Expert to talk food, family

Published 2:23 pm Friday, August 23, 2013

The concept of family dinnertime may have lost some of its significance, but one woman has set out to restore order in the kitchen.

That woman is Liz Edmunds.

She’s better known as the Food Nanny, and she will be speaking at the Butler County Board of Education building today from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. courtesy of Healthy Kids.

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Edmunds is an international expert, television celebrity and author, and she will be presenting a workshop to the Greenville community about the role the dinner table plays in family health, and it is one that extends far beyond nutrition.

Edmunds is also the star of “The Food Nanny” television series, a makeover show that takes less-than-ideal dinner situations in homes around the country and whips them into shape.

Edmunds offers tips that range on creating interesting and engaging conversations to enlisting the aid of children for meal preparations.

“She’s had the television show for the last four years, which I’ve watched from time to time,” said Lisa Nimmer, executive director of Healthy Kids.

“And when we were looking for somebody to do this workshop, she was just the perfect choice. She’s a very upbeat lady, and she just has some really good ideas for families that can not only apply at dinnertime, but they can apply at other times too.”

These creative ideas stem from Edmunds’ Food Nanny philosophy, La Vita Vera (The True Life).

She learned about the phrase when visiting and observing Italian family customs years ago, and adapted it into a way of life that families around the world can utilize.

The three core tenets of La Vita Vera involve the concepts of family, meal planning and good food.

Edmunds’ signature style of meal planning emphasizes simplifying the shopping process, which in turn lowers grocery costs and decreases the amount of time spent in the kitchen (and, by extension, away from families).

And since the Food Nanny’s philosophies fell in line with the overall goal of Healthy Kids, Nimmer concluded that a visit from Edmunds would be an excellent way of reinforcing those ideals.

“With Healthy Kids, our biggest goal is to strengthen protective factors in families, and so her coming and doing this will help enrich families so that they can have an opportunity to have those more memorable conversations,” Nimmer added.

“You’ve just got to have time together, and sometimes it’s not so much the quantity of time as it is the quality of time, so she uses dinnertime to help facilitate that.”

Admission to the event is free, but Healthy Kids is collecting used toner cartridges and old cell phones for its recycling project.

For more information call (334) 371-2104.