Cookbook Faceoff


From Lisa Barnes

Everyone is wondering…is the cookbook written by Jessica Seinfeld (above), Deceptively Delicious too much like Missy Chase Lapine’s The Sneaky Chef? It’s quite the talk in the NY Times, food blogs, and parenting websites. The big issues here are not who took who’s ideas or recipes because sneaking in veggies is an old time practice. There has always been the spinach in the brownie recipe in Parents Magazine every other year. I made it once and let’s just say it’s a great way to ruin chocolate. Plus having gone through the lengthy process of book publishing – there are similar ideas and subjects in the works at different publishing houses all the time (although it is strange for one of the houses to pass up Lapine and go with Seinfeld – but a celebrity will always sell more books, period). Anyways…

The bigger issue for me is should we be sneaking? I like that the blogs at the NY Times site ask this question and most parents who write in say no. I agree. If you’re sneaking it in, this must mean you’re cooking at late hours, during naps, when the children are out of the house. Because kids know everything and are naturally curious. And they should be especially in the kitchen. How can your child help you prep, cook, shop and menu plan if they’re not supposed to see what’s in the food? Everyone is missing out on a valuable lesson of sharing and learning in the kitchen. How about showing them a perfectly ripe piece of fruit or interesting shape of a vegetable at a farmer’s market, instead of pretending to make a boxed macaroni and cheese from your pantry. I don’t think deception and trickery belong in the kitchen on a regular basis or as a means to establishing healthy diets and eating habits. Now I’ve put in my 2 cents on the controversy.I just think it’s exciting that people are talking about children’s food and this cookbook genre. When it makes the Yahoo! Headlines and the NY Times you know it’s important stuff.

Don’t worry Jessica, Jerry’s Bee Movie is out now… so he’s in the news again. Ironically I saw his Bee character doing a McDonald’s ad. There’s one place there’s no hidden veggie purees.
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: New York Times
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