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Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food Hardcover-spiral – October 14, 2008
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As a mother of three, Jessica Seinfeld can speak for all parents who struggle to feed their kids right and deal nightly with dinnertime fiascos. As she wages a personal war against sugars, packaged foods, and other nutritional saboteurs, she offers appetizing alternatives for parents who find themselves succumbing to the fastest and easiest (and least healthy) choices available to them. Her modus operandi? Her book is filled with traditional recipes that kids love, except they're stealthily packed with veggies hidden in them so kids don't even know! With the help of a nutritionist and a professional chef, Seinfeld has developed a month's worth of meals for kids of all ages that includes, for example, pureed cauliflower in mac and cheese, and kale in spaghetti and meatballs. She also provides revealing and humorous personal anecdotes, tearout shopping guides to help parents zoom through the supermarket, and tips on how to deal with the kid that "must have" the latest sugar bomb cereal.
But this book also contains much more than recipes and tips. By solving problems on a practical level for parents, Seinfeld addresses the big picture issues that surround childhood obesity and its longterm (and ruinous) effects on the body. With the help of a prominent nutritionist, her book provides parents with an arsenal of information related to kids' nutrition so parents understand why it's important to throw in a little avocado puree into their quesadillas. She discusses the critical importance of portion size, and the specific elements kids simply must have (as opposed to adults) in order to flourish now and in the future: protein, calcium, vitamins, and Omega 3 and 6 fats.
Jessica Seinfeld's book is practical, easytoread, and a godsend for any parent that wants their kids to be healthy for a long time to come.
Bob Greene, author of The Best Life Diet:
"I found the techniques for adding vegetables to meals extremely creative and the recipes fantastic! Deceptively Delicious is a must have for your healthy kitchen."
Questions for Jessica Seinfeld
Amazon.com: My seven-year-old inspects the food on his plate like a hawk (if there was a hawk that only ate bagels and macaroni). Anything with the least bit of color goes untouched. What's a mom or dad to do?
Seinfeld: Two of my three children were exactly the same way. The vegetables, which I worked hard to prepare, not only went untouched, they were often insulted ("Eeewww...!"). And the harder I pushed them to eat good food, the harder they pushed back. We were literally ruining each other's meals.
That conflict was the inspiration for the book. I realized I wasn't going to win the power struggle, so I decided to join them on their turf. I started with the foods they would eat (chicken nuggets, tacos, macaroni and cheese) and I added a pureed vegetable of the same color. So if your child only eats macaroni and cheese (or noodles and butter), you should add cauliflower or yellow squash puree, which utterly disappears. Everyone wins: they get the nutrition they need and you get the satisfaction of doing a better job as a parent.
Amazon.com: That same picky second-grader will often try something new one time and declare he likes it, but the next time we serve it, he seems to have lost his spirit of adventure and won't eat it again. Any advice?
Seinfeld: First and foremost, remember that not every meal you prepare for a child will be a success. Kids at this age are naturally testing preferences, pushing boundaries, and changing their minds. That's part of their development and those are urges not worth battling. As I learned the hard way, the more pressure you apply, the more kids will "hate" certain foods. And, while it would be nice if kids had a "spirit of adventure" when it comes to food, I've found it's best to eliminate adventure and stick to the basics--foods they already love, laden with added nutrition they don't know is there. Finally, be consistent, firm and patient. I have a rule in my house: you don't have to eat what's on the plate, but what's on the plate is all that's being served. Eventually, they come around.
Amazon.com: Are your kids interested in cooking yet? Are there ways to introduce healthy eating habits with the child helping in the kitchen?
Seinfeld: My children are interested in baking because they love any excuse to be around sweets. But I make sure whatever we bake has pureed veggies in it and is actually low in refined sugar. So my children actually think baking cakes, brownies, and cookies with sweet potatoes, carrots, or beets is the proper way to cook.
Amazon.com: What are your kids' favorite recipes in the book?
