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Save the Cupcake!

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I think everyone was in agreement that the school cafeteria needed to go on a diet. But banning cupcakes is tantamount to outlawing one of the last remaining bits of childhood that kids today have left. Merry-go-rounds, walking to school, trick-or-treating, and simply playing outside are now nearly things of the past. OK, so the cupcake crisis is not exactly up there with global warming. But it is, nonetheless, important to our national heritage (and to our fundraisers), and it doesn’t take a think tank to solve the problem. It’s apparent that the only way we’re going to have our cupcake and eat it, too, is to build a better one. Americans do it all the time. It’s our nature. Ban it? Why, when we can just improve it. To be successful, it must be indistinguishable in flavor and texture from the original. Can it be done? It already has been done by hundreds of thousands of parents across America who have risen up (ahem…) and have overcome the cupcake crisis by simply adding a few healthy, and sneaky, ingredients. As a “sneaky chef,” I discovered that because kids love them so much, cupcakes are the perfect “carrier” to deliver valuable hidden nutrition. How? By simply adding a few hidden ingredients. And what school nutritionist could object to a cupcake invisibly enhanced with pureed blueberries, spinach and whole wheat pastry flour, and with only half the fat and sugar? With this simple solution–call it a “nutritional compromise”–our kids can enjoy a time honored tradition, and we can relax in the knowledge that they are also getting some much needed nutrition. Parents, we must unite to save the cupcake, and the bake sale, as one of the last vestiges of childhood innocence and American nostalgia. By adding some sneaky nutrition, we can get cupcakes taken off the endangered species list and back into happy tummies. Let’s start baking again for fundraisers, and keep the fun in childhood and the specialness in birthdays. It’s time to let ‘em know there’s a new cupcake in town! Missy Chase Lapine is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals.

The School Cafeteria, On a Diet

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By ANDREW MARTIN Published: September 5, 2007 As students return to school this week, some are finding unusual entries on the list of class rules: fewer fried foods, smaller servings and no cupcakes. School districts across the country have been taking steps to make food in schools healthier because of new federal guidelines and awareness that a growing number of children are overweight. To read the whole article, go to:

Hi Everyone,

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I just HAD to comment on this article I just saw at the following link: The title is: FOOD ADS CONTRIBUTING TO CHILD OBESITY EPIDEMIC. As if we didn’t know… But it is an interesting read. This particular article starts off with, “Half of all the advertising time on children’s television shows is devoted to food, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study of food advertising aimed at kids. And what do the commercials pitch? Candy, cereal, fast-food and other restaurants, soda and other sweetened drinks.” It’s time to level the playing field and start feeding our kids real food again. And if they won’t take it straight up, well I have just the remedy for that!

The Sneaky Chef is available at fine booksellers everywhere: