10/26/07

Real. Live. Nude. Veggies!!!

Warning: I'm about to go on a Anthony Bourdain style rant, complete with obnoxious language.

Shopping at Target a week or two ago, I went through the book section as I always do and a book caught my eye. "Deceptively Delicious; Simple Secrets To Get Your Kids Eating Good Food" by Jessica Seinfeld. It took all of my might not to throw the book across the aisle and yell "Oh, give me a fucking break!" Just the cover set me off. Her, serving brownies, winking at you, the buyer, and her back is hiding carrots set on a cutting board.

When I got home, I went on Barnes and Nobles website and read the synopsis. While I won't fully quote it here, these are my favorites:

...gets kids to eat their vegetables- without them knowing!(that's their exclamation point)

...stealthily packed with unseen veggies- pureed so kids will never suspect.

...a godsend for all parents who want healthy kids.

So, here's my rant. One of those first rules we teach our kids is "Don't lie.You'll get caught." The words deceptively and secrets in the title are giving you, as a parent, permission to lie. It's okay, we won't tell. Wink Wink. Yet, we tell our kids "don't lie, that's bad!" What's going to happen when your kids find out? I don't think their first reaction is going to be "Wow, Gee Mom, thanks, I really like cauliflower now!" No, what's going to happen is, you're going to serve cauliflower not pureed in the mac and cheese and they will look at you like what the hell is going on.

Kid:"What's THAT?"

Mom:"Honey, that's cauliflower."

Kid:"I don't like it."

Mom:"Of course you do. You eat it all the time. I puree it in your mac and cheese all the time. So, you'll like it cooked like this."

Kid:"No, I won't."

How's that for establishing trust? Five years later, Mom is scratching her head at why Junior still doesn't like cauliflower. Now I won't get into cooking veggies and nutritional values, or telling your kid "Tough shit! Just try the damn thing!" or about showing your kids real. live. nude. veggies! I also won't talk about if you want "healthy kids" maybe limit the sodas and junk food. What really pisses me off is the deceptive, stealthy, without them knowing, premise of the book. We don't like lying politicians and businesses with shady accounting practices. Hell, we get mad about hidden trans fat in our fast food and hidden calories in general, and if you read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, you should be pissed off about, of all things, corn!

For the record: Andrew, my 12 year old sous chef, wouldn't eat vegetables for 12 years! I refused to dress them up or hide them. He wasn't or isn't going to die from malnutrition. Now that he's older, his taste buds are growing up and so is he. He's hungry all the time and he's figured out that all most all food is good food. A little patience and stubbornness is needed, not brownie mix.
Thank you. I feel better now.