Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Should we deceive children when it comes to nutrition?

I was on the other day and one of the books being heavily marketed on the home page was Jessica Seinfeld's newly released 'Deceptively Delicious'. I have not seen the physical book nor have I read any reviews, but I did see her on Ms. Seinfeld in a recent TV interview, so I got that it was about hiding the nutritious goodies in foods that children love. In other words, deceiving them to eat foods that are essential for healthy growth.

I have some problems with this concept. Firstly, why should a parent have to do this? Pureed cauliflower in Mac n Cheese? This is time consuming and most parents work full-time? Secondly, are we and should we be sending the message that it's okay not to want to eat vegetables in its wholesome natural selves? Thirdly, is it right to deceive children? Once they find out, and they will, that the broccoli they hate so much is being injected into their pepperoni pizza crust, will they trust their parents about other things? Fourthly, is this pureed vegetable as nutritious compared to the vegetables in other forms, such as steamed, lightly stir- fried or even boiled and seasoned? I should think not, but maybe you can disprove me with facts and figures.

Why not explore different ways of cooking vegetables, adding more aromatic spices and seasoning which make it fun to eat? Why not work on devising creative ways to make kids realize that it need not taste and look boring if cooked differently?

Perhaps Ms. Seinfeld's book has other worthwhile material which is truly going to help the modern day parent to counter the growing obesity rates. But veggies in a Trojan horse of junk food doesn't cut it for me. What do you think? Do you think that the book is a godsend, or just another gimmick which will make no difference? Post your comments...

1 comment:

Rob O. said...

The concept of sneaking "good for them" stuff into kids' food prompts two thoughts:

1. Who's in charge here anyway? Not meant to be cruel, but ultimately kids will eat what you place in front of them. Or they can wait it out until the next meal to see if what's served then will be more to their liking.

2. Who instilled in these kids that it's okay to shun healthy food in the first place? Do babies come out of the chute automatically knowing that the bread crusts or veggies are a thing to be avoided? No way!

So often, our obstacles are of our own making...