The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time

( 10 )

Overview

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, ...

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The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

According to research, sharing meals not only strengthens family bonds; it helps children become better adjusted, more articulate, and more intellectually curious. At a common dinner table family members eat more nutritional meals, are less prone to be overweight, and less likely to abuse alcohol, drugs, or each other. In The Family Dinner, celebrity author-activist Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt provide more than good reasons; this upbeat guide shares over 75 tasty recipes, games and tips on starting family conversations. A gift for the entire family.

Publishers Weekly
Film and TV producer David (An Inconvenient Truth) enlists more than 50 child-care experts, writers, celebrities, activists, musicians, and chefs--including Nora Ephron, Maya Angelou, Judge Judy, Michael Pollan, Sheryl Crow, and Alice Waters--in support of family mealtime rituals. Mother of two girls, David presents a grab bag of child-friendly ideas from her trial-and-error experiments before and after divorcing actor Larry David: creative table settings; quick weekday meals and leftovers; cooking with kids; table games; reading selections and discussion topics; and ways for divorced parents to establish food traditions. For the recipes, Uhrenholdt draws on her Danish heritage and global flavors. It may take effort to entice young children with artichokes and edamame, most will likely enjoy composting and gardening; while teens may balk at table games, David knows how to snag an audience with viable alternatives to enemies of health and togetherness (TV, computers, cellphones, factory farm–produced foods, soda, plastics, etc.). She tempers her earnest tone with whimsical flourishes (poetry, quotes) and nostalgic reminiscences from contributors. Parents willing to adjust busy schedules to raise healthy, conscious, and confident children will find David's ideas practical and enjoyable, her passion irresistible. (Nov.)
Tom Hanks
"If you can muster the energy for only one tool to raising a healthy family, make it having family dinner. This book will help you make those meals easy, fun, and of lasting impact."
Dr. Dean Ornish
"The Family Dinner is a great, fun cookbook, but it's so much more than that-- it's an empowering recipe for joy, health and healing."
Dr. Philip Landrigan
"I, like Laurie, truly believe in the sanctity of the evening meal and the health benefits of sitting down and eating together are the cherry on the top!"
From the Publisher
"The Family Dinner is a great, fun cookbook, but it's so much more than that-- it's an empowering recipe for joy, health and healing."—Dr. Dean Ornish

"If you can muster the energy for only one tool to raising a healthy family, make it having family dinner. This book will help you make those meals easy, fun, and of lasting impact."—Tom Hanks, Actor, Producer, Dad

"I, like Laurie, truly believe in the sanctity of the evening meal and the health benefits of sitting down and eating together are the cherry on the top!"—Dr. Philip Landrigan, Dean for global health, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Library Journal
David (producer of An Inconvenient Truth) here champions the family dinner as an oasis from the overprogrammed lives we lead. Chapters include "Kids in the Kitchen," "Table Talk," and "Two Homes, One Table: Family Dinner After Divorce." She intersperses quotations as well as short interviews throughout the book with various celebrities and chefs, President Obama, and food writers of the moment such as Michael Pollan and Jonathan Safran Foer. She discusses the value of grandparents and saying grace, and she gives readers ideas for conversations and games. David's premise is somewhat undercut, however, by her use of a cook, Uhrenholdt, who contributes more than 75 recipes to the book. Many readers may lack the time to relax and eat with their families if they cannot afford the luxury of a personal cook. VERDICT This book is filled with recipes, ideas, happy photos, and good info and resources to improve the family dinner experience. However, Bader and Benjamin's The Cleaner Plate Club (see review, above) offers a more down-to-earth take on kids and food.—Barb Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446565462
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/3/2010
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 204,210
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie David
Laurie David, ex-wife of Larry David, is a media savvy powerhouse. She founded the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, produced the Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and launched the Stop Global Warming College Tour with Sheryl Crow. She's been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, and Good Morning America; is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and is author of The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming (Scholastic, 9/07).
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2011

    An absolute must-have!!!!! Outstanding resource!

    Thank you a hundred times over for writing this book. It has truly changed the lives of everyone in my family. I have four children ages 3 to 11. They participate in every activity from travel baseball and basketball to horseback riding, dance and everything in between. As each child was born and we were spread more and more thin, somehow family dinners in my home literally ceased to exist. I would actually long for the end of the day to have a peaceful dinner by myself or with my husband after putting everyone to bed. Then i heard you, Laurie, on Dr. Oz's show a few weeks ago and i was captivated. I ordered the book and now carry it around like a Bible, reading every quote, idea, comment and recipe. When i first started reading it i actually cried because it was so scary to me that i almost missed this crucial piece in the development of my children. I have also told so many people about this book and it is spreading like wildfire. One of my friends who is a teacher has shared it with her class and they are going home and telling their parents they have to and want to eat together as a family. I am now doing a "FAMILY DINNER" gift basket for our PTA Auction and i'm having the kids create and decorate cards with games and conversation starters. We'll also include your book, placemats, candles, placemats, spaghetti, marinara, etc. if i can get the parents to donate. I will also be giving this type of a basket to people as gifts, every chance i get! I bought SAT picture cards and the Book of Words YOu Should Know. My kids put projects, tests, etc. in the middle of the table after school and share them at dinner time. We play gams, learn new words and discuss world issues. It has changed or lives. I thought it would be impossible to do with our schedules but somehow we have managed to carefully weave these dinners into our day. My husband has even phoned in from the airport. I lay the phone on the table and put it on speaker if he is out of town. Oh, and the recipes are oh soooo good! Tacos, sausage and white bean stew, tomato soup, chicken parm,...... My five-year-old shared his "rose" last week at dinner and said that his "rose" was having family dinner. He also calls it having restaurant sometimes( because of the candles) ithink that's the cutest! I now look forward to these dinners together with my family more than anything! Thank you, Kisha

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  • Posted January 19, 2011

    highly recommend

    This was an amazing book. I have 4 children, 9 years old, 5 years old, 4 years old, and 9 months old. Since reading this book I have incorporated a lot of things from the book. The first couple nights were rough as my kids weren't use to family dinners but after that it has been wonderful. Not too fond of the recipes but the information in the book is great. I would highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    The Family Dinner... Food for Thought

    This book is a truly lovely and inspiring collection of ideas and recipes, which all center on an endangered species; the ritual of family dinner. David's style is honest, warm and approachable. Uhrenholdt's recipes are easy to follow and delicious! I have already tried several. There are little gems on every page. My family is grown now, but this book made me long for those good ole days!

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    The Best Mommy Primer AND Cookbook You'll Ever Buy!

    There isn't a mother I know, who doesn't profit greatly from the ease and access afforded them by technology --but who doesn't fear its overall impact on her children --and herself-- in the future. It has completely destroyed any sense of non-working time and privacy. This book is a reminder that the entire universe exists within our homes when our families are with us. Nothing is more important than cultivating these connections, and this book gives you insightful, creative and effective ways to establish bonds that will endure for generations-all while teaching how to cook delicious dinners that are healthy for your family and the planet, as well. The resource guide at the end of the book is worth the purchase alone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    A Mouth-Watering Must-Read

    Soup to nuts, Laurie David's The Family Dinner is a must-have for anyone who cares about nutrition, simple (and nutritious) recipes, and even family meals after divorce. Most of all, in these texting-at-the-table days, it is a road map for a much-needed, lost tradition: connecting with your kids at dinnertime. The recipes are out of this world (Speedy Pasta in a Pan is next on my list) and the presentation is pure eye candy (though the nutritional kind!) The Family Dinner has already made my holiday-shopping a whole lot easier.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    A must have!!

    Not just a cookbook! But a book to read, fun and whismical and yet informative... The icebreaker for every young family, teaching them to embrace food at its source... Embrace the book and it'll nurture you. Definately know what everybody is getting for Christmas!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    This book is rich beyond measure

    I just received my copy of The Family Dinner and fell completely into its rich stories, amazing recipes (thank you so much for the mostly vegetarian approach), and creative suggestions for engaging children into the ritual. This is a book I will keep in my kitchen, share with my friends, children and grandchildren, and read just for the enjoyment of it. It is rich beyond measure. What an amazing accomplishment for the author.

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    Posted August 20, 2011

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    Posted July 18, 2011

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    Posted January 8, 2011

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