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Published on January 25th, 2011 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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The Cleaner Plate Club: How to Get Your Kids to Eat… and Like… their Vegetables


Update: We have  a winner… Marie Hemming of La Jolla, California won the copy of The Cleaner Plate Club in our drawing… and hope she’ll let us know which recipe went over best with the family (especially the pickiest eater on the planet)!

Deal with “Ewww, I don’t like that” a lot at the dinner table? Feel pressed for time between all the other activities that fill your day, and  just want meals to be quick and convenient? Yep, we’ve all been there… but we also want our kids to eat well. Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin‘s The Cleaner Plate Club: Raising Healthy Eaters One Meal at a Time (affiliate link) addresses those battles with warmth, support, and empathy.

As busy moms themselves, they understand the battles that parents often have to fight regarding food, and provide practical tips and tactics for not just winning those battles, but eliminating them… at least sometimes. As advocates for sustainable food, they demonstrate how they’ve made their concerns about mass produced food central to their meal planning, and how they’ve succeeded in not only getting their kids to eat their vegetables, but also in buying fresh, local, and often organic foods which they feel good about feeding to their families.

Think you might like The Cleaner Plate Club? Then Enter to Win a Copy

Yes, we’ve got a copy of The Cleaner Plate Club to give away… and it’s easy to enter. Just leave a comment on this post. We’d love to hear how you’ve succeeded in getting your kids to eat better, or how you’ve managed to introduce more local, fresh and seasonal produce into your family’s diet… or the challenges you still face with these issues. Get you comment in by midnight Central Standard Time on Tuesday, February 1st to enter…

Looking for other ideas for home cooking with sustainable ingredients? We’ve got a whole host of cookbooks listed… as well as organic staple ingredientsgrains, herbs, oils, and more — that  you’ll want to keep on hand.



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



3 Responses to The Cleaner Plate Club: How to Get Your Kids to Eat… and Like… their Vegetables

  1. Christine says:

    My eldest daughter has never relished vegetables. Thankfully, two things have helped to change that: 1. making green smoothies and 2. growing our garden. She will eat just about any vegetable now, as long as I throw it in the Vita Mix. That way, I can make a healthy smoothie or a fresh from the garden soup! Since we have started gardening, a few years ago, she will also eat anything we grow ourselves. These are two major steps in the right direction for her health, and her siblings learn a lot from her.

  2. Bobby says:

    To preface, please don’t enter me in the contest. And now to my comment:

    I stumbled upon an article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-1349960/5-day-fruit-vegetables-myth-claims-nutrition-expert.html?ito=feeds-newsxml) earlier this week and found this quote quite interesting:

    “You might assume our five-a-day” (fruit & veg) “­fixation is based on firm evidence. But you’d be wrong.

    It started as a marketing campaign dreamt up by around 20 fruit and veg ­companies and the U.S. National Cancer Institute at a meeting in California in 1991. And it’s been remarkably successful.

    People in 25 countries, across three continents, have been urged to eat more greens, and have done so in their millions, believing it was good for them.

    No doubt it was set up with the best intentions — to improve the health of the nation and reduce the incidence of cancer. But there was no evidence that it was doing us any good at all.”

    How many times do I have to say, “Follow the money?” The rest of the article covers what vitamins and minerals the human body actually needs to perform its best, and highlights some of the best foods in which to find them (don’t tell Justin but the author doesn’t recommend vegan). It is strange that the recommended diets from the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s and 2000′s have only increased the levels of obesity and unhealthiness in all of the first world countries.

  3. Marie Hemming says:

    I use my blender. That’s how I get healthy foods into my kids. I make smoothies with yogurt and fresh or frozen berries and bananas. I’ll sneak in a little bit of ground flax seed and local honey as well. For sauces, I’ll blend in some fresh greens and carrots with tomatoe sauces and smooth soups. My kids will eat “smoothie soups”, i.e. cauliflower soup, brocoli soup, sorrel soup. I also add fresh herbs to the mix since those fresh green herbs pack a lot of vitamins. My pickiest kid now requests my homemade tomatillo sauce (rather than canned) which is loaded with fresh cilantro. Our local farmers’ market carries a pureed garlic which I put a teaspoon of fresh into almost all my savoury dishes just before serving since it’s best fresh. It is packed with great nutrition. If I didn’t have the fresh pureed garlic I’d add a clove to the blender. I don’t own a ‘vitamix’, but it is on my list of products I’d love to have. A friend has one and uses it to grind up nuts with a bit of water, honey and vanilla to make a delicious nutty whipped cream. Without the honey and vanilla it makes a great savoury sauce base. For what it’s worth, those are my suggestions for picky eaters and I think I have one of the pickiest eaters on the planet in my family!

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