As founder of the popular website One Family One Meal, Amanda Haas has helped thousands of parents put healthful and delicious meals on the table. Now she has teamed up with Cooking Light to share her philosophy and recipes in the Real Family Food cookbook.

About Amanda Haas

Amanda Haas is an award-winning cookbook writer, professional recipe developer, and founder of One Family One Meal. She is the test kitchen manager at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and has contributed to more than a dozen cookbooks. Most recently, Haas was recognized in MAKERS: Women Who Make America, a digital video and broadcast initiative produced by AOL in partnership with PBS that celebrates women who inspire change in the way we live. Haas lives near San Francisco with her husband and two sons.

Amanda’s Food Philosophy

“Food is love—at least, for me it is! Eating it; cooking it as an expression of gratitude and care for the important people in my life; and sharing it with my family and friends at the dinner table all add up to some of my best memories. I think great things can happen when people sit down together to break bread—even if it’s just for a few minutes. We connect, we nourish our bodies, and we hear about the important things in each other’s lives.

So why has it become so difficult to keep good food and the family dinner ritual in our daily lives? I have a couple of theories: The advent of TV dinners may have started it, but increased demands on our time, nonstop social media in our homes, and the onslaught of kids’ activities in the middle of the evening compete for our family’s attention. No matter what our reasons, most of our kids have become so used to eating quick, packaged foods on the run that sitting down together for dinner seems foreign to them.

The positive effects of gathering at the table for a shared meal a few times a week are proven: Children are happier, less likely to do drugs, and have higher self-esteem. Also, the nutritional benefits of eating healthier foods around a dinