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Paperback The Sneaky Chef : Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals Book

ISBN: 0762430753

ISBN13: 9780762430758

The Sneaky Chef : Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals

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Book Overview

Parents will do almost anything to get their kids to eat healthier, but unfortunately, they've found that begging, pleading, threatening, and bribing don't work. With their patience wearing thin, parents will "give in" for the sake of family peace, and reach for "kiddie" favorites-often nutritionally inferior choices such as fried fish sticks, mac n' cheese, Pop-sicles, and cookies. Missy Chase Lapine, former publisher of Eating Well magazine, faced...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

We dont care who did it first, the Sneaky Chef is the one that works.,

We dont care who did it first, the Sneaky Chef is the one that works., Sleep Doctor "Dr. Mom, MD" (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews This review is from: Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food (Spiral-bound) This weekend 7 friends and I got together to compare recipes from The Sneaky Chef(TSC) and Deceptively Delicious(DD). Our primary loyalty is to our kids and getting good food into them. We don't really care who did it first, just what works. We've been successfully sneaking for months and need more recipes now, so we were eagerly awaiting the release of Deceptively Delicious. We chose six duplicate recipes from each book (12 total) and did double-blind (where neither the server nor the child knows which is which-only the cook keeps track) side by side taste tests. The whole process took all day Sunday. We chose to make mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, peanut butter & jelly muffins, brownies, chicken nuggets and meat loaf. Summary: For one reason or another, kids clearly preferred the recipes from TSC. The main reasons seemed to be that DD's were too sophisticated in flavors and the textures were off. The cooks felt that TSC was more geared towards kids' tastes, especially where picky eaters are concerned, and addressed the needs of the cook better. Roughly half of the recipes in Deceptively Delicious are the same as in The Sneaky Chef, which was disappointing since we're starved ; ) for new recipes at this point. The following are the detailed results: Mashed Potatoes: Kids' preference: TSC. Main reason: "Creamier." DD was called "watery" by most kids. Cooks found both recipes easy to make and would do so regularly. Mac n cheese: Kids' unanimous preference: TSC. Main reason: "the same as they're used to." Kids rejected DD version as "adult food" and would not eat it. Cooks' also preferred TSC. Reasons: DD has too many ingredients, is too expensive and time consuming to make regularly. Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins: Kids' preference: none. A clear tie. This was probably due to the dominating peanut butter flavor in both recipes. Kids did prefer the appearance of DD, though, as the jelly was visible on top of the muffin and TSC is hidden inside. Brownies: Kids' unanimous preference: TSC. Main reason: DD had a slightly bitter to some kids but all found the texture "too pasty." Cooks found both recipes easy to make and would do so regularly. Chicken Nuggets: Kids preferred TSC overall. Main objection to DD: "too spicy and mushy." Cooks' also preferred TSC. Reasons: DD has too many ingredients and the flax meal contributed to the too-soft texture. Meat Loaf: Kids unanimously preferred TSC. Unanimous objection to DD: "too spicy and mushy." Cooks' unanimously preferred TSC for texture and flavor. Note: The layout in DD is more clear and concise, and having the photos next to the recipes is also very helpful. TSC would take a lesson here. Finally, we hope that many more authors get on

An excellent primer

This cookbook gives you excellent suggestions on how to get more nutrition into your children by adding it to their favorite foods. But let's face it...there are sometimes when I really can't stand looking at another vegetable on my own plate and don't even get me started on my husband's eating habits. Enter this book with it's easy to make kid friendly recipes for the kid in all of us. I was able to find all the ingredients at my regular grocery store..a major plus. So far I've only tried a few of the recipes-breakfast cookies (made with wheat germ,whole wheat flour and total cereal), sneaky strawberry smoothies (this has avocado in it but you can't taste it!) mac and cheese (this hides cauliflower, zucchini, yams and carrots) and they are excellent! My teenager has even requested the breakfast cookies for her midmorning snack. My toddler who is an EXTREMELY picky eater has eaten everything that's been given to him and wanted more. Mrs. Lapine has even included suggestions for improving the nutrition of exsiting food like oatmeal and applesauce in addition to suggesting what baby foods to use if you just don't have time to make the purees. This book got me thinking of ways I could boost the nutrition in our family favorites as well. An excellent resource.

Just what we needed!

