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The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time Hardcover – November 3, 2010


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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 + Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day Plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal
Price for all three: $55.60

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style; First Edition edition (November 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446565466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446565462
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"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

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Customer Reviews

I'm hoping this lovely book finds its way under my Christmas tree this year!
JeanineMB
I already cook dinner at least 6 days a week and we always sit down together as a family but this book gives you ideas to make every meal memorable and fun.
SweetJesse
Delicious & easy recipes (accompanied by GORGEOUS pictures) with brilliant ideas for making eating fun!
K9Mudda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Emily Bourassa on November 19, 2012
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.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jill Hansen on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Martha R. Ulfelder on December 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By jb on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sylvie S on October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By ruthjoec on November 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a mom who firmly believes in the family eating together. We sit down at the dinner table together at least four days a week; usually more. Generally speaking dinner is something I can put together in 30 minutes, or it is something from the crockpot. Since I get home at 5:30 on a day when my husband picks up the six year old, complicated recipes are not on the agenda. Since I'm feeding kids, "strange" food is generally not welcomed. I was hoping The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time would have some recipes I could add to my collection. Honestly, I didn't. The food tended toward gourmet ingredients, exotic vegetables, and, a mortal sin at my house, lot of seasonings and sauces. Organic meat is specified,along with fresh herbs and flavored oils and vinegars. However, many of the recipes could be prepared in about thirty minutes.

Even though the recipes from The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time won't get a lot of play here, I still enjoyed reading the book which not only included recipes but also a lot of advice and information on how to make dinner time family time, which, when a family is apart all day like mine is, is important. I enjoyed reading the section about the Shabbat Dinner. A woman who was Jewish, though not necessarily terribly religious, decided that she was going to start the weekly tradition of a Friday Shabbat dinner. The family had to be there; the dinner included Blessings over the candles wine and challah, Gratitudes (everyone says something for which they are grateful), Highs and Lows (everyone shares high and low points of the week) and Tzedaka (everyone throws loose change in a box; when full they decide on a worthy cause to which to contribute it).
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