Hiding vegetables has become all the rage. The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Chapine and Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld have hit the charts telling parents how to covertly deliver ‘healthy food’ to kids. Last week’s lawsuit involving the two sneaky chefs has me wondering if we should be fooling our kids at all when it comes to feeding.
Masquerading food is about us and our insecurities. It has little to do with what children actually need. Children have a remarkable capacity to take what they need when they need it. Our obsession with micromanaging vitamins, nutrients, colors and bites contributes to a stressful feeding encounter. I would go so far as to suggest that the food fight mindset supports an ideology of nutritionism which has been popularized by Michael Pollan in his fascinating new book, In Defense of Food. It’s worth a read if you’re concerned about the way we eat … or feed.
The interference that we create between a child and her food will do little to improve their long-term health or relationship with real food. Parents would do well to remember Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility. And when we realize that parents make miserable dieticians, things can only improve.