Missy Lapine, author of the New York Times Bestselling cookbook The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals (Running Press, March 2007), is here with us today to talk about her background, her book, and tips to help moms-on-the-go.
Missy has her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Colgate University. She is the former publisher of Eating Well Magazine and the founder of a natural baby bath line called BabySpa.
ME: What sparked your interest in creating The Sneaky Chef?
MISSY: My second child had all kinds of food allergies and an ultra-sensitive gag reflex. The book really stemmed from answering a parent’s need – my own.
ME: How old are your kids and how were they involved in the writing of your book?
MISSY: I have two daughters, ages 7 and 9. Sometimes I don’t tell them all of the ingredients that I put in their food, but they’re also in on a lot of the recipes. They cook with me often and I keep them involved as much as humanly possible. My whole job is working from my kitchen at home. I grew up without a mother at home so I wanted to design a life for myself where I could stay at home with my kids. They come first.
ME: But you also teach at the Culinary Center of New York, right?
MISSY: Yes, it’s important to stay in touch with people, to be in touch with the real world, and to hear real-life, every-day concerns. That said, I work mostly out of my home. Everything is done with a laptop and stove.
ME: What healthy snacks do you recommend for moms to eat (and feed their children) on-the-run?
MISSY: The best thing is to spend a little extra time to make something from scratch and then freeze it. For example, we make Breakfast Bars and then freeze them. We eat them frozen because they’re so yummy and crunchy. It’s important to invest a little time every week to make homemade purees. The biggest detriment to eating healthy is time.
ME: What is the Sneaky Chef website like and what can readers do there?
MISSY: My website is actually being revamped right now and it is going to be very interactive. By April 1st, I will have free recipes and a blog where parents can speak to me and to each other. I answer every single blog post personally. I’m very involved with my readers.
ME: When is your next book coming out?
MISSY: My second book, The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen), will come out on April 1st.
Readers: The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals features over 75 recipes. Essentially, you create fruit, vegetable, and bean based purees and then “sneak” them into macaroni cheese, cupcakes, spaghetti, and other kid-friendly foods. You can check out a sampling of free recipes on the Sneaky Chef website.
WIN IT! One mama will win “The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals” by Missy Chase Lapine. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post prior to Saturday, Mar. 22, at midnight (don’t forget to follow the rules). The winner will be announced and contacted on Sunday, Mar. 23. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATE * The winner is #7 Miss Erica. Congratulations!