NYT bestselling author, The Sneaky Chef; Her latest, The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue, Running Press 2009
Former publisher, Eating Well magazine
Founder, natural baby product line, BabySpa
Cooking instructor at NY’s finest culinary schools
Serves on Children’s Advisory Council of Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian where Sneaky Chef recipes are served to patients
Has appreared on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, etc.,
Has been featured in numerous magazines, Parenting, SELF, Family Fun, etc.
Missy Chase Lapine: Sneaky Chef to the Rescue
The 700 Club
When Missy’s daughter, Emily, became persnickety about her food, Missy started to create recipes where she would sneak nutrients in her daughter’s meals. Missy noticed that other parents had similar meal-time showdowns: some kids didn’t like their foods to touch on the plates; others only ate foods of a certain color (one child she knew didn’t eat anything that wasn’t white!). Others might not eat a cookie if it was broken or damaged. So anything that was considered “good for you” was on the “no-way, no-how” list of foods.
Among Missy and her friends, having picky eaters was just one more challenge of parenting, much like putting them to bed at night without complaints or getting them dressed for school. One thing that was common for all the parents though was the fact that they were all bothered by the fact that their kids weren’t getting the proper nutrition.
Some parents say things like, “just make them eat.” “Many of us have the memory of sitting in front of a plate of peas until 9 o’clock at night because our parents made us eat them or sit there all night,” says Missy. She believes there is no real purpose in that . “The reason we want them to eat the peas is that they are good for our kids,” she says.
So getting kids to try healthier foods is tricky. Nutritionists say that you need to try a food 15 times in order to develop a taste for it. “We just don’t have that type of time anymore and we certainly don’t have the finances to keep throwing food away.”
Missy says you can’t be sneaky without having something to hide. While the ingredients in her recipes can fool even the pickiest eater, they pack a nutritious punch in every meal because they are made with what Missy calls the “world’s best superfoods,” like blueberries, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes, etc. Her 13 “make-ahead” recipes are the backbone of her recipes and include: Purple Puree: contains spinach and blueberries; Orange Puree: contains sweet potatoes and carrots; Green Puree: contains spinach, broccoli and peas; White Puree: contains cauliflower and zucchini; Lentil Puree; Strawberry Puree; Cherry Puree; Chickpea Puree; White Bean Puree; Flour Blend: which contains unbleached wheat flour, whole wheat flour and wheat germ, etc. Her classic Brainy Brownies, her number 1 recipe of all time, contain standard ingredients like chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla, sugar and flour. They also contain the Purple Puree and oat bran. Missy says no one – neither children nor adults – can detect the healthy ingredients or the missing sugar and fat.
When her daughter, Samantha, began developing a dislike for breakfast, Missy whipped up Breakfast Ice Cream in 2 minutes made with frozen fruits, yogurt and a food processor. Samantha still eats Breakfast Ice Cream every morning. “Work with the foods they love,” says Missy. “By forcing kids to eat healthy foods, you are setting yourself up for a battle,” she says. “It defeats the purpose of kids getting the nutrition they need and enjoying the food."
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