Decidedly Disappointing “Deceptively Delicious” Cookbook


As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here ( Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).


A week ago, I purchased Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Steps to Get Your Kids to Eat Good Food.” Hopeful and eager, I quickly got to work and pureed six types of vegetables and some fruit (using two pots of boiling water), produced over a dozen little baggies of purees, and prepared four different recipes.

Jessica Seinfeld’s Cookbook, “Deceptively Delicious”

After eating Turkey Chili (with carrot and red pepper puree), Tortilla Cigars (with yellow squash and carrot purees), Banana Bread (with cauliflower and banana purees) and Scrambled Eggs (with cauliflower puree), my family announced, “Sorry, but this stuff is honestly awful.” Rats! I was really looking forward to making Gingerbread Spice Cake (with broccoli and carrot puree).

Seriously (or truthfully), I wanted to like this food. Of course, I wanted my kids to like it, too. It seemed like such a great idea! Even Oprah’s wiz doc, Dr. Mehmet Oz, supported it and thought Ms. Seinfeld was on to something. And heck, we are loyal “Seinfeld” fans (of her husband’s old television series on DVD).

But, this whole “pureed vegetables snuck in kid-friendly food” thing? For our family, it’s a total bust. Sorry, Jessica (and Jerry).

Okay, I confess that I didn’t take that first suggested (perhaps most important) step — deceive the kids. In fact, I actually described the concept of vegetable purees being put into kid-friendly food and even disclosed at the outset which veggies I was putting into the food — even showed the kids the recipes (!). Then, when my son heard that I intended to actually make several of the recipes, he looked hurt (and a bit irritated) and asked, “Why would you do that to vegetables? Why would you do that to us?” He didn’t like the idea of moms deceiving their kids. Then when he tried a few of the dishes, he sounded like a food critic from the New York Times (or maybe just a son who felt angry at the notion of parents trying to pull a fast one on their kids). “Mom,” he said emphatically, “I’d much rather have real carrots in this Turkey Chili than this orange…goop you put in it.” Then he told me he would rather eat brussels sprouts than anything I made using the recipes from the cookbook.


Back to the drawing board.

Or maybe to the movies. Jerry’s “Bee Movie” comes out soon…

Book image from Amazon.



Filed under Children, cooking, Culture, family, food

12 responses to “Decidedly Disappointing “Deceptively Delicious” Cookbook

  1. Pingback: » Deceptively Delicious

  2. Your post made me laugh! Your son sounds like a wonderful guy and honest little guy.

  3. Thanks, Michelle! That’s a nice description of him and yes, honesty is really important to him.
    Thanks for the comment.

  4. Great post!
    Thanks for helping me save my money & most preciously, my time. My 4 year old daughter is such a picky eater, I often wonder if she belongs to me. (As a kid, I loved vegetables.) My 7 year old son will eat whatever I put in front of him. Then there’s my hubby who just wants the meal to be a hot dish.
    It is a weekly challenge to create a balanced menu that pleases the kids and the grown ups.

  5. My wife snuck some pumpkin (supposedly good for you, who knew?) into something we ate last week, and neither I nor my daughters noticed. She did tell me after I ate it, but I was thankful that she didn’t tell me, because I don’t like pumpkin by itself. Blended in, I didn’t notice. 🙂

    [Thanks for commenting, Stephen. Maybe your wife would like the cookbook!! I think it’s fine for younger kids (and their tolerant dads!).]

  6. mommynotes

    I also have a blog and I am a mommy. Thanks for writing this because I wanted this for Christmas but if the recipes stink no thank you. I did sneak some pumpkin into some pancakes I made and none of my family was the wiser. It doesn’t really have a taste though. Some of those other veggies have distinct tastes so it understanble that they would notice. Keep on writing and I like your blog. Very smart guy you have there.

  7. Susie

    I used this method to get some children I used to watch to eat their veggies. Only I pureed them along with eggs and cheese to make an “omelet” for breakfast every morning. They loved it and I thought it was pretty good too. However, I did not do this when they were big enough to understand what I was doing; they were about one year old when I started and three or four when I stopped watching them. I never “lied” to them, when they got big enough to watch and help they did so they knew what was going into their omelet, but by the time they knew they already liked it.

    With my own children the policy was the food had to be tasted first, form an opinion, and then they were told what it was. That way they did not have a preconceived idea of how it would taste. I don’t understand why someone with a child that already is willing to eat carrots in his food would want to puree vegetables first.

  8. Thanks, Jill, for your comment. That’s exactly my challenge, too — pleasing (or attempting to please) everyone in the family. My son will eat the veggies, but my daughter…

  9. Thanks, mommynotes!
    I know what you mean about various vegetables impacting the food differently. For example, DH sure didn’t like the cauliflower in the banana bread!
    Thanks for commenting.

  10. Thanks for commenting, Susie.

    I like your idea (and agree) that it’s best to hide the veggies when the children are younger, and then, as they grow, explain your methods. Also, with respect to your own kids & having them taste the food first, I often do that, too.

    Here’s why I tried the pureeing experiment when my son already eats carrots: my son eats them but my daughter almost never does. So, I wanted to make one meal that incorporated the veggies. I was hoping
    they would both enjoy the dish. I just haven’t had much luck.

    Thanks, again, for sharing your thoughts.

  11. christina

    I guess the book actually worked if your son was willing to eat brussel sprouts after tasting the recipie you made from the book…a little reverse psychology goes a long way!

  12. Mandy

    I have the cookbook and I use it religiously!!!!!
    My daughter loves that I can put a couple of Avacadoes in her chocolate brownies and she can’t taste it. I have made almost every recipe in the cookbook, and I have not really been disapointed with any of them, Honestly!! Even the califlower in the Macaroni and cheese was a hit, and my daughter requests her “Pink Pancakes” made with beets all the time! I am thankful for Jessica and her inquisitiveness in cooking healthy for her kids, because of her, my daughter eats her veggies!!!