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

Laurie David , Kirstin Uhrenholdt , Dr. Harvey Karp , Jonathan Safran Foer , Maryellen Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 3 2010
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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time + The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That's Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You
Price For Both: CDN$ 40.11

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Product Description


"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

About the Author

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).

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Family Dinner Jan. 31 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent service, great condition, good read! I would purchase from this vendor again in a heartbeat. Thanks for the quick delivery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  76 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Family Dinner Oct. 19 2010
By Jill Hansen - Published on
This book is a Home Run for anyone trying to get their kids to eat better (and with less meat). My teenagers ate the black bean burgers after complaining "it wasn't a burger" and actually asked for seconds! This is so much more than a cookbook, it is a guide about how to have more fun with your kids and make dinners something to look forward to. I personally like the gratitude section in the book where everyone goes around the table and says what they are grateful for. The pet peeve and idiosyncrasy game Laurie suggests can be a real eye opener about the people you know and love! I would highly recommend this book to anyone with kids or grandkids.
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scary, Cluttered, Completely out of touch Nov. 19 2012
By Emily Bourassa - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the 'Emperor's New Clothes' of cookbooks.
Tom Hanks approves! Foreword by Dr. Harvey Karp! Recipes from Alice Waters!
It sounds like a slice of perfection, but this book misses the mark in a big way.

My main problems with this book are:
1) Laurie David is completely out of touch. When she went back to work, she hired a chef so she could serve dinner promptly at 6:30. Congratulations. How many people can relate to this? Is this the right person to dole out tips and strategies for putting meals together? I couldn't read half the recipes without wondering if a real person with real time constraints had actually cooked these things. Which leads me to...
2) Some recipes are just plain nuts. I'm supposed to create a buffet with 30 different options so my family can bulid their own salad. This just makes me feel angry. What a waste :( However...
3) Some of the recipes insult my intelligence. Chicken Parmesan made from frozen breaded chicken cutlets? Yeah, I've got that covered. I bought this book for dinner ideas. Next!
4) The book is cluttered with anecdotes from celebrities (claiming their perfect mothers sat them down to dinner every night, with flowers and music) but I'm not sure why there are so many of these stories, or why I'm supposed to care. After the first few, they get very repetitive, lead to no recipes or tips, and just lend to the tone of the book feeling self congratulatory.
5) This book reads like a warning! Have family dinners- or else! Statistics about teen drug use don't make me want to get in the kitchen, they make me sad and worried. What happened to empowering family cooks? I'm not feeling it. If there is a place for this kind of information, stick it in the introduction and then drop it. Don't keep sprinkling harrowing facts in with the recipes.

There are some good recipes in here, I can't ignore that. But I STRONGLY believe the best reason to buy a cookbook (rather than perusing thousands of the well tested, well reviewed, FREE recipes that exist online) is to get inspired about cooking. This is not that book.

These are:
-Dinner: a Love Story (a real mom with a real life, real budget, etc)
-The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper (food pairings and menu suggestions! Great tips throughout)
-any book that has pictures that match the recipe (ha! page 50 (left side) of the family dinner features a full page picture of edamame. Page 51(right side) has a recipe for cabbage and noodles, and savory sausage and white bean stew. No edamame in either of these. What happened there? It frustrates me! Did no one edit the layout of this book?) But for those who get it right- Donna Hay is fabulous, and Nigella, Ina, and Martha do well with the beautiful food.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for all families Dec 29 2010
By Martha R. Ulfelder - Published on
I had looked at this book twice in the bookstore, and each time put it back thinking it was really for families with younger children (mine are 13 and 15). However, it's such a beautiful book, I finally broke down and bought it, and I'm very glad I did.

This is a wonderful book for families with children of ANY age. I've tried two recipes (Butterfly Pasta with Kale and Nanna's Happy Chocolate Chip Cookies) and both were excellent. But it's not all about the recipes; rather, it's the theme of family togetherness and a reminder that a return to gentler times (no cell phones at the dinner table) is a good thing. I just love the feeling of this book.

One thing I have to share is that the authors talk about drinking water at the dinner table, which we've always done. However, they offered the idea of having a pitcher of water, perhaps with a lemon slice or some berries in it, on the table. Hmmm. So one night I put out a pitcher of water. It was gone so quickly, I refilled it. Throughout the night, everyone returned to table and kept refilling their glasses. Since then, we have a pitcher of ice water on the table almost all day long (it's winter vacation and the kids have been home for 2 weeks), and I think we're all drinking much more water than we ever have before. For that tip alone, I'm grateful!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By jb - Published on
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 learning 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!
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book.... in every kitchen... and around the table... Oct. 28 2010
By Sylvie S - Published on
This book is one of a kind.... Not the kind that sits on the shelf but the one that will be passed around the table... The one that will get dirty by being around the kitchen.. The one that could finally break the ice and teach that food is not your enemy... Embrace the simplicity of it and have fun with it!!
I know what I'll be giving for Christmas!!! Thanks Kirstin and Laurie.
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