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The Surprising Power of the Family Meal

by Les Parrott , Leslie Parrott with Stephanie Allen , Tina Kuna

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4143-3744-9
Publisher: Tyndale House

Family supper receives the star treatment.

The Parrotts (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, 1995) emphasize the power of the family meal, showcasing how the simple act of eating together strengthens bonds and empowers families. Written in a friendly, conversational tone, the book examines the positive benefits established by family mealtimes, listing correlations such as better school performance, healthier eating habits and happier families. Those wondering how overworked parents can make this 1950s fantasy a reality can relax, as the Parrotts’ research has found that even hassled family meals, such as PBJs, are better than not eating dinner as a family at all. While the book includes occasional factoids and easy sample recipes, the authors dish out more child psychology than helpful dinner tips. Wince-worthy conversation suggestions such as playing “Mad, Sad, Glad” to get families to open up (in which everyone mentions three things that made them mad, sad, and glad that day) are unlikely to appeal to kids raised on Facebook and video games. Still, readers who overlook the predictable parenting advice will glean some inspiration. The book also includes suggestions and anecdotes by Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, entrepreneurs who turned their personal assemble-and-freeze family cooking methods into the popular meal assembly franchise, Dream Dinners.

While not exactly groundbreaking, the evidence in this book will motivate parents to make mealtime a priority.