The Sneaky Chef - A Good Way to Sneak Veggies into Your Child's Diet?
Review of the Recipes
As I mentioned earlier, I tested two recipes from The Sneaky Chef:
1. Brainy Brownies
2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
My biggest gripe with these two recipes is the fact that the recipes required some slight modifications in order to produce an edible result. For instance, the cooking time and temperatures tended to be too high and too long - definitely a far cry from the "triple tested recipes" from Woman's Day.
Secondly, both recipes failed my picky son's taste buds. Although you couldn't really taste the spinach in the brownies, you could definitely taste the carrots in the muffins. Personally, I thought the brownies tasted okay but I found it a struggle to eat the muffins. For food that is supposed to be sneakily healthy, the muffins tasted every bit as healthy as it was supposed to be. I think I would much rather have eaten a carrot cake with a higher content of carrots than the muffins.
Would I buy the book?
Definitely not based on the results of these two recipes.
About the Sneaky Chef
The Sneaky Chef is an interesting book that offers interesting recipes that help parents hide vegetables in food as a means of encouraging children to eat healthier. This novel concept was all the rage back in 2007 when the book was first published. Missy Chase Lapine is the person behind the concept of "The Sneaky Chef" and the author of the book.
Thoughts on the Sneaky Chef
As a mother of a toddler who won't eat his vegetables, I must say that such a novel concept caught my attention the moment I heard about it. Although I have not bought the book, I did test two of the recipes on the Sneaky Chef's website.
The first thing that struck me was that the actual quantities of veggies contained in each recipe is very little. Half a cup of pureed veggies divided into portions doesn't amount to very much at all. Then again, I guess it can be argued that some veggies are better than none.
The other thing that The Sneaky Chef doesn't really do is teach children the value of eating healthily and how to choose healthy food options. Again, I guess you could argue that this is something you could teach them when they're older. My brother and I didn't really learn to appreciate eating our veggies until we were well into our teenage years. Having a rather "unhealthy" start to life (my father worked for Fraser and Naeve so cordial and fizzy drinks were our mainstay liquids) didn't stop me from becoming a vegetarian later either.
At the end of the day, I guess you could say that the ends justifies the means - especially where toddlers are concerned. And if sneaking healthy food options into not-so-healthy foods is the only way to do it, then we'll try it.