It seems to me eating practical and necessary food, like fruits and vegetables, and eating more of them than bread and meat is one of the most difficult habits to absorb into our children’s daily meal routine. And there’s plenty of advice to getting your child to eat more of these healthy foods.

Jessica Seinfeld, author of Deceptively Delicious, makes an attempt. She winkingly suggests putting carrots and spinach into your brownie mix. Now the brownies on the front cover of her book are brown. But when I pulled mine out of the oven, there’s no tasting any, “Ewwww, Mama, this looks like seaweed. What’s in here?”

If honesty is a family value, then deceptively disguising healthy food as dessert won’t work. I tell my daughters, “It’s spinach. This lady said kids like it. You’re a kid. You’re supposed to like it! I shelled out some twenties and ones to buy this book, so I could learn how to deceive you into eating spinach!”

Some 10 cookbooks later and hours in the kitchen with them, I’ve since learned to let my oldest cook her favorite recipes and my youngest add or subtract from the recipes we select. She will drink or eat what she prepares even if I can’t stand the flavor. Her experiment today, however, with a one-tomato-with-frozen-fruit-and-orange-juice smoothie recipe made her scrowl. The tomato didn’t go well with the orange juice. “Let’s try soy milk next time.”