Deception vs. Nutrition

October 28, 2007 by Kailani  
Filed under family topics

Is it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in their best interest?

This is the debate that’s currently going on regarding Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook – Deceptively Delicious.

Visit some of the message boards and you’ll read about Mothers who think it’s deceitful to sneak vegetables into their child’s food and feel this will have a negative effect because it will not help prepare them to make healthful choices in the future. Bonnie Taub-Dix, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says, “Any recipe book that involves enhancing a child’s diet, especially through the use of more fruits and vegetables, is positive.” But, she says, it’s important for kids to know what’s going into their food because that’s how they learn and make their own choices. Tricks like grinding up carrots in tomato sauce don’t need to be top-secret.

However, on the other side of the coin, is there really anything wrong with doing whatever it takes to make sure your kids are eating healthy? And what about the power struggles over dinner? How many times have you told your kids that they can’t leave the table until they’ve eaten their vegetables?

And that’s not the only controversy surrounding this book. It now appears that another very similar book was written 6 months before – The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine, the former publisher of Eating Well magazine. Lapine claims that she tried to pitch her book to HarperCollins and was turned down only to read Seinfeld’s version soon after. Lapine also says that there are 15 recipes of hers that are in Deceptively Delicious.

So what do you think? Is it ok to trick your child into eating healthier?

About the Author: Kailani:
Owner of An Island Life. A flight attendant and mother to 3 beautiful girls. . . living a blessed life in Hawaii.
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Comments

37 Responses to “Deception vs. Nutrition”
  1. 1
    Renee says:

    After struggling with my family to try to get them to eat healthier I’m willing to try anything. However one main trick that most moms can use is that they can make these sneaky meals while thier family is away from home…I don’t have this luxury. I tried once to sneak cauliflower into a dish…but since DD was home while I cooked it, she squealed to DH and neither of them ate it. :(

    About the books, I heard about that. And I don’t think that all the recipes are secret and wouldn’t be common knowledge…but it does seem pretty fishy.

    Renee’s last blog post..comment answering post

  2. 2
    Health Tips Blog » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] Here is an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIs it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in their best interest? This is the debate that’s currently going on regarding Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook – Deceptively Delicious. Visit some of the message boards and you’ll read … [...]

  3. 3
    Shawn says:

    The keywords here are trick, sneak, deceive… etc. I would never trick my kids into anything, not even for a good meal. I would, however — and do, actually — use creative ways to get more nutrition into them — and myself, for that matter. Zucchini bread, pumpkin muffins, carrot bread, etc. It’s not new, it’s not novel … it’s all in marketing.

    First time visitor here …: )

  4. 4
    Baby Advice says:

    I fully support healthy eating, I try hard to only offer healthy snacks and cook pretty healthy meals. I have done this since my son was born so he has developed a taste for the foods!

  5. 5
    Karen says:

    I’ve hid things in food before to make it healthier. I usually serve it a few times and know people like it before I tell them. Then if they balk at it, it’s all mental and there is no excuse. They obviously like the taste, what’s in it shouldn’t matter. ;)

    Btw, tag, you’re it. I have something for you on my blog.

    Karen’s last blog post..SUNDAY MEME–DESKTOP CAPTURE

  6. 6
    Pinkjagxj says:

    My family has never asked nor have I ever sat down to the table and said “These are all the ingredients in our meal tonight.” I don’t really think kids care if they know what all is in the spaghetti as long as it tastes good.

  7. 7
    Audra says:

    I don’t have a problem with using recipes that disguise ingredients. As they get older, they can help prepare these same meals and be surprised that X ingredient was in there all those years lol. :)

  8. 8
    Lissete says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with sneaking healthy ingredients into meals. I could definitely use this for myself. Sadly, I do not like veggies. Period. Aside from lettuce. So, if I try these “tricky” recipes for myself, am I “deceiving” myself? I don’t think so.

    Fortunately, I never passed on my dislike of veggies to my kids. I always served them veggies and they both like almost everything. Plus, if I ever did serve dishes with “sneaky” ingredients and they liked it, I would tell them what it contained at the end.

    Lissete’s last blog post..Another HUGE Bloggy Giveaway!

  9. 9
    Striving\Tessa says:

    I saw seinfeld (the wife) on regis and kelly and she mentioned that they always have their veggies on their plate also. The thing she made on the show was brownies and they had carrots and something else, i forget, but if your kids want brownies, why not give them a serving of veggies along with it. Regis said you could not even taste it. My kids eat veggies pretty well, so this would just be for the fun of it. But I know some very picky eaters that this would be great for. I do not think that it is a bad thing to hide ingredients frome the family, If it gets them to eat what they need.

    Striving\Tessa’s last blog post..

  10. 10
    BeachMama says:

    I have no problem ‘deceiving’ J to eat his fruit and vegetables. I tried to teach him to make better choices, but he has a real problem with textures of a lot of foods. And some vegetables and fruit meet that bad texture requirement. So his juice is made with fruits and vegetables and he gets two servings of each with every 1 cup of juice (his favourite is Sunrype brand, but we do get the V8 one once in a while and a Noname one from the supermarket) which he drinks quite a bit of everyday.

