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The Sneaky Chef    by Missy Chase Lapine order for
Sneaky Chef
by Missy Chase Lapine
Order:  USA  Can
Running Press, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

If your child won't so much as look at a vegetable, or if his favorite fruit is apple pie, then this is the book for you. The author is a mother who had tried to get her children to adopt her healthy eating habits, but to no avail. So, she did what any loving mother would do: she resorted to sneaking healthy foods into her children's meals.

The first few chapters of the book contain general nutritional information and the effects of deficiencies in children's diets. Lapine then explores multiple methods for hiding healthy foods. For example, she suggests substituting nutritious liquid for water when boiling foods, such as using pomegranate juice when making Jell-o or using vegetable broth when cooking pasta. Another method is to combine whole-wheat flour with refined white flour so as to make the small changes undetectable to a picky palate.

The latter part of the book features a myriad of recipes with sneaky purees and add-ins. For example, there is a recipe for chocolate chip pancakes containing a flour blend and purple puree, which consists of spinach, blueberries, lemon juice and water. Green puree (a combination of spinach, broccoli, peas, lemon juice and water) is the secret ingredient in magic meatballs. Other sneaky tips are sprinkled throughout the book as sidebars.

The book is well-constructed and easy to read. Most parents will want to jump right to the recipes, which are plentiful, creative, and hopefully, will help create healthy eating habits in otherwise picky eaters.

Listen to a podcast interview with the author at

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