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The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Good food & family; two things that belong together!

    Part parenting guide, part cookbook, part therapy, the book helps parents "nourish and nurture" the family through regular shared meals. There is also a storyline that threads through the book, based on the lives of Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, founders of Dream Dinners.

    The book starts out explaining the benefits of a shared family meal. Healthier meals, real conversation, good company, laughter, stronger bonds; all outcomes of a family meal. Much of the book provides tips on how to have good table talk; starting a conversation with your kids, the importance of listening, how to curb conflict, how to share more laughter how to instill values and thankfulness. Throughout the book are easy and delicious recipes; Chicken Fajitas, Sloppy Joes, Garden Patch Soup, Mac & Cheese, Sausage and Potatoes and several more.

    Further inspiration is shared through quotes about families and parenting, and numerous short stories interspersed throughout the book. One of my favorites is the very first one:

    "Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." -Anthony Brandt

    If family and food are on your list of favorite things, buy this book! I think it would also make a great gift for a young family, just starting on their journey of family meals.

    Note: A free copy of this book was made available to me through the literary agent. In no other way was the content of this post influenced. The opinions listed here are entirely my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2011

    Quality book about Dinnertime

    I recently read "The Hour that Matters Most" by Les & Leslie Parrott with Stephanie Allen & Tin Kuna. I have read several books by the Parrotts and was excited to delve into what they considered the importance of dinnertime. Staggering statistics reveal that the idea of a family eating together at the dinner table on a regular basis is quickly becoming a dying concept.
    Recently married, I have been on both sides of this issue. Growing up, we always ate what was the quickest to prepare, frequently fast food, in front of the t.v. The only time I really remember eating at our dining table was when we had guests over or it was an important holiday, such as thanksgiving. When my husband and I married, we decided that we would not allow ourselves to become the typical American family today. We wanted to cherish our time together by having quality conversations and creating lasting memories with our children. We promised to always eat together at the table, except by rare occasions something special was occurring. We've loved it and really enjoyed it. With a young child, and another on the way, I've become less proficient though at creating wholesome, well-planned meals, which why I was very excited to read this book.
    One of the chapters is about freeze and fix-it meals, something I have long wanted to do with my family. It motivated and encouraged me to start planning meals ahead, so when things get crazy, my family isn't eating frozen prepacked meals made by a company, but rather something good I created.
    This book is great, although I defiantly think it would be better for someone with older kids. I felt as if I couldn't relate to many of the chapters because my daughter is so young: "cultivating deeper values," "how to listen so your kids talk," "curbing conflict at the table".
    Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, sub authors, own a prepare and freeze it company, "Dream Dinners" and I felt throughout some of the book their company was pushed forward a little too much. They did include some recipes in this book, but I think I would be more willing to share this book with others had there been more. Overall this is a great book for a working mom who is desiring to have home-cooked, nutritious meals but just needs a little motivation and encouragement.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Bring your family together for one hour a day.

    Before fast food ruled the world, people used to sit around the dinner table, leisurely eating home-cooked meals and enjoying good discussions, laughter, debate, and uninterrupted conversation. After all, there weren't many options. But that all changed beginning in the late 1950's when a few self-made men in Southern California defied conventional opinion and began setting up stands where people could buy food on the go. From their cars. Fast. It wasn't long before the fast-food industry transformed not only our diet but our landscape, economy, workforce, and culture. ~ excerpt from The Hour That Matters Most

    How often each week does your entire family gather around the table for a meal? When I was a full-time teacher, I asked this question during the first Parent-Teacher conference. The answer spoke volumes, providing information about the structure and schedule of that child's family. The authors discovered the impact that something as simple as sharing a meal together can have on a family. Reasearch shows that and hour each day around the dinner table can really bind a family together and help you raise happy healthy kids.

    The Hour The Matters Most by Les and Leslie Parrott with Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna was written to help families begin the habit of family meal time. It is also the inspiring story of two mothers who founded Dream Dinners, a business whose goal is to bring families together through easy meal preparation.

    This book's focus is not nutrition or healthy eating, although that is mentioned as a fruit of family dinners. Instead, the focus is giving you ideas, schedule and cooking plans, and recipes to bring your family together for one hours each day. Remember that this family meal does not have to be in the evening. If work schedules or activities prevent the family evening meal, why not make breakfast, or lunch, the family meal. The ideas in this book are very doable, easy to understand, and easily put into practice. Concluding each chapter, Stephanie and Tina share a delicious recipe. I am looking forward to making them for my family in the near future.

    This book includes ideas to:

    ?make the family table a safe place
    ?reasons to have family meals
    ?how to recover this lost art
    ?how to have great conversations
    ?how to really listen to your children
    ?ideas to curb conflict
    ?how to laugh during meals
    ?cultivation deeper values
    ?instilling gentle manners..by example
    ?counting blessings
    ?encouragement to begin a fix-and-freeze club in your area
    Do you need a little assistance and new ideas for family meal time? This book is for you. If you already have regular family meals, or need a jump-start, read this book to bring inspiration to your most important hour of the day. Your family will thank you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really good idea, a little basic

    I wanted to like The Hour that Matters Most a lot more than I did. That's not to say that it is a bad book, in fact it is most definitely not bad at all. The premise behind the book is excellent - that the dinner hour is the most valuable hour a family can spend together. Subjects range from talking to your children, instilling manners, and cultivating dinnertime wisdom. The authors talk about how the dinner table should be a safe place for your children, a respite from the world that they can come to each and every day. I really appreciated the psychology behind why eating as a family is so important, I have to say that I agreed with almost everything the authors said.

    Still, I feel like the authors fell a little short of the mark in the actual execution of the book. It basically reads like a magazine, with little tidbits here and there that gloss over issues but provide no real subject depth. At times it felt as if I were reading article after research, let's just say that cohesiveness is not this book's strong point. I was also disappointed with the scant recipes that were offered. For some reason I was left wanting more ideas of how to create meals that the family actually wants to sit down for. For some people the hardest part about family dinners are the meals themselves.

    The Hour that Matters Most does offer wonderful ideas for creating a happy family mealtime. I find it hard to fault a book that is trying to resurrect the long lost art of eating dinner as a family. If anything, this book does a great job convincing the reader that it absolutely does matter whether you sit down to eat with your children. I cam away convinced of the value of eating together and determined to continue this practice within my family. If you're interested in why this is so important, or just need a kick in the pants to get started, this book is for you.

    Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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