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Growing Up Gourmet: Veggies: How Many are Too Many?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Veggies: How Many are Too Many?

I can't tell you how disappointed I was to still see Jessica Seinfeld's book, Deceptively Delicious, on the bestseller rack in Barnes and Noble this week. I've long maintained that sneaking food is merely a recipe for distrust -- one that will yield even more picky eaters who harbor an illusory relationship with healthy foods.

Thankfully, two outstanding food writers continue to remind us that the anti-sneak dialogue is resounding loudly. In this month's Bon Appetit column, "Health Wise", author Mark Kurlansky compares the veggie-laden diet of China's youngsters to the "eat your spinach... or else" rhetoric echoed by desperate moms in many American homes. He considers Missy Chase Lapine's (The Sneaky Chef) and Seinfeld's cookbooks to be "the worst possible response" to the problem of kids refusing to eat their vegetables. Kurlansky poses worthwhile solutions which "foster an appreciation for vegetables," such as growing a vegetable garden. (Think Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard on a household scale.)

And yesterday Mark Bittman wrote on his new blog Bitten, that "the funniest thing about these two books is that the public uproar wasn’t over their approach to cooking but over which author had the idea first."

With the Bon Appetit article titled, "Eat Your Broccoli", and Bittman begging "Eat you veggies", I can't help but be optimistic that the next food-fad in kids' health will be "Veggies: How Many are Too Many?"

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