    Nope no problems here as he is healthy as can be.

    BeachMama’s last blog post..Saunders Farm

  11. 11
    damotion » Blog Archive » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] here to read This entry was posted on Saturday, October 27th, 2007 at 11:32 pm and is filed under [...]

  12. 12
    www.dietsandnutrition.info » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] Kailani created an interesting post today on Deception vs. Nutrition.Here’s a short outline:Is it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in their best interest? This is the debate that’s currently going on regarding Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook – Deceptively Delicious. Visit some of the message boards and you’ll read … [...]

  13. 13
    oh amanda says:

    I want to sneak veggies into my own food! I think it’s great!

    oh amanda’s last blog post..Super Cool Saturday Stuff

  14. 14
    Largemeter.Com » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] wrote an interesting post today on Deception vs. NutritionHere’s a quick [...]

  15. 15
    Melissa says:

    You’re talking to the lady who tells her kids that fruit tastes like candy :) Which, some fruit really does! I don’t know… I don’t like tricking my kids, but on the other hand I have one child who doesn’t eat anything except cold cereal, chicken nuggets, an occassional quesilla and sometimes, pizza. If I can put something in those things to make it more nutritious, well, I’m game.

  16. 16
    Dana says:

    I personally think it is totally OK. Imean, as long as your kids are getting the nutrition, I think its OK. I do think though whenever you can, you should also stress healthy eating but DANG, lets be real people. Whatever works!!!

    Dana’s last blog post..Flower Power and YEP, more computer frustration

  17. 17
    karen meg says:

    I think it’s fine as well, since I have a super picky eater. She will grow up and appreciate things on her own too, hopefully, but she’s only 2 right now – I honestly don’t think she’ll hold it against me as her mother that I put healthy options into her meals – it’s deceit, but not really DECEIT, KWIM?
    That’s about the concept. – About the book itself, to be honest, it does sort of bother me that Jessica Seinfeld is the author and the concept itself was preceded by an earlier book. Which unfortunately didn’t have the Seinfeld brand associated with it.
    Okay, this has guilted me into having Edamame for a snack instead of Wavy Lays Chips LOL!

    karen meg’s last blog post..Eight things – la deuxieme fois … and an award!

  18. 18
    Stacey says:

    Okay, but hide the book! Definitely hide the book.

    Stacey’s last blog post..It Was Fall Chilly Yesterday……

  19. 19
    donetta says:

    Would I want my kids to think it is alright to deceive me? Trust is so important to a sense of safety and character is taught. Whether good character or…

    donetta’s last blog post..Sunday Smiles

  20. 20
    Michelle at Scribbit says:

    I see nothing wrong with sneaking anything in. I mean I wouldn’t LIE to them but until they start prying into every ingredient list it’s fair game.

    Michelle at Scribbit’s last blog post..Pumpkin Molasses Cake with Lemon Frosting

  21. 21
    Pamela says:

    Hide the food – good
    Lie straight faced – bad

  22. 22
    laura says:

    weighing in as the mommy of a child who not only starved himself for nearly 48 hours straighty going without food and water while in a hospital but who thrived on gastrostomy feedings for four years and now has taught mommy that she doesn’t know everything about dealing with picky eaters even if she is mommy to four more picky eaters before him i will say whatever it takes to insure good nutrition while i fight the battle of teaching him how to make good choices i am all for it. trust me, walk a few months in my worn out shoes and you will rethink all of it. whatever it takes to keep the docs from wanting to put that g-tube back and have my boy face surgery number ten…yes, i said number ten. i’ll gladly sit on the bad mommy bench.
    btw, both books while giving some pretty delicious recipes that hide the good stuff also advocate dishing up the real deal alongside the deceptive goods all in the name of encouraging the kids to at least try to consider making good choices.

    laura’s last blog post..throwing stones

  23. 23
    TheAngelForever says:

    Interesting that you write about this topic. I did the same yesterday as we geared up to test out The Sneaky Chef this week. My four year old son used to eat everything except tuna, including all veggies. This changed in the last year. Thanks to this we bought the book to try out. Here’s my post with the pancakes we made with a secret ingredient that was not a veggie.

    http://www.theangelforever.com/?p=294

    We don’t sneak or lie about the food in them, they are just put in and if he does not ask, it why tell?

    TheAngelForever’s last blog post..To feed or not to feed?

  24. 24
    Waya says:

    I don’t think it’s deceptive to “sneak” in any veggies. Should this even be an issue when there are so many children without food daily in other countries.

    What we’ve been doing at our house is to eat together, and I’d have veggies dishes and everyone has to have a taste. And it’s been working out great! They even ate tofu!

    Waya’s last blog post..Gotta believe!!

  25. 25
    Holly Schwendiman says:

    Absolutely! As a parent the first thing you do is throw your preconceived ideas out the window because experience brings on an entirely new enlightement. You do whatever works.

    Hugs,
    Holly

  26. 26
    groovyoldlady says:

    Mr. Blender is our friend…Sneak away!

    groovyoldlady’s last blog post..Nervous Chatter

  27. 27
    Amy says:

    My opinion is if you make the recipes and they eat it and enjoy it, then you are not tricking them. Let them help! And like Jessica Seinfeld said also put veggies one their plates so they know that they are important too!

