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Letter from a Fan

We love hearing from our “Family Dinner” readers, and we just had to share this great note from Lisa in Canada. We love how Lisa has incorporated so many of our suggestions from the book into the daily life of her family. Please share your own Family Dinner stories and ideas!

Dear Laurie,

Big thank you from Canada–this book has made such a significant and heartwarming change in our life. With two fabulous girls, lots of extracurricular activities (swim team, competitive gymnastics,  music lessons…) that cut into the traditional dinner hour plus careers that are both busy and rewarding, my partner and I tried but could not keep up a good routine for dinner time.  We heard you interviewed about this book on CBC (in Canada) and both knew that this book was going to shake things up for us. Indeed, it has.

We are now full on into a new way of doing and thinking about mealtime and we love love love it—thank you. Food is sometimes fancy, sometimes casual, but mealtime is full of meaningful and intentional conversation.  We use the Huffington Post Dinner Downloads (edited and tailored for our younger kids), the conversation starters in your book, plus a list of conversation topics that the kids have chosen themselves.

Equally fun–we’ve started our own rotating theme nights and the kids eagerly ask what ‘day’ it is:

• Going with the theme of Meatless Monday, we have “Legumes Lundi” (“vegetable Monday” in French).
• Tuesday is “Take out Tuesday” (Tuesday is a busy day with lots of extracurricular activities).
• Wednesday is “Wrap it up Wednesday” (tacos, lettuce wraps, pasta wraps).
• We especially love Thursday. Since it’s a day full of activities, we don’t see each other until early evening.  ”Dinner” might be on the run that day, but we now sit down together for “Tea and Toast Thursday” as an early evening snack  (“tea” is actually warmed vanilla milk with honey and the girls—aged 5 and 7—love the jams, jellies, honeys, cheese and peanut butter ready for spreading on the toast.  It’s become fabulously cozy family time).  
• Friday is “Fondue Friday” (Cheese fondue, Chinese hot pot fondue, chocolate fondue…). 
• Saturday is “Somewhere Around the World Surprise Saturday” (we look up where recipes or ingredients come from and locate it on the globe that we now keep near the table).
• Sunday is called “Sharing Sunday” where we try to share our table with friends and family. The end to “sharing Sunday” is a “Sharing Sundae” dessert (a big group sundae for the table to share that we, of course, all make together at the table).    

The theme nights are fun, give us structure and tradition, and are flexible enough to incorporate many different recipes.

Thanks for writing in a completely non-judgmental way (no guilt inducing anywhere at all in the book, just lots of reminders to keep it simple and do it in a way that works for each family).  Most of all, thank you for inspiring all of us towards happy mealtime memories.

Lisa M.


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One Response

  1. [...] This week’s Thursday’s Thought is centered around naming your nights. In “The Family Dinner” book, we recommend naming your nights because it makes dinner more of an “event” to come to. Your kids will wake up excited for Taco Tuesday or Souper Sunday knowing what to expect when they come to the table (read a fan letter we received from a Mom who has put this into practice). [...]

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