Seinfeld: Every recipe in this book is a favorite. I've tried out countless creations on my kids, and if they didn't love them (which happened frequently!), they didn't make it into the book. But, if pressed, I will say they are crazy about the tacos, the chicken nuggets, the brownies, the pancakes, and my birthday cakes. [See her recipe for delicious brownies made with carrot and spinach.]
Amazon.com: I have to ask it, since I know many readers will: do these recipes require a squad of personal chefs to prepare, or can a busy mom or dad without seven years of Seinfeld residuals put them together by themselves?
Seinfeld: I'm a busy mom with three kids, a job, and a husband who travels constantly, but I'm uncompromising when it comes to my kids' health and nutrition. Leaving that to someone else is out of the question. My parents had three kids and both worked too, and we always managed to eat healthy meals as a family. That's the standard I've always wanted to meet. So when I started creating recipes from my pureed veggie experiments, I had three criteria: my kids had to love the food, the preparation had to be quick, and the process had to be simple. Believe me, if I can do these recipes quickly and easily, ANYONE can.
Amazon.com: How are the reading skills of Sascha, your oldest child and pickiest eater? Have you blown your cover by publishing your secrets?
Seinfeld: My daughter is almost seven and she not only can read, she's fully aware that her mother cooks with vegetables all the time. Two years ago, she was a picky four-year-old who thought she hated vegetables. But once she was converted and started seeing those purees going into the desserts she loves, she started to ignore the fact that they were going into the rest of her foods as well. Now it's the only kind of cooking she knows. So, to anyone with young children--start cooking Deceptively Delicious food when they are young! It's much easier than trying to change habits later on.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Seinfeld’s recipes were written with determined simplicity.” (Cookie magazine)
“An elegant plan…. The recipes blend nutrition into a meal and harmony into mealtime.” (Publishers Weekly)
More About the Author
She is the wife of Jerry Seinfeld, with whom she has three children. This is her first book.
Jessica says, "I'm a busy mom with three kids, a job, and a husband who travels constantly, but I'm uncompromising when it comes to my kids' health and nutrition. Leaving that to someone else is out of the question. My parents had three kids and both worked too, and we always managed to eat healthy meals as a family. That's the standard I've always wanted to meet. So when I started creating recipes from my pureed veggie experiments, I had three criteria: my kids had to love the food, the preparation had to be quick, and the process had to be simple. Believe me, if I can do these recipes quickly and easily, ANYONE can."
Jessica on picky eaters: "First and foremost, remember that not every meal you prepare for a child will be a success. Kids at this age are naturally testing preferences, pushing boundaries, and changing their minds. That's part of their development and those are urges not worth battling. As I learned the hard way, the more pressure you apply, the more kids will "hate" certain foods. And, while it would be nice if kids had a "spirit of adventure" when it comes to food, I've found it's best to eliminate adventure and stick to the basics--foods they already love, laden with added nutrition they don't know is there. Finally, be consistent, firm and patient. I have a rule in my house: you don't have to eat what's on the plate, but what's on the plate is all that's being served. Eventually, they come around."
Top Customer Reviews
First of all let me start by saying:
!) I don't have young kids any more BUT
2) I HATE veggies but I know I need to eat more of them, so any system that gets them into me and the grownups in my life: BRAVO!
Yes, I'd recommend BOTH books and here's why. They each have their strong and weak suits.
DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS has
A) pictures, which is helpful and fun
B) tips and comments by her taste-testers
C) used one type of puree for each recipe
D) is spiral bound so it will lay flat. The whole layout is really nice, just as a cookbook to read!
E) doesn't beat you over the head with the whole nutrition thing
THE SNEAKY CHEF has
A) combination purees, which add a lot of variety and ease into the cooking part
B0 really cute names for the dishes. Makes it easy to remember!
C) isn't afraid to use butter and milk!
D) goes seriously into the nutrition thing. Almost the first half of the book is a prelim and explanation of the whole concept.
E) the recipes seem to taste a bit better!
DD. The recipes are a bit bland. If you're cooking for an adult palate, you need to add more spices. For example her "Chocolate Chip Cupcakes." I suggest substituting milk (even skim) for the water, add an extra T. vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon. One of the veggie purees her recipes call for aren't covered in the "how to prepare puree" part.
SC: Very few pictures. It's not spiral bound but a trip to Office Max can take care of that for you. (Best tip I ever got regarding cookbooks by the way and found it here!) It's a bit "textbook" like. I get the whole nutrition thing already.Read more ›
My first attempt was the brownies, and my victims were all adults. The look on their faces was priceless. Not so good because of the very weird texture to them.
Next, eggs with cauliflower for my 3 year old. Hmmm, he was wondering whey the eggs that have always been yellow, have now turned white. Add a little cheddar, and bam, they are yellow again.
The blueberry cupakces with cream cheese filling, total disaster. They looked horrible, and tasted even worse. I didn't even attempt to try to get anyone in the house to eat them
Hamburgers....you would have thought I was feeding my husband horse meat. They were NASTY! Very slimy with a funky aftertase.
What I learned is that you don't need this cookbook for recipes. Puree some veggies and slip them in the everyday food you make. Don't go overboard, and chances are your kids won't know the difference!
The book is well-organized, offers detailed information about both the recipes and the benefits of the major ingredients, and I really like that the tone is not a "lecture" on the benefits of vegetables. She doesn't talk down to the reader but offers lots of helpful suggestions.
I do have one suggestion for busy parents - use organic baby food. I don't have a food processor and I don't have a dedicated block of time to clean, cook and prepare all the purees for the week. For about $.65 (or less) per jar, I can have 1/2 cup of organic winter squash etc. that has already been cleaned, cooked and pureed for me. Plus, it will keep on the shelf until I need it so I can buy extra when they go on sale.
Furthermore, I have started adding the purees to the recipes or boxed mixes I already use. I added 1/2 cup of mixed vegetables to a batch of Pamela's gluten-free brownie mix tonight and it was delicious. There was no noticeable change in texture and we could not taste anything but rich chocolate.
Don't be afraid to experiment :)
First, I plugged my Bob Seger CD and got the ball rolling. The Beatles work just as well, the decision is yours. Then I washed my hands, put on my "Lutheran Jello Power" apron and said to myself: "It's Go Time!" I own a Vita-Mix blender which double as a food processor. I own a rice cooker which can be used to stream veggies. If you do not own a food processor or a steamer, do not despair. You can bake a lot of the veggies or put a colander in a shallow pan of boiling water to steam them. You can always invest in a steamer and/or food processor if you want, later. The first recipe I tries was:
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: 5 star.They are delicious! The only tweaking I did to the recipe was I pureed the chickpeas before adding them to the batter. I also used brown sugar Splenda rather than regular brown sugar; when done you have a batch of cookies that have 1/2 cup of brown sugar plus protein in them!! There is no white sugar in this recipe and I also used whole wheat flour. Excellent!!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Years ago, I was one of those poor mothers whose child would only eat chicken nuggets and fries. My sister bought this book for me and all I can say is that it saved my daughter fm... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Amy B
I bought this book at a bookstore several years ago when it first came out hoping to get my Asperger's son to eat his vegetables. Read morePublished 16 days ago by April M. Gard
Cute cover and that is about it. The recipes are not not that good and really do not contain that many veggies.Published 1 month ago by M. Boch
Love all Jessica's books. I don't always agree with some of her nutritional components but I just over look that and add my knowledge to what ever I am doing. No biggie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sharon Manning
A lot of recipes only add 1/2 c of sweet potato or carrot to a recipe that serves 8. Doesn't seem worth it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Love the breakfast type receipes and the sloppy joe receipe. Like that they include veggies and the kids like it.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer