DeceptivelyDelicious.jpgThe big controversy surrounding Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook for parents, “Deceptively Delicious,” is whether Jerry’s wife might have copied recipes (or even the idea for the book) from a less well-known author, Missy Chase Lapine, whose cookbook, “The Sneaky Chef,” appeared a few months earlier.
Having worked at Parents Magazine for 20 years, I can vouch for the fact that sneaking veggies into foods kids like is nothing new. We used to get at least a dozen such tips from readers each year. It always struck me as morally dubious to sneak spinach into brownies or secrete squash in chocolate pudding. But, hey, I always allowed my kids to drown everything in ketchup, so I’m probably not one to talk.
Still, child-raising books with words like “sneaky” and “deceptive” in the title imply that it’s acceptable to lie to kids. Now food author Mimi Sheraton has joined the fray on Slate with a smart analysis of why sneaking veggies into sweets is to be discouraged on both nutritional and ethical grounds:

With the dangerous rise of childhood obesity and diabetes, do we really want to encourage the eating of sugars and starches? And, ultimately, and more seriously perhaps, lying to children via trickery–even “for their own good”–can feed a lifetime of distrust, as it should. I wonder how these undercover mothers keep their secrets. Are children locked out of the kitchens at cooking time, lest they see Mommy slipping pureed zucchini into their beloved mac ‘n’ cheese?

–By Wendy Schuman

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