Family dinner or family supper time is so important to nurture healthy bodies, minds and relationships. Today we talk with author and Skinny Mom creator Brooke Griffin about her cookbook Skinny Suppers and about making family suppertime special.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Skinny Suppers by Brooke Griffin — see Sam’s review of Skinny Suppers. Brooke and her publisher graciously offered to give one Feeling Fit reader a free copy of Skinny Suppers. To enter, use the giveaway widget at the end of this post, the book review and the guest recipes.
Feeling Fit’s Interview With Brooke Griffin on Making Family Suppertime Healthy And Special
First, for any Feeling Fit readers who may not yet be familiar with skinnymom.com, would you please give your elevator speech describing what Skinny Mom is?
Brooke: SkinnyMom.com started as a blog I wrote in a small bedroom at my parents’ house for friends and family as I was struggling to lose the 68 pounds I’d gained after having my son. I posted my at-home workouts and lightened-up recipes, then people started sharing and engaging with my posts! Over the past five years, it’s become one of the fastest-growing online communities where moms ‘get the skinny’ on healthy living. We connect over six million women each month and the site is continuing to grow!
Sam: What inspired and motivated you to write the Skinny Suppers cookbook?
Brooke: I grew up in a small town in Kentucky and some of my fondest, most cherished memories include having Sunday suppers at my granny’s house after church. We’d laugh, tell all our stories from the week, and pray together. Cooking tasty meals was something my granny did best, and I admired that about her, but her suppers were true southern comfort food. With Skinny Suppers, I wanted to find ways to take those beloved recipes I grew up on and make them smarter options for the everyday family. Additionally, I know how busy life can get, so I wanted to encourage women to cook meals at home with delicious, easy recipes that don’t take hours in the kitchen, and that’s exactly what you’ll get in Skinny Suppers.
Sam: One thing that really stood out as special is your suppertime conversation starters. Please tell us a little more about what suppertime means to you and your family?
Brooke: Great question! Suppertime to me is such a cherished time, whether it’s with my entire family or it’s just my son and me. Growing up, sitting around the supper table each night was a tradition and I wanted to pass that off to my little guy as well. It may not be as structured as it was when I was a child (dinner was always at 6:00 sharp!), but it’s a time we spend filling our bodies with healthy food and reconnecting over conversation, giggles and unconditional love.
Sam: Would you like to share a couple of your favorite Suppertime conversation starters?
Brooke: The Suppertime Inspirations and Suppertime Chats are all important to me because they push families to talk and share, even after long, stressful days.
As for my favorite ones from Skinny Suppers, I’d have to say, “Describe your idea of a perfect day,” and “If you could start your own restaurant, what type of food would you serve and why?” They’re just fun, simple questions that allow your family members to show off their unique personalities. I know every time my little guy shares his answers with me, I learn to appreciate his bright mind a little more.
Sam: Do you have any other tips for a special family suppertime?
Brooke: Just be present. My little guy has turned five years old before my eyes and I always wonder where time goes! Just make it a point to put your phone away, turn off the tv, and listen to your family at the table. You’ll cherish these moments.
Sam: What tips do you have for involving children and teens in preparing for a healthy suppertime?
Brooke: I know suppertime is often a mad dash to get food on the table and when your kids look at you and say, “Can I help?,” you just want to shoo them away. But letting them get involved in the kitchen is the key to getting them to try new things and develop a healthy relationship with food. If you don’t have the time or patience for your little sous chefs to help with the whole meal, set aside one simple action step that they can do! If they had a hand in helping you, they’ll try whatever it is you’re serving.
Sam: Do you have any tips for parents with children who resist eating vegetables?
Brooke: Sneak it! I think many kids just see something green on their plates and instantly turn up their noses. That serving of boring greens just isn’t exciting enough for them! But if you’re incorporating a vegetable into a meal they love, they won’t be so intimidated by the vegetable.
The Creamy Mac and Alfredo is a perfect example; my son says he hates spinach but he always asks for seconds of this dish! He has no idea he’s eating his vegetables when it’s mixed in with a meal he knows he enjoys.
Sam: A couple common concerns we often hear about eating healthy are concern over the time it takes to prepare healthy foods and the expense of healthy foods. What is your insight to help families overcome these challenges?
Brooke: I completely understand those concerns, but the key is really in balance and planning. The busy woman doesn’t always have time to cook each meal from scratch, but that doesn’t mean she should give up and order take-out either! You can overcome the challenges of eating healthy by planning out your meals for the week, prepping as much as you can ahead of time, and serving up simple, smarter meals. It’s okay if an ingredient is packaged to save time or your veggies are frozen to save a little money. Just make small healthy choices and they’ll really add up!
Because I know this is a huge concern for women, there are a lot of useful tools I incorporated in Skinny Suppers to make suppertime less stressful. There are Weeknight Wonders which go from prep to table in under thirty minutes and Twice as Nice recipes which make tasty leftovers! I also share my secrets for meal planning and give a helpful 30-day meal planning calendar because I know how overwhelming it can be to get started with healthy cooking.
Sam: From reading Skinny Suppers, I am under the impression that family time is very important for you. Outside of suppertime, what activities do you and your family enjoy together?
Brooke: You’re right, family is incredibly important to me. My favorite way to describe my family dynamic is that we simply do life together. I have two amazing sisters and two brother-in-laws, an adorable nephew, and two parents who would do anything for us. We all live very close by one another, so we really are a part of each other’s day to day activities. I don’t know what I would do without them. From suppertime to family vacations, to going to church together or catching a movie, more times than not I can be found with my family!
Sam: Which recipes from Skinny Suppers or skinnymom.com have been fan favorites?
Brooke: Well, my personal favorite has to be the Southern Shrimp and Grits, but I can’t name just one that our readers love most! In fact, I included 25 of Skinny Mom’s fan favorites in the book so that readers can have their go-to recipes bound in Skinny Suppers, but it also includes 100 exclusive recipes I know they’ll try and love, too. Everyone has their favorites, for sure, and I love hearing them!
About Brooke Griffin
The following biography was submitted by Brooke Griffin’s publicist:
Brooke Griffin grew up in Kentucky where Sunday Suppers were a staple of her childhood. She fondly remembers squeezing into her granny’s tiny country house after church along with her large extended family to eat home-cooked meals and pray. After being the first person in her family to graduate college, Brooke went on to realize her childhood dream of cheerleading in the NFL. She has appeared in national magazines including Oxygen, Women’s Fitness, Redbook, American Baby, GQ, and on national television, including on ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, and Fox. She lives in Kentucky with her son Easton.
Where to Purchase Skinny Suppers by Brooke Griffin
Skinny Suppers is available through many popular book retailers possibly including your favorite book retailer!
The following link is an affiliate referral link. This means that if you click and make a purchase then Feeling Fit receives a modest commission at no extra cost to the shopper.
- Skinny Suppers by Brooke Griffin is available on Amazon
- Skinny Suppers by Brooke Griffin Kindle version
More information is also available at Skinny Suppers Cookbook on skinnymoms.com
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