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Host a Healthy Cooking Night

byMissy

From: Marissa

Missy — thanks for all your insight!!!  How would I get
permission to host a "learn how to cook healthy" night at my son’s
grade school?  We would love to use your recipes and knowledge to
improve on the eating habits of our children.

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Ask The Sneaky Chef

Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital: Wow.

byMissy

"Yesterday was truly incredible–a once in a lifetime kind of feeling. I went to my first meeting as a member of the Children’s Advisory Council of Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian and I was completely blown away. There are about 30 people on the committee and every one of them is a champion of kids healthcare in America. Not only did each person have expertise that children’s health care vitally needs, but it was plainly evident that their hearts were in it even more so.
 
Present in the group were an array of experts, from industry leaders to the parents of sick children who had been treated at the hospital. All were visionary professionals with open hearts and a clear passion for helping children. I was particularly inspired by two parents in particular who had recognized the needs that siblings of pediatric patients have, and so they pioneered a sibling support program which has become a model for hospitals nationwide. The hospital administration recognized the value of this program and their state-of-the-art newly remodeled hospital is built to be sibling and family supportive, recognizing the crucial role that family members play in the healing process. They even created sleeping areas and facilities for family members who have to spend extended time near their sick children, brothers and sisters.  What this hospital has done is truly inspirational.  
 
This kind of innovative and forward thinking attitude is I why I chose to work with Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in the first place (read the November, 2007, press release here). Although I knew that they were rated among the top 10 of children’s hospitals in the nation, it was the responsiveness of the people that I was dealing with that was so fantastic. I thought I was approaching a huge institution with the idea of revamping menu items to sneakily improve their nutritional value, without sparking any resistance from the children. But in reality, I was dealing with highly responsive individuals, rather than a bureaucracy, who not only recognized the value of my proposal, but implemented it with such speed and agility that you’d think I was dealing with a kitchen and hospital staff that served dozens of meals each day, not thousands. Their responsiveness has prompted me to now refer to them as "the barge that turned on a dime." That such a large institution could deliver this program to its patients from start to finish in so few months is nothing short of amazing.
 
I’ll never forget the day I attended the opening event, marking the first "official" Sneaky Chef meals being served to patients. I was standing next to a little girl who was enjoying some sneakily enhanced mac ‘n cheese that the hospital kitchen had prepared. I could see that she was enjoying it like any other bowl of pasta, but I had a deeper sense of satisfaction as well, knowing that she was getting the nutrition of hidden vegetables, not just pasta and cheese sauce. I smiled silently to myself, knowing that I had done a good deed without her even being aware of it (I feel that’s the best kind) and asked her why she was there. She said that was waiting for a new heart. Believe me, it was all I could do to hold it together in the moment.  And in retelling this story, I am suddenly finding it hard to see my screen clearly…  
 
… I have gotten to know many of the staff even more intimately in recent months, as I chose to take my seven year old daughter, Sammy, there when she broke two bones in her arm while sledding. The hospital is known to have the best orthopedic surgeons in the country, and now can see why. Their level of care, commitment and expertise is world class. They are willing to go to great lengths to bring comfort and healing to their patients.  There are clowns in the hallways, walls dedicated to characters from favorite children’s books, balloons, magicians… This is a hospital that doesn’t feel like a hospital, and the children love and respond to it. If it weren’t a hospital, it would be a great place for the family to hang out!
 
The members of the Children’s Advisory Council have seen to it that this hospital heals on every available level. It was so inspiring for me to be among this group of dedicated top notch professionals volunteering their time, working silently behind the scenes, to improve the quality of children’s health care in America. I am completely honored to be counted among them, and I am truly excited about the impact that we will make together in improving children’s nutrition.
 

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The Sneaky Chef

Sneak into any recipe?

byMissy

Missy: I picked up your book from the library and am really
interested both my daughter and husband do not eat veggies, my
question is…can I use my meatloaf receipe and add sneaky
ingredients…could I do this with all my receipes?
 
–Teresa D.
 
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PEACE AT THE (PICNIC) TABLE

byMissy

This past week my two daughters were at home on Spring Vacation. The weather wasn’t so great, so one day my husband Rick and I decided to take them on a picnic–right here in our living room. Talk about instant excitement! We spread out our picnic blanket and decked it with paper plates, Sneaky Chef favorites, and a bowl of crunchy carrots, celery and dip. Everyone clambered onto the now limited blanket space including Princess, our stout retriever. Before I knew it, my youngest had rocked on her back in a burst of giggles as "Prinny" persistently wriggled toward her plate of goodies. Then she rocked back up, and PLOP! one cute but way too dirty foot went straight into the bowl of baked beans! Only my daughter Sammy could end up with her foot in a bowl of baked beans : )

Food can be fun together, and eating can be one of the most relaxing things we do as a family. When I don’t have to worry about whether or not my daughters are getting their quota of nutrients, or nag my husband to eat smart, I’m free to focus more on just having fun. I encourage everyone to boost your family favorites the Sneaky Chef way. Or if you have a favorite I haven’t yet "sneakified" in my two books, let me know and I’ll get straight to work so that you can enjoy more at the table, too!

With healthiest regards,

Missy

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Uncategorized

My oldest daughter Emmy just turned ten this week

byMissy

My oldest daughter Emmy just turned ten this week and I think the double digits are making me see her in a whole new light. For so many years she was my adorable baby and little girl. Now she is a real "tween," with definite tastes about fashion, music, and even food! As much as she is her own person, I have to smile when I think of how the Sneaky Chef techniques in my kitchen have shaped her palate.  Emmy loves the dishes I serve. Her taste buds seem to have settled into appreciating good food that’s good for her, heaping her plate with veggies every night.

Little Sammy, my eight year old, is another story: she’s just as happy eating Chinese noodles as the rest of us, but the fork would come to a screeching halt if she found out there’s actually 3 hidden veggies in our family favorite.

I think it’s important to keep in mind that my recipes benefit everyone, whether they love eating fruits and veggies straight up, or do best not knowing they’re in there. In every delicious recipe I’ve created, I sneak in powerful foods so that our kids, our men and even ourselves feel better than ever before-no matter what we’ve all been eating.

Emmy says the Sneaky Chef is the smartest, best food around (she knows what’s in it). Sammy says it’s the yummiest (she doesn’t know ; ). Ask your kids and your men what they think – I’m always extremely interested to know.

With healthiest regards,

Missy

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The Sneaky Chef

Grab n’ Go Granola Bars

byMissy

Hi! My husband and twin boys love the grab and go granola bars. I was wondering if you had the nutritional information listed somewhere? I didn’t see it in the book- which by the way I have absolutely loved using! Thanks for your help Kathy

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Ask The Sneaky Chef

Prefer purees over whole veggies

byMissy

First I have to say I love your cookbook!!!  I love how your puree’s are a blend of veggies.  I made my first sneaky dinner last night and it was delish!  I am not a big veggie eater but it helps me by having purees in the meal instead of whole veggies.

I just needed to find out how to figure out the caloric value and break down..my husband and I need to watch our calorie intake.

Thank you for the cookbooks!

Jeanine A.

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