Why to get your children to eat at the dinner table?

Why oh why do some parents sit their children in front of a TV, give them a dinner from the microwave and then ignore them?

Err it’s easy that’s why!

Anyone can let their children zone out to a cartoon show and feed them a sub standard meal, low in anything good and high in salt and sucky stuff!

At some point we all do it, I appreciate that, but we should not do it every night!

Take the time to sit down at the table with your children, talk to them, ask them questions, as they grow up this interaction will benefit them more than you realize. Interviews, meetings over dinner and dates all require a level of interaction that eating together can help create and raise confidence.

Talk about local and international news, sports, movies anything that will raise their interaction curiosity.

Depending on your family situation, make sure everyone in the immediate family is at the table, be it two, four or more. Everyone should have the opportunity to interact with different age levels.

If you have the opportunity to go out to dinner with friends make sure the children, if old enough, are brought into the conversations with new people, this will give them the ability to talk to anyone as they grow up. This is something that will be highly beneficial in adulthood.

If your children only eat one thing or refuses to eat certain foods, keep giving it to them to eat. Studies show that a child will start eating the food if exposed to it around 20 times.

You mantra needs to to be “WE” not “THEY”. “They don’t eat broccoli” is a bad way to single them out. Your expression should be “we eat broccoli” make it a normal thing to eat and make sure the whole family eats it and soon they will want to be a part of the collective.

Be a family and eat around a dinner table, the only thing you will loose is time, but time well spent!


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Why Wear Them?

I’m need to vent, why do people clip their cell phones to their belts, it just looks so pompous and anal.

I’m been siting here at the bank and several people walk by with phones on their hips like cowboys and a Bluetooth headset on! Get a life!

Bluetooth is for the car! Your not on the phone nor in the car and you have free hands that can hold a phone! Take it off!!

Does the phone and headset make you feel Important, does it make oh feel cool, I guess like smoking does!

Rant over!


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Practice Makes Perfect

As Peter commented on my last brief post “You can also comment on your wife’s food, see it as a trial, but don’t be too harsh. You still have to share the same bedroom.”

I have only written one critique and the learning curve is steep, finding things to write about that are interesting, makes people passionate and captivates imaginations is a hard thing to do a few times a week. I certainly don’t want to be one of those Facebook status updaters that tells you their very action everyday.

Not being a natural writer I need to practice hence this post. As luck would have it I have taken my wife’s car to the repair shop and I arrived to pick it up 2 hrs before it is ready. So I decide to wander into the local “English” pub (bar for the Americans).

It’s hard for US bars to get the same feel of an English Pub, generally the building is relatively new and doesn’t have the same feel as the old low ceilinged pubs of England that we all know and love. However the Crown and Anchor, in Thousand Oaks California has done what it can, down to the pint glasses being proper British pint size and shape!

The ceilings are high but have wooden beams, bare brick walls on the side, with a dart board out back!


Obviously this is a theme bar in the US for the US citizen and so it has to cater to that clientele, several TV’s show international and national sports and the walls are filled with English Football (Soccer) paraphernalia along with British Memorabilia.

There is a warming smell of fish and chips in the air with a dash of vinegar. (Until I wrote that sentence I hadn’t even noticed that small and wonderful detail).

The bar is busy, peppered with British and American accents, Guinness on tap, and the usual Bud, Sam Adams etc.

I am unfortunately am not here to eat, however the smell is wonderful, I will make sure I bring he wife.

The food on the tables around me looks basic, fries, sandwiches etc. I am here in a Wednesday night at 1730, I cannot imagine how busy it is on a Friday or Saturday night.

From my brief time here I can say I will be back and you should give it a try too, if only for a social beer and a giggle.

The Crown and Anchor is located at 2891 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362-3202

For more information their website is www.crownnanchor.com


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Lack of writing

I know I haven’t written my little blog for a few weeks, never fear faithful subscribers I will be writing a wonderful blog very soon.

The Christmas period was full of warm sunshine and long days, something that I am just not used to. England is always cold and wet at Christmas which means the indoors is extra special.

No chestnuts roasting on an open fire for me!

Next year I will make sure that I get back to England. And as for my blog I will be writing a small piece on how to get your children to eat at the table and have that perfect family dinner.

As soon as I figure out how to do it!



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You’re Taking the Plate!

There is something here in California (and possibly the whole of the US) that really annoys me.

When eating at a restaurant the servers take away plates before everyone has stopped eating.  There are some basic rules, and this one is the most fundamental, you do not clear anything from the table (unless requested) before everyone at the table has finished eating. I know it doesn’t sound much but this is a big deal, it’s basic manners. As basic as not starting until everyone’s food is on the table.

This runs deeper than just manners, learning basic manners at the dinner table then translates into your adult life. In England we are seeing a huge shift from the family meal around a dinner table, with all the social interaction that this brings, towards the  unsociable and paralyzing TV dinner. This is a contributor towards the receding family social cohesion being seen all over the world.

Both me and my wife agree that when we have children we will do as John F Kennedy did as a child; Selected Local and World news will be put up on the refrigerator which our children will read and then we can talk about it over dinner. Easier said than done.

I feel that not only is a healthy nutritional diet necessary  for a healthy child but also, a healthy and well rounded social life filled with a wide view of the world and not the 5 mile radius of the house.

All great change in America begins at the dinner table

– Ronald Reagan

I feel that eating together brings such a sociably pleasurable experience which can bring people and families together and teach children valuable life lessons. As children learn primarily from their parents it is them that should act like adults and be sociably responsible for the future.

I am so passionate about this that i can go on forever, i will write more about this soon.


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How To Be a Food Critic? Part 2

I posted my first critique of a restaurant (Sushi Planet Orbiting Westlake Village) a few days ago.

If your following my blog you will already know I have always wanted to be a food critic (see Finally I Did It.) To see the first part of this adventure click “How to be a food critic?.

My first mistake was to critique something that I love to eat but am not so good at cooking. I have eaten in several Sushi restaurants but not prepared it like other foods.

Second, I need to take more pictures of the location and food, looking at other blogs I need to make mine more visually stimulating. The blogs I like best have photos to show more precisely what was going on (a picture paints a thousand words.)

Third, I needed to make more notes, about what I have eaten, the location, the staff, service, the environment, everything I observe.

Fourth, get more background information on the restaurant and the chefs, if possible.

Fifth, as Richard Frisbie suggested to me, I should not order what I want from the menu, I should ask the waiter or chef to decide for me so I have a completely unbiased opinion (it helps that there is nothing I do not eat.)

Sixth, Learn to write by reading more food critique blogs and newspaper articles.

I will put these into practice, the adventure continues.


Filed under critic, Eating, food, Kitchen, Restaurant, Sushi

Sushi Planet Orbiting Westlake Village

As this is my first restaurant critique I decided to go local. (Although the other reason was that ‘Sushi Planet‘ is within walking distance from my home and I had a hankering for sake.)

The restaurant is nestled on the northwest corner of Westlake Boulevard and Hampshire Road, across from Citi Bank. You may not know it is there, however the flags, twinkle lights, and bright neon “OPEN” sign on the door might catch the eye.

As I entered the restaurant I was greeted with a loud noise from the waiting staff that set me back slightly and made me think I had done something wrong. This might just have been my fragile English sensibilities, however I am reassured that this was a greeting and everyone’s smiling faces was a good thing.

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