Mealtime--we all know that it's an important thing for families, but how many of us deliberately take advantage of this time together to grow as a family? In the book The Hour that Matters Most the authors seek to stress the importance of using mealtime as a time to spend together with family, focusing your attention on each of the members of the family, and the family unit as a whole. With a scattering of statistics and recipes the authors take the reader through many compelling reasons to sit down together as a family and share a meal.
When I began this book, reading through the introductory matter, I was afraid that it was to be one large advertisement for the "Dream Dinners" business which two of the authors had founded. Although they did mention the business several times, as I read through the book, I did not feel that advertisement was its purpose. I enjoyed this book; I have to say that first of all, it was a little like "preaching to the choir" as I was pretty convinced already of the importance of eating together/conversing together at the dinner table. There were personal stories as well as general statistics relating to mealtimes together. There were chapters about how to talk to your families, your children specifically, so that you will have a lifetime of open communication. Chapters on using these dinner times to instill/deepen values, manners, etc. And lots of recipes! Some delicious-sounding recipes, and even color photos of the finished products!
I would certainly recommend this book. It's an easy-to-read book with a message. I did find it a little confusing having four authors, each contributing sectionsâ€”it was a little difficult for me to figure out which author was sharing (when it was personal illustrations)â€”but that didn't detract from the message of the book. I do believe that more people need to slow down, deliberately make time for mealtime shared with family.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale publishers for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.
A practical guide for making mealtime quality-time
August 29, 2011
The Hour that Matters Most, by Les and Leslie Parrott, with Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna
The Hour that Matters Most is all about the importance of regular family dinners, for both the children and the parents. The authors share several statistics about family dinners, many of them a bit frightening. For instance, one study shows that over the past 25 years, dinners at home in America have dropped by 33%.
This book is so much more than statistics, though. The authors also share how to make your family dinners into a better quality time, instead of just eating then everyone rushing off within 15 minutes to do their own thing. After all, it's the quality of the time that makes a difference!
The authors share tips on how to open and encourage conversation with your kids, and how to get the ball rolling with the kids who don't like to volunteer information that's deeper than "School was ok." There are dozens of conversation starter ideas throughout the book.
The authors also recognize that time is at a premium in our lives. While many moms desire to prepare good meals, sometimes the idea of the task seems overwhelming. They share quick and easy (and tasty looking!) recipes, as well as time-saving tips for meal preparation. There is also a lot of advice on how to prepare freezer meals.
I found this book very practical and encouraging, as I really want to keep meal times special at our house but am already finding that they're becoming an eat-and-run event that takes 3 times longer to prepare than it takes to eat!
What could possibly be more important in many homes across America than meal time? With so many families who have very little time together in the hustle and bustle of life today - Is it not imperative to have the time around a dinner table with our families each day? Focusing on the family meal, this book will help strengthen families by showing them how to reclaim this important time in order to build relationships, draw closer to one another, and restore a sense of peace in their homes. Millions of parents in America can picture the kind of home life they want but don't know how to make it a reality. The Hour That Matters Most will help readers strengthen and transform their own familiesâ€”specifically around the dinner table.
With a variety of recipes and inspirational tips this book will make anyone feel they "can do" and "must do" meal time this way. Recipes are simple and delicious, conversation starters are included to guarantee ways to get everyone talking ... What could possibly be better for your family than to experience the power of the dinner hour?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in return for this review. I was under no obligation to give a positive review.
This year, for the first time ever, ballet runs through our family dinner time. Not once a week, but twice a week. What's a mom to do? Frantically rush through a fast food line and order up burgers and fries for the fam? Les and Leslie Parrott with their coauthors offer a solution in this book. They advocate strongly for the power of the family dinner hour and give practical tips on how to make that happen even for busy moms, working moms, families with multiple kids in various activities and families with teens.
The good news is there's no guilt trip in this book for those whose dinners are served up out of the microwave and on TV trays in the living room. The authors write from the perspective of people who've been there and done that and have found the answer in the fix-and-freeze method. They prepare 12 meals in advance once a month with a bunch of friends, which they can then pull out and reheat for the crazy busy nights that occur several times a week.
This book gives you a back-to-basics approach to eating dinner around the dinner table. This is great for those who need a walk through kitchen utensils and conversation starters with your kids, but for those already making this family time happen, you'll be encouraged more than educated. There are also some recipes that I know I'd like to try out in the kitchen and any family could enjoy--even the long-term devotees of eating together as a family.
While they cover things such as why eating together matters, how to navigate the kitchen, table manners and other practical topics, the book really is less about dinner time and more about parenting. The authors include chapters on how to talk to one another, how to laugh together, how to empathize with your kids, and how to avoid conflict at the table, etc. So it's still a helpful read even if you don't struggle with getting everyone around the table at the same time for the evening meal.
I received this book free from the publisher, Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.