Laurie David is an environmental activist and the author of a new book, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time.
From her Q & A with Deborah Solomon:
Although known as an environmental activist, you take up a less divisive cause in your new book, “The Family Dinner,” a cross between a cookbook and a parenting manifesto.--Marshal Zeringue
I’ve got two teenage girls and have found parenting unbelievably challenging. At one point I said to myself, I have to get some happy family moments. And so I zeroed in on family dinner as the perfect time to accomplish that.
Do you let your daughters use their cellphones at the table?
If I see them even look at their phones, I take the phone. They have to hand it to me. Dinner to me is the only way to bring everyone together, to check in and have some laughs.
But dinner can also be a source of friction. What is the proper response when your teenagers say they dislike your lemon chicken and want beef tacos instead?
You’re not a short-order cook, number one. You should be making dinner for the family, not for the individual. They eat what you eat. My kids now are eating quinoa and kale and beans, and they drink water instead of soda.
Much of this is really a class issue. A mom with a low-paying job might pick up some Cokes and fast food because she doesn’t have the time or money to prepare salmon with quinoa.
First of all, you...[read on]