Connect -and Cook- with your Kids this Monday

November 8th, 2010

Laurie David is known to many as an environmental crusader. She has produced books, television and film about climate change, including the Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. David has also tirelessly advocated for all of us to do our part, suggesting simple solutions that anyone can use to make life a little greener, including Meatless Monday.

The role of guardian does not end when Laurie David goes home; she is also the single mother of two teen age girls. Like any other busy parent, she’s had to juggle kids and career. Over the years, David found that family dinners are the perfect opportunity to connect with her children, share in their day and offer the influence and morals she hopes they will carry with them. As she said in a recent Huffington Post interview:

“There’s so much in our culture today that separates us – that tears at the family fabric: the TV, the computer, the cellphone. It’s getting harder and harder to connect with our kids. Luckily, family rituals can come to the rescue… I discovered the staggering research that everything a parent is concerned with, or worries about – alcohol, drugs, nutrition, promiscuity, grades – can be improved by sitting down for family dinner. By eating and sharing together. Dinner is love.”

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

By Laurie David
Grand Central Life & Style
256 pgs, Nov. 2010

Ever the advocate, David decided to share her revelation with others. The result is The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time. In her own words, David’s latest book offers “ tips, tricks, games and topics we have used to keep everyone at the table”. She has recruited over 50 experts, celebrities, food activists and chefs – including Mario Batali, Sheryl Crow, Michael Pollan and Judge Judy- to offer ideas and insight for all ages and types of families.

Of course shared meals would not be the same without recipes that the whole family can enjoy! For this Laurie David recruits family cook Kirstin Uhrenholdt, who offers meals that draw from her own Danish culinary tradition. The Family Dinner encourages readers to have their children participate in meal preparation and teach them about the nutritional and environmental impact of their meals. To help parents get started Laurie David has devoted an entire chapter to Meatless Monday recipes and discussion topics.

The Family Dinner is the perfect book for multitasking parents who want to share more everyday moments with their children. Even the busiest of families can start the week by cooking, eating and talking together. For free tips and more information on the connection between family meals and overall well-being please visit our sister campaign, The Kids Cook Monday. And be sure to check out The Huffington Post this week for the second half of Laurie David’s interview and her latest tool in the fight for family bonding, HuffPost Family Dinner Downloads.