I wanted to serve one meal to everyone in our family and quit playing short order chef. I never have wanted food to become a battleground for my kids. And, I wanted to incorporate more veggies and fiber in to all of our diets. This book has some fantastic ideas on how to alter my cooking to accomplish my goals. I made macaroni and cheese last night and watched both my boys (2 and 3) devour sweet potatoes and carrots without a complaint. This stuff works. I cooked more carrots and sweet potatoes that I needed for the puree, and served some of the chunks on our plates. I enjoyed the cooked carrots, and my kids didn't throw the chunks of veggies off their plate onto the floor. One of them actually licked the carrot in curiousity. I'll continue to serve sneaky nutrition AND undisguised versions on the plate. Eventually, my kids will eat the undisguised versions. What works for me is to plan on preparing ONE puree a day, preferably when it is quiet. I freeze the puree in ice cubes by the tablespoon, and then can add them as needed to recipes. I can rotate thru the purees and not feel overwhelmed. And if I skip a day or two, I have frozen reserves to fall back on. That also lets me make the purees using on-sale produce.

Will This Book Help Your Picky Eater?

Here are details about what's in each of this book's 3 parts: 1.It starts with a discussion about how sneaking healthy food into other food does away with the need to fight over eating, adds nutrients to the diet, and makes parents feel better about what their kids are eating. Plus, the author believes kids just don't need to know everything you do to keep them safe and healthy. Next, this section offers a "bag of tricks" for getting picky eaters to eat healthier food. A few examples of the 13 "tricks" are: pureeing foods to mix into other foods, mixing healthy and less healthy foods together, adding sprinkles and chocolate chips as distractions, and avoiding frying with lots of oil. She recommends not telling the kids when you are using these tricks, and side-stepping any questions they might ask. She seems to understand that many parents, myself included, will object to being less than honest with their kids. And though she makes a good case for avoiding the truth in the name of nutrition, I was not convinced. However, parents can still use the techniques in the book, while being forthright with their children about what's in their food--especially if they are older or it they ask. 2. In the second section, she gives the recipes for 13 "Make-Ahead Recipes." These are mixtures that will be snuck into other foods. They include: * 4 vegetable purees consisting of steamed vegetables (one also includes blueberries), water and lemon juice processed in a food processor. * 3 fruit juice recipes made by boiling, mashing, then straining fruit, specifically cherries, strawberries or blueberries. I'd like to point out that these recipes aren't as healthy as the purees since the fruit's fiber is strained out and some sugar is added. Anyway, most kids will eat fruit plain. * A recipe for spinach juice, also made by boiling, mashing and straining. Again, this removes fiber. However, the spinach juice is probably more useful than the fruit juices because fewer children eat spinach plain. * 2 types of beans purees made in a food processor with a bit of water. * Frozen bananas. * A mixture of grains and nuts to use as breading. * And, finally, a flour mixture that's a combination of whole-wheat flour, wheat germ and white flour to use when baking from scratch. In sum, you can use these mixtures in recipes to add one of the following to a child's diet: veggies, fruit juice, whole grains, bananas or beans. 3. The last and longest section includes lots of recipes that incorporate one or more of the 13 mixtures listed above. (A few recipes do not use a make-ahead mixture, but are simply kid-friendly recipes.) Most of the recipes are classic kid favorites, made from scratch, like fish sticks, stuffed potatoes, pasta dishes and cookies. Other recipes are fun novelties, such as green scrambled eggs, roasted chickpeas, frozen applesauce and flavored milk. Several are quick fixes for popular, prepackaged kid's fair, including fixes for: boxed mac-

I can't say enough good things about this book!!

This book is truly amazing. I have two children who won't eat a mini-carrot between them, and they are now downing veggie after veggie without suspecting a thing!! Here is the funny thing- it works on my husband too! He claims he doesn't like sweet potatoes, but he has eaten them in so many things now- I just wait and tell him afterwards (haha, guess what you just ate?!). Do I feel guilty about sneaking veggies? Not at all! Whatever I can do to help my family be healthier, I would do in a heartbeat. I have a couple of hints- first of all, buy all of your veggies at once and spend about 3 hours one afternoon once per month making the five most common veggie purees. Pour them into individual serving size freezer bags and then put all of the little bags into a gallon bag (one per type of puree), label them, and you are good to go! This is much easier than trying to puree veggies for each meal, it would become so time-consuming that you would be tempted to change your mind at the last minute and make something easier (and less healthy). I grab a bag out of the freezer, quickly defrost and then stir it in with the kids mac n' cheese, chocolate pudding, and all sorts of other "treat food" that all of a sudden become vitamin-rich dishes. I also pre-make some of the breading and flour mix too, and keep them vacuum-packed...it really simplifies things at dinnertime. Likewise, I make the breakfast cookies in a triple recipe, and save them and freeze them for a quick, easy and healthy breakfast. The meat recipes in this book are also excellent- the sloppy joes, meatballs, and the meatloaf- as well as the baked ziti and the pizza- are especially fabulous. This is the first book that I have felt compelled to write a review about, but I felt I absolutely had to do it! We have been eating almost exclusively on recipes from this book for a month now and we all feel so much healthier. Kudos to Missy Chase Lapine! Thank you!
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