“I don’t like that. I don’t want that. Why do I have to eat that?” Chris is 5 now and as a mom of one I often times have no clue what to give him for breakfast, put in his lunch box, or prepare for dinner. If it isn’t some form of bread, tea, or fried finger food he wants no part of it and forget about vegetables all together. He spent most of Thanksgiving in a debate with grandpa insisting that he could not get him to eat a “carrot”! If you are a mom desperately looking for new ways to get your kids to eat foods that taste good and are actually good for them, I am sure that you can relate. When it comes to feeding picky toddlers we could all use a little help, which is why I agreed to review (just for you) the Speedy Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine, created to help on-the-go families learn how to use store-bought convenience foods to their advantage.
First and foremost I love the books concept because as a work at home mom managing the business and my boy can be a big challenge. While I do enjoy those times when we can cook together in the kitchen, I really need convenient recipes that I can do quickly and that Chris will actually enjoy. On first read I was particularly interested in the 20 minute or less dishes like the “Make-‘Em’-in-Minutes Mini Muffins” (16 minutes) and the “Swift Shrimp Teriyaki Kebobs” (8 minutes). Like most toddlers Chris loves finger foods like muffins and he also has a taste for seafood (sushi, fish sticks, and shrimp). Starting with those foods he enjoys, I was pleased to see that Missy had quite a few options for us to choose from and all her recipes include sneaky way to add in vegetables and other healthy ingredients that we want our kids to eat without them knowing.
I also liked that at the very beginning of the book Missy shares “Sneaky and Snappy Staples to Keep in the Kitchen.” I often times feel like I am out of options when it comes to feeding my picky toddler, so it’s nice to know that I can turn to the Sneaky Speedy Chef for recommendations. Divided into easy to follow categories I went through the Sneaky Chef Cheat Sheet making note of items I regularly purchase like bananas, salsa, cornmeal, whole wheat bread, and fish fillets. Then I looked for possible add ons we all would enjoy like avocados, whole wheat flour, hummus, whole wheat pita bread and the list goes on.
Many of her recipes also include the reasons why it is good to eat certain types of foods as well as health facts we all need to know. For example, did you know that fiber keeps kids regular and fills them up? Like many toddler boys today Chris unfortunately suffers from constipation and irregularity because of his picky eating habits. As per the advice of his pediatrician we regularly give him Miralax to help with this issue, but would really prefer to get him to enjoy eating healthier high in fiber foods. The Speedy Sneaky Chef just might be the kind of handy guide I’ve been looking for to provide us with more options to choose from.
Missy Chase Lapine really knows her stuff. She the mother of two daughters, a member of Parenting Magazine’s team of experts the “Mom Squad” and the former publisher of Eating Well magazine. Make it fast, make it kid-friendly, make it healthy, make it easy, make it fun, and make it affordable! Am I asking for too much, yes! As moms we all want nothing but the best and I think Missy’s book delivers.
Find Missy at www.thesneakychef.com and pick up a copy of the Sneaky Chef series of books including The Speedy Sneaky Chef: Quick, Healthy Fixes for Your Family’s Favorite Packaged Foods. As a new Kindle owner I am also pleased to point on that for busy moms who want to try this book right now you can download a copy directly from Amazon right onto your Kindle!
Related Resources: Raising Good Chefs – Not just good cooks! (raisingchefs.com) parenting food blog featured in my eGuide Black Women Online (bwo.sistasense.com) including parenting websites, foodie blogs, relationship resources and more.