Mark Bittman, the food critic, now apparently has a blog on the New York Times. My mother just got me his new book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and though I haven't tried any of the recipes in it, they look absolutely fantastic--and also, not insanely complicated. The idea is simple, interesting combinations, rather than "start two days ahead and skin your leeks with a razor blade . . . ".

I came to it through this post on trying to disguise "healthy" foods for your children. Bittman, I think, is spoiled by having children who were relatively adventurous; my mother is a hell of a cook and a serious foodie, but my sister nonetheless refused to eat anything except roast chicken and pizza for years. She's still relatively conservative about food, and I suspect it's genetic.

But I agree with him that trying to disguise healthy foods as other things is stupid. Children will rarely let themselves starve, nor even go without vital nutrients, and disguising spinach as brownies sends the message that it's okay to eat nothing but brownies. I suspect that Bittman hits the nail on the head when he says "This does a real disservice to kids and — not that this is my bailiwick — is evidence that today’s parents will do anything to avoid a confrontation." When you work a full day and then start the second shift at home, who wants to spend that time screaming about eating your asparagus? (Sorry, Mom).

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