    Amy’s last blog post..Weebles Wobble

  28. 28
    Lisa says:

    I am a bad mom. My daughter won’t drink water, so I buy flavored water and tell her its soda.

    At the end of the day, it is better for her.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Sedona, here we come!

  29. 29
    Grace says:

    No sneaking for us!

    I don’t trick my daughter into eating things she initially don’t like. What I do is sit down with her and we eat together. Of course, I have to make it delicious enough for me so I can genuinely convince her it’s worth putting into her mouth.

    At home, it is also a rule to eat whatever it is on the table because this is not a restaurant where you can order whatever you want.

    At the moment, our girl is eating everything, even green bell peppers because we (parents) do.

    Grace’s last blog post..Another laborer unrest in Dubai

  30. 30
    slackermommy says:

    I’m not surprised that some controversy is getting stirred up over this. Hiding veggies in recipes for kids is not a new concept. I’ve been doing it for years. My kids are extremely picky eaters and two of mine have sensory issues. I don’t hide all their veggies just the ones that they refuse to eat. I talk to them about healthy eating, model good eating habits by eating them myself and encourage them to eat better but it isn’t enough to get them to eat what they don’t like. Getting the nutritional value of veggies is what’s most important to me so deceiving my kids works for me.

  31. 31
    Trish says:

    Sneaking foods into your child’s diet is wrong and should not be a substitute for good cooking. First, they started sneaking the ritalin in, now the carrots?

  32. 32
    Romie says:

    The name of the book is really what is causing all the argument. These are just healthy recipes. My little one never asks what I put in it, if she likes it and eats it, good! I already replace out items I don’t want her to eat with other things, we bought a sugar free cake (which was amazing) for her birthday.

    Don’t get all tied up in the words, just do what is right.

    Romie’s last blog post..How it went (tricker/treating)

  33. 33
    Melitsa says:

    I think this debate is a difficult one; it has to be based on your family. For me it doesn’t sit well to deceive but my kids eat veggies. If they didn’t who knows what I might do.

    Thanks for dropping by the Carnival of Family Life-bonfire edition. :)

    Melitsa’s last blog post..Teaching young children how to think

  34. 34
    Carnival of Family life- Bonfire edition | Play-Activities.com says:

    [...] presents a interesting discussion on the hidden vegetable phenomenon Deception vs. Nutrition posted at An Island Life saying, “Is it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in [...]

  35. 35
    JHS says:

    Kailani:

    I’m late getting around to visit all of the Carnival participants. (Crazy week . . . only excuse!)

    But I THANK YOU for being part of Colloquium’s inaugural edition. I appreciate your support and hope that my management of the Carnival will meet your expectations. I am truly flattered and honored that you entrusted it to me!

    This week’s Carnival will be hosted at All Rileyed Up. If you haven’t submitted a post yet, you can do so until midnight (Pacific Time) tonight!

    JHS’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  36. 36
    Elaine Platzer says:

    IT’S NOT DECEPTION UNLESS THE KID ASKS “MOMMY, ARE THERE VEGETABLES IN THIS??!!” AND YOU SCREAM “NO!!!!! NO VEGETABLES!!!!!”

    I WISH MY MOTHER HAD PLACED VEGETABLE PUREES IN MY PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES AND HAMBURGERS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP; I WOULD HAVE SPENT A LOT LESS TIME BEING SICK.

    NOW AS AN ADULT I EAT MOSTLY SALADS AND YOGURT; BUT, THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN UNTIL AFTER I WAS 15 YEARS OLD OR SO.

  37. 37
    Carnival of Family life- Bonfire edition | Play Activities says:

    [...] presents a interesting discussion on the hidden vegetable phenomenon Deception vs. Nutrition posted at An Island Life saying, “Is it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in [...]

    Reply

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  1. Health Tips Blog » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] Here is an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIs it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in their best interest? This is the debate that’s currently going on regarding Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook – Deceptively Delicious. Visit some of the message boards and you’ll read … [...]

  2. damotion » Blog Archive » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] here to read This entry was posted on Saturday, October 27th, 2007 at 11:32 pm and is filed under [...]

  3. www.dietsandnutrition.info » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] Kailani created an interesting post today on Deception vs. Nutrition.Here’s a short outline:Is it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in their best interest? This is the debate that’s currently going on regarding Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook – Deceptively Delicious. Visit some of the message boards and you’ll read … [...]

  4. Largemeter.Com » Deception vs. Nutrition says:

    [...] wrote an interesting post today on Deception vs. NutritionHere’s a quick [...]

  5. Carnival of Family life- Bonfire edition | Play-Activities.com says:

    [...] presents a interesting discussion on the hidden vegetable phenomenon Deception vs. Nutrition posted at An Island Life saying, “Is it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in [...]

  6. Carnival of Family life- Bonfire edition | Play Activities says:

    [...] presents a interesting discussion on the hidden vegetable phenomenon Deception vs. Nutrition posted at An Island Life saying, “Is it ok to deceive your child if the end result is in [...]

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