"The Family Dinner" Review

"The Family Dinner"
by Laurie David, recipes by Kristin Uhrenholdt

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: Nov 3, 2010

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

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.

My review:

This book is so much more than a cookbook! There are lots of tips to keep your family happy during your nightly family dinner. The book features fun, full color photos along with personal stories, games, recipes, and quotes from celebrities. Honestly, how can you not love a book that quotes "Leave it to Beaver"?

" 'Wally, there's nothing old-fashioned about politeness.'
-Ward Cleaver to his son at dinner" (p23)

There are lots of unexpected chapters in "The Family Dinner," including a section on staying green called "Your Green Table." The chapter features lots of environmentally friendly tips for parents and kids. Other interesting chapters are about giving thanks for our many blessings, and conversation starters. There's even a section called "Dinner After Divorce."

And or course, there are lots of family friendly recipes! I know my boyfriend would love the "Caesar Pita Pizza Pies" (p124), a yummy mix of a Caesar salad and pizza. And the very first recipe in the book looks like a show stopper-"Gary's T-Night Tacos" (p9)- and they're meat-less!

I've really taken a few of the tips to heart. I think a meal with no cell phones would be fantastic. It's hard to do but, I think it's worth it to give family undivided attention for that designated time.

Bottom Line: I am so impressed with this book and diversity it offers. This book is going to be on the shelf in my kitchen for along time. I think it would also make a wonderful and thoughtful gift for a special family.


  1. I've never heard of this one, but anything with recipes and stuff about the importance of family dinners sounds great to me! Brilliant review, Carrie :)

  2. I will have to check it out! I'm not vegetarian but I do eat meatless quite a bit so it's good to know there are some recipes for that as well. Great review!

  3. Oh it was a cookbook, I didn't realise, cool :D

  4. Wonderful review. I look forward to trying it.

  5. I love the sound of those Caesar Pita Pizza Pies. I so want one now...Awesome review! Sounds like a fabulous cookbook and a great tool to help families actually eat together =)

  6. I love cooking, and trying new things!!! Sounds like a great book!!! Lovely Review!

  7. COOL! I think it's very important for families to eat dinner together. Love Leave it to Beaver. Great review! Neat cover. It's rather retro.


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!