not force them to eat those or starve. In my family kids have equal rights. Now that doesn’t mean junk food comes into the house as they don’t have the money to buy groceries but their input is greatly appreciated and usually heeded and the things they don’t like are most times avoided. Thankfully there are MANY things that are wonderfully healthy that they do like.

  • I received this cookbook for Christmas. LOVE it!

    Carmen’s last blog post..Party On!