Liz Edmunds, star of BYU Television’s “The Food Nanny,” presented a workshop Saturday at the Butler County Board of Education. The workshop was sponsored by Healthy Kids. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)
Liz Edmunds, star of BYU Television’s “The Food Nanny,” presented a workshop Saturday at the Butler County Board of Education. The workshop was sponsored by Healthy Kids. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Archived Story

Food Nanny offers tips for ‘meaningful dinners’

Published 1:46pm Monday, August 26, 2013

The Food Nanny brought her message of family bonding over a delicious, home-cooked meal to the Camellia City Saturday.

Liz Edmunds, star of BYU Television’s “The Food Nanny,” presented a workshop sponsored by Healthy Kids.

Edmunds shared ideas on how families can reconnect around the dinner table and enjoy meal preparation, while also providing samples of margherita pizza, arugula pizza and French baguettes.

“Everyone across this vast world has one thing in common, and that’s dinnertime,” Edmunds said. “I want to bring more families home for dinner.”

Edmunds, a mother of seven, said she is on a “crusade” to help families learn to do dinner well.

“When my husband and I were raising our children, our consistent family dinnertime was the glue that kept our family close,” she said. “By sharing this meal together each night, we were able to form a united family that was loyal toward one another, that was aware of one another’s needs, and that shared each other’s joys and tears.

“Through the years, I have been able to help neighbors and friends find their way to a consistent family dinnertime. Teaching others how to prepare a meaningful dinner meal became a passion for me.”

According to Edmunds, the key to a “meaningful dinnertime” is planning.

She suggests creating a meal plan at least a week in advance, and incorporating themes for each night.

“There is a big problem I noticed about 10 years ago — families were falling apart,” Edmunds said. “Families aren’t as connected as they used to be. One reason is that we are not taking time to sit down together and share a meal. Dinnertime is the most natural setting during the day for a family to be able to connect.”

On her reality show, Edmunds offers tips and tricks on creating conversation and also enlisting children’s help with meal preparation.

“We can love life over good food,” Edmunds said. “Dinnertime is protection and restoration for our family. It’s a chance to restore our well-being and take a minute to relax over good food. Around the dinner table, families learn how to communicate, teach family values and talk about their passions and dreams.”

While planning, Edmunds stresses the importance of including plenty of vegetables, even on a dish such as pizza.

“Before I went to Italy, I had never seen salad on a pizza,” Edmunds said with a smile as she displayed an arugula pizza she had prepared in front of the audience. “Pizza is actually good for you, if it’s done right. It’s been a part of my meal plan for almost 30 years.”

Edmunds tips and tricks, and more than 200 recipes, can be found in her book The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner.

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