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What People Are Saying About the Book

“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

“A great fun cookbook, but it’s so much more than that — it’s an empowering recipe for joy, health, and healing.” — Dean Ornish MD, Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute

“I, like Laurie, truly believe in the sanctity of the evening meal, and the health benefits of eating together are the cherry on the top!” — Dr. Philip Landrigan, Dean for Global Health, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

“If you like to eat food and you like your family a lot, or even not so much, then this book is for you.” — Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actress, environmentalist, mom

“In a time of disintegration of our families, health, and environment, Laurie David has reclaimed the place where the healing of our planet, our families, and our souls can begin — the family dinner table.” — Mark Hyman, MD, Founder and Medical Director of the UltraWellness Center

For more reaction on the book, check out our Reviews & Press section.


Reader Comments

Here are some terrific comments people have shared about the book and the importance of the family dinner:

“The book is terrific –- gorgeous to look at and fun to leaf through, and the text and recipes are great. I tried wheatberry salad with my son last weekend, it was a big hit. As a single mom, I especially appreciate the book’s message and how you weave in the different stories and bits of advice. — Alicia E

“I too cherish our family dinners. I grew up with them, and never considered not eating dinner together. We sit, and talk and eat. My first grader tells us all about her day at school. My toddler tells us what he played at the sitters all day. Sometimes we sing songs (but never with our mouths full – LOL), sometimes we take turns making up silly stories. But it’s our time. Our time as a family. After a long day at work, I get to go home for dinner and truly start my day, truly start living. Work is work, but family is EVERYTHING!” — WorkingMom77

“This is great! Thank you! I’m a 23 year old college student and I have also witnessed these trends first hand and it’s very sad. My mother also did everything in her power to get the whole family together each and every night of the week. It’s a magical experience and something that I cherish more and more each year I’m away from home.” — andysuter

“Sharing not just a piece of bread, but a smile. Passing the carrot you don’t like in exchange for the tomatoes that you do like. Dumping all problems outside the dining room and one feeling running through everybody’s mind: we BELONG! I don’t have a family, I’m a host mother to foreign students, never less then 10 round my table…MY big family, OUR special dinner times!” — Gisella

“My family sits down together every night, and if someone misses dinner, they hear about it. I managed as a single, working two jobs, mom to get myself and my son around the dinner table. When I remarried, it stuck and it has made a difference. I’d take it even one step further and go for a family walk after dinner. Burn off your meal as a family rather than planting it on the couch after eating.” — tlcpro

“Regardless of your resources, sitting down together as a family can happen. I work very long days sometimes, yet we sit down together those days the same as any other. The act centers the family at least once a day. We eat healthier. We save money by cooking at home. It is possible.” — Ozark_Homesteader

“I have two young boys and am married and we always eat together. Now they are only 5 and 7 but a family night of some sort at least once a week will be a staple in our family until they are off to college. And believe it or not you can make a teenage child enjoy spending time with their parents. I have seen it done. It is healthy for the kids and will instill good parenting skills in your children that your future grandchildren will benefit from. My family is no Cleaver family. We are loud and sometimes crazy and have foul mouths and can sometimes seem more like the Osborn family than the Cleavers. But we are as close as a family unit can be. I have always pictured us standing back to back fighting off what ever attacks when times get tough and I have seen the benefits for this in my children and my marriage.” — FactsvsFear

“What a delightful read! Good for you! We have all these “servants” now…. dishwashers and food processors and blenders … a big help in getting everyone to the table at least once a day.. When i had a young family all I had of those was a fridge…” — Toolkit

“May I suggest candles? Nothing sets the tone better. Little children calm down in the presence of a flame. Works wonders for the digestion to sit and stare, even for those times no one has a thing to say. It makes a comfortable silence to have candles.” — Tulka2

“We applaud Laurie for the good sense to gather her family and the good sense to share the stories with others. My belief is that family dinners happen more organically if the food is prepared at home – unprocessed, unpackaged. The meal time more naturally happens when dinner is ready. And when you cook, you eat better.. Our meals are our family bind. Thank you Laurie.” — sherri4real

“I grew up in a family that sat down to dinner together each day. I have 3 siblings, so there were 6 of us. My Mom was a stay at home mom and my Dad was a printer, so we weren’t rich by any manner of speaking, but meals were well-balanced and tasty. It was a time to talk about our day and to discuss things of importance to each of us, from politics to religion and everything in between. From oldest to the youngest our opinions were honored and from this I learned about discourse and debate in a civil manner–you don’t shout someone down just because they don’t share your opinion. I carried the tradition of a family dinner forward to my own family and my son (now 25) learned the same lessons. Our ‘busyness’ nowadays is hurting the learning experience of being with family and also the learning experience of how to express opinions in a civil manner and how to interact with others.” — playflute2

“We have a family dinner attended by 3 generations almost every night. It’s an incredibly simple practice that helps us all re-connect at the end of the day.” — Jimi_Ballard

“I had three kids, two dogs, a full-time job and a husband who traveled and I had dinner on the table every night. We talked about everything. I knew my kids were getting a healthy meal and they told us about their day. We talked about their dreams for the future and how to make them happen. The most valuable hour of the day.” — BonnieJW

“We did it (and still do it) as a matter of course with 6 kids and two “more than full-time” jobs. And now the adult kids do it. We shared who cooked. It didn’t matter what was on the table – it could be sandwiches on paper plates – the point was we were there together! It was (and is) the anchor to everyone’s day.” — Audrey_Gifford

“I sincerely believe everything Laurie has written because I have practiced that way of life and my family is better off because of it. Today, children are so over programmed and this leads to less effort for schoolwork and practically no quality time interacting with the family. Children rely too much on carpools, friends and peers and spend less time being nurtured by the family chemistry. I wish parents would cut out so many of these activities and truly get down to the basics.” — sofia

“Family dinner is one of the non negotiable items that I insisted on while my kids were growing up. today with both boys in their mid 20s it is difficult to get them to sit down for a family meal but Sunday’s family dinner is mandatory and always has been. We’ve gone to great lengths to keep it that way including inviting the girlfriends’ families. All of the kids sports and there were a lot of them, were planned so they disrupted our family ritual as little as possible. We preserved our family dinner dates. It takes dedication but it is possible. Take it from me.” — Archie1955

“Family dinners are so important. It’s the only time every one in the family takes the opportunity to stop and spend time together. As my ex was in the military while my children were small, there were countless nights when it was just the children and me at home for dinner. On many of those exhausted nights, a bag of microwave popcorn is what I felt like preparing. I “soldiered” on though and made sure we sat down to a proper meal with napkins (paper napkins…sometimes, I even lit a candle) and we said grace. My grown kids still sit and share their lives with me around the table. I don’t believe we would have the relationship we have today without that shared opportunity of nourishing our bodies and souls every evening around the table.” — paula29

“As an adult born in the 60′s I must also commend my parents for “family dinner” it is such an UNHEARD of thing these days. My mother also insisted that we dine together and sometime there was laughter and sometimes it was quiet but looking back… glad I didn’t miss out on what a special weekly occasion that used to be. Funny the things you appreciate later in life.” — LONDON3


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One Response

  1. That seems a pretty good book.

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