Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Family Dinner by Laurie David

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.

I was raised that if you didn't sit at the table, you didn't eat. That was the time that my parents to connect with us kids after a long day of school and work.  I hated it! I'm not sure if I hated the fact I had to eat at the table or the fact I had clean-up chores.  But those talks with my parents and communicating with my parents always stuck with me.

When I had my own kids, I scoffed at family dinner.  We ate in the living room in front of the TV.  But, as my kids grew and went to school, all of that changed.  When I came home from work, I'd make dinner and expect everyone at the table.  I then turned into my parents. ha! I would have one child set the table, and another clear the table.  I thought it helped build responsibility and I was teaching them little things along the way.  Then, my kids grew older and dreaded family dinner. 

However, I'm the boss and although I let them eat whenever during the week now, Sunday is Family Dinner in my house.  No exceptions!  

You say you don't have time to cook? You have time to be on the internet, you have time to cook.  There are alot of healthy meals out there that have a low prep and cook time.  My family knows they eat their best meal on Sunday, and I really should do it every day because it is awesome, but scheduling conflicts don't allow for that, so my Sunday is my compromise.

But Family Dinner is a wonderful book full of anecdotes and quotes from celebrities, writers, authors, and child-care experts.  Along the way of the easy to read pages are beautiful and glossy photographs that I vow will make you hungry!! There is a section to get dinner out fast, then there is a section for thost that cook it today, eat it tomorrow.  There is lots of Did You Know? which I found educating and even about reading while at the table.   This book is a real find and a must own for any home!! Get your kids involved with dinner, it really is the best time in the world to sit around the table with your family.  TV and Computers will wait, but your kids will be grown before you blink.  Treasure every moment!!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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