Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jessica Seinfeld sticks things in your food without telling you....

So Jessica Seinfeld wrote a book, "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food."
I'm assuming she wrote the book herself as "Jessica Seinfeld with [INSERT NAME HERE]" does not appear on the cover. She worked with a nutritionist (Joy Bauer who seems like she's BFF with Jessica) and a professional chef on most of the content of the book. I feel like Jessica's contribution is probably limited to writing a few intros and providing some family photos and personal anecdotes and then BAM - instant author.

I think the idea behind the book is great in theory and probably in practice (I haven't read the book yet or tried out any recipes but yes, I am fit to comment on it). Basically, Jessica sticks vegetable puree into classic recipes so that children who refuse to eat vegetables get their nutrients and vitamins. Some of the purees make perfect sense (sweet potato puree in pancake batter) and others are very interesting and somewhat unique (spinach puree in cookies, avocado puree in chocolate pudding).

However, I do have a few potential issues with the book and maybe Jessica Seinfeld. Jessica commented today that she also puts raw and more obvious vegetables alongside these dishes to show her children that vegetables are an important part of their lives and diet. This is very good and I was glad to hear that. But uh Jessica what if your kids still refuse to eat these vegetables? Do you just go "oh well I put them there, they know vegetables are a part of the food pyramid. It doesn't matter if they don't eat them because I've snuck the veggies in their food anyway! Ha!). She also mentioned on the "Today Show" that her kids think that her tofu nuggets are actually fried cheese. From this story, it sounds like her kids are truly being deceived. They are eating vegetables and enjoying it and not even being told! Wouldn't it be a better policy to tell the Seinfeld children that they are eating mac and cheese and then when they say, "ooh I love this mac and cheese, it's so yummy" (or however kids talk talk these days), you can say, "you know there is cauliflower in that mac and cheese" and then the children will realize that they do enjoy the taste of vegetables and may be more open to eating all different forms of vegetables in the future. By giving kids essential nutrients for their body but letting them believe they hate vegetables and don't eat them, you are, in a way, poisoning their minds! Well that is over dramatic, but you get the point. In my opinion as a women who does not have any children, kid's minds can be pretty simple. If something tastes good they will eat it. Even if something doesn't taste good, kids will eat it (aka any child that has ever eaten paste). If a child truly enjoyed a particular dish and then found out it contained vegetables, it would be safe to assume that they would continue to eat the dish even after the big reveal. This might encourage children to try more vegetables in the future and therefore promote healthy food choices for life. We don't want a bunch of fat 18 year old college students wondering why they don't feel as good ever since they moved away from home and stopped eating their mother's "fried cheese".

Another thing I am pondering is how much did Jessica Seinfeld really contribute to the book? Was it her idea to puree vegetables and then she just introduced the professional chef to the nutrionist and just let them have at it? Does Jessica even cook for her children? Or does she just dictate to her chef what she wants to eat that day?

What I really want to see is a book by Jessica Seinfeld talking about how she landed Jerry Seinfeld. She can call it "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Getting a Rich, Eligible Bachelor to Propose." I'm sure some deception was involved as she was married to Eric Nederlander when she first met Jerry at the gym and they began their courtship. I think they are well matched actually. She's a smart, attractive, articulate Jewish woman who is obviously very cultured and professional. She's attractive enough that everyone can agree that she's attractive. But she's not so hot that people think she's a bimbo just out for your money. She's an ideal wife type. But women like that also always strike me as being really hungry - hungry for the best deal, always hunting for the next best thing. Jessica gets to run philantropic organizations and plan black tie charity events and is always rubbing elbows with celebs in the Hamptons. Which leads me to another issue with the book which I will call "The Anderson Cooper Effect".

The Seinfelds are famous. People love them. They have a lot of famous friends. And these famous friends lend support when you publish a book. But sometimes you have to wonder about the relevance of this support. Below are three highlights of reviews for the book:

--Anderson Cooper, CNN Anchor, Anderson Cooper 360 and best-selling author of DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: A memoir of War, Disasters and Survival. "Deceptively Delicious is a book anyone wanting easy, healthy meals will find indispensable. Page after page, you'll find yourself saying, "what a great idea!"

Really? Anderson Cooper? What is the relevance of his reviewing a cookbook for children? Does he also hate vegetables? Does he give the cookbook to his latin lover and tell him to prepare healthy dinners but lie about the vegetables pureed inside?

-Sarah Jessica Parker, Mother"It's not just a cookbook, it's a manual. For everyday. And what a clever and inventive way to change mealtime discourse. Oh what joy."

Funny, I thought SJP was both a mother and an actress. Well I can't say anything bad about this one. I am a woman who watched SATC and therefore, I love SJP. I even forgive you for Bitten.

-Kelly Ripa, actress, co-host, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Mother "Jessica Seinfeld is genius. She puts practical advice, delicious and easy recipes together in such a creative way! Somehow she makes good nutrition taste delicious. "

I actually like Kelly Ripa too. I watched her on "All My Children" and we go way back to when I was in elementary school. However, should we just be throwing around terms like "genius" so casually? I understand that you think Tide to Go is "magic" too but let's pull it together Ripa.

--Alexandra Wentworth - Actress, Writer, and Mother "She incorporates genius recipes with whimsical quotes from her kids and other moms and the photographs are practically edible. This is my Bible. "

So let me get this straight. We can call Alexandra Wentworth an actress but not SJP? Don't get me wrong, Alexandra was great as "herself" on "The View," "Politically Incorrect,"and "Living It Up! With Ali and Jack" but I think her 2 day episode stint on "Felicity" should not qualify as acting cred. Also, does George Stephanopoulous know his wife is godless and follows the cult of puree piety?

This blog is dedicated to my sister Janet who basically decreed I comment on this book. Apparently, I now take blog subject matter requests.


Julina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julina said...

Rachael Ray actually made a comment about how kids have a simple mind the other day. She was echoing what you said. I'm not sure how you feel about her, and thus the news that you have similar thoughts on the topic.

Lisa XX said...

I like what Rachel Ray represents but I dislike her cutesy attitude and her catch phrases (YUM-O and EVOO). I do, however, own one of her cookbooks and generally don't have a problem with her. I think it's a positive thing that she has managed to be so successful with such minimal gifts and training.

Julina said...

oh dear.