The Cleaner Plate Club

cleaner-plate-club.jpgToday, Kate shares a recommendation to help cope with picky eating:

Like many parents, I periodically wind up locked in conflict with my 5-year-old about whether or not she will eat the food I put in front of her. I know this is a poor parenting strategy, but also know that there were few things I hated more as a child than being made to sit at the table until I swallowed down whatever despised leafy green my parents insisted upon. To this day I have a limited vegetable repertoire, and wonder how much of this dates to my early, agonized relationship with said leafy greens. Dealing with picky eating is particularly frustrating given my sense of responsibility to help my daughter learn how to eat well, and the irksome knowledge that if I cave, she will contentedly eat potato chips until there's nothing left but the greasy, salty bag. What's a parent to do?
Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin have waded, with great success, into this difficult and all-too-common dynamic with the recent publication of The Cleaner Plate Club: Raising Healthy Eaters One Meal at a Time. The book is a cookbook, with many easy-to-handle recipes that claim to help kids develop their palates without frightening them away from new flavors, but also a good how-to manual for the parent stressed by how to deal with the picky-eater/non-eater/junk food-eater. The book also contains lots of helpful information -- generally presented in a non-preachy way -- about nutrition and the food industry and the value of farmers' markets and the difference between whole foods and processed foods. And while I've just begun to explore the recipes, my early efforts with the fish curry (page 221) suggest that I will have a long and happy relationship with The Cleaner Plate Club. Whether your kid eats everything or nothing, this book will have something for you.