OK, watching the Sneaky Chef on TV yesterday morning didn't really make me puke, but I was seriously sick. Sick that someone in the media spotlight feels it's okay to enslave oneself to a frickin' blender or food processor in the name of healthy eating. Or that she'd put spinach and blueberries in brownies. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Sneaky Chef is an attractive female chef who decided to always puree veggies and other "good stuff" and sneak it into her children's food. Oh yeah, she also has a book and classes for other parents who want to be sneaky. She puts these gross looking purees in muffins, doughs, with pasta, mac-&-cheese, and other weird combos. What nutritionist feels that children should be regularly consuming meals that are nearly in a pre-digested state (she used words to this effect)? Mmmm-hmmm.
I don't have a problem with being sneaky, but find it weird that one has to go that far just to include some veggies in a meal. This sets up a host of problems: a lot of work just to hide veggies, with no end in sight. By pureeing everything, a child will never feel he or she has to try new and different vegetables. There are so many easier ways to prepare tasty and healthy food than this sneaky approach.
Sure, it's easy for me to judge because that's what I do. I don't yet have a child and in theory haven't experienced the difficulties there, but I have many family members and friends who have offered a variety of veggies (and fruits, whole grains, etc.) to their kids. Overall results are young eaters with an interest in new and different foods, no puree needed. Eating should have a sense of adventure to it, rather than be a way to cut corners and sneak things past others.
The other weird thing with the Sneaky Chef is she uses those purees all the time. That may be okay for baby food. Other exceptions: in elder care facilities, and for folks who are for medical reasons no longer able to eat firmly textured foods. Sneaky Chef is creating a generation of kids who don't know what good and healthy eating is, and who will be loathe to try and prepare things on their own. It also has a smarmy, self involved whiff of spoiled brattiness to it.