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

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

4.2 10
by Laurie David, Kirstin Uhrenholdt
     
 

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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

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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

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:
11/03/2010
Pages:
246
Sales rank:
514,530
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

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.

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