The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time
By Laurie David, Kirstin Uhrenholdt
Grand Central Life & Style (November 3, 2010)
English, 256 pgs.
The producer of An Inconvenient Truth, Laurie David's new mission is to help America's overwhelmed families sit down to a Family Dinner, and she provides all the reasons, recipes and fun tools to do so.
Laurie David speaks from her own experience confronting the challenges of raising two teenage girls. Today's parents have lots to deal with and technology is making their job harder than ever. Research has proven that everything we worry about as parents--from drugs to alcohol, promiscuity, to obesity, academic achievement and just good old nutrition--can all be improved by the simple act of eating and talking together around the table.
Laurie has written a practical, inspirational, fun (and, of course, green) guide to the most important hour in any parent's day. Chock-full chapters include: Over seventy-five kid approved fantastic recipes; tips on teaching green values; conversation starters; games to play to help even the shyest family member become engaged; ways to express gratitude; the family dinner after divorce (hint: keep eating together) and much more. Filled with moving memories and advice from the country's experts and teachers, this book will get everyone away from electronic screens and back to the dinner table.
I have mixed feelings about this book. We're not to the stage yet where it's seen as an option to not eat at the table together. My sons aren't in sports or school yet (one isn't even out of the highchair yet!) so we're not facing the "time crunch" that she discusses.
I do think it's asking a lot of a mom who works either in or out of the home to "set the table" every night. There are good manners tips (oh, we need some with a 4 year old...) and there is a really great pantry stocking section.
There are tips for quick meals and how kids can help with the cooking. I think a lot of the recipes sound good, but almost all of them have at least one thing in them I have to avoid because of an allergy! Bummer! I am looking forward to the NoodlePanPie though...kinda like a pie with spaghetti as the "crust". I'll have to take that idea and adapt it to our family though!
It seemed strange to me when I got to the "green" chapter and the "divorce" chapter. Those just seemed strange to me to be included.
The little tid-bits from famous people were cool to read. The games and conversation starters were interesting too.
Thanks to Anna at Hachette, I'm able to give away a copy of this book to one of my readers!
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