The Cleaner Plate Club: More Than 100 Recipes for Real Food Your Kids Will Love is thankfully written for Real Parents, meaning we who want the best for our families, but who are very, very tired. We just can’t summon the time and energy to figure out how to provide wholesome, organic, balanced meals every single day. Well, maybe wecan’t, but authors Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin can and do with this massive yet peppy manual. First, we learn the basics about children’s health and “food preferences” (which can explain the cult of mac and cheese) and how to shop efficiently. Oodles of veggies are introduced—each accompanied by at least one kid-friendly recipe. Then we go to recipes for main meals that can fit the parameters at hand (what’s in the fridge, how much time do I have, can I make it in advance?), followed by snacks and sweets, with the revelation that both can actually contribute to our kids’ health rather than make them fat, sick, hyper or crabby. This book is jammed with info: guidelines, pantry lists, meal-planning techniques and time-savers—yet the energetic authors make it feel as fresh as our next family dinner can be, with their plate-cleaning help.
Reviewed by Joanna Brichetto, Book Page
If you think that cookbooks geared towards children are all about “kid friendly” (and mostly nutritionally devoid) foods like chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes, you’re clearly not reading the same cookbooks as I am. Authors and bloggers Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin both believe that having children should not automatically necessitate cooking one meal for the adults and a separate meal for the little ones. And their book, The Cleaner Plate Club, proves that they know what they’re talking about.This gem of a cookbook covers all the bases. Getting to know your vegetables. Quick breakfast and lunch ideas. Healthy dinners featuring all kinds of meats, and a superb selection of meatless meals. And packed in between are pictures, fun little anecdotes about the author’s own kids, pertinent quotations and facts, and even educational blurbs covering topics from eating organically to the author’s own version of the “anti-diet:”
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