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.
My Take: Laurie David and I have some things in common. We both value traditions. We value family dinner. We strive to give our children happy memories of togetherness (without crying, fighting, or sulking). I planned on skimming this book and trying out a few recipes. Instead, I found myself engrossed for a better part of a morning. There are recipes, to be sure, but the content is how Laurie makes the family dinner an enjoyable and meaningful experience.
Experience? I know. That's what I said. I just want us to all sit down at the same time, pray together, and eat what's on the table without anybody making a derogatory remark about the food or each other. I want to hear about my children's day. I want to pick up on nuances I might miss if I weren't sitting at the same table watching them. How can I do that when they are shoving food in their mouths so they can get back to playing?
We have our rules and protocol. No T.V., everybody takes a turn blessing the food. Close your mouth when you chew. Try really, really, really hard to keep your butt in the chair during dinner. You must be excused. Those are cumbersome. What if dinner was more interesting?
Here are my ideas I gleaned or expanded upon to make dinner more interesting.
- Cover table with butcher paper. Scatter crayons around the table. Artistic eating
- Set up wood train set around place settings. Include trains for kids to move around.
- Shabbot bread. Okay, we're not Jewish but why not make braided bread and take turns tearing one piece off while sharing one or two things you are grateful for?
- This is my own: Dinner with interesting place settings based on a lottery. One person ate out of a skillet with an eggbeater. Another ate out of a pie tin using salad tongs. I made spaghetti. That was three years ago. My kids still talk about it. That was an experience.
Thanks to Hatchette Book Groups, I have 1 copy for one lucky reader.
U.S. and Canada residents only
No P.O. Boxes
One copy per household.Ends November 19th.
Fill out form HERE.
In the interest of family dinners, I'd love to hear what ideas you have for making family dinner more enjoyable! Leave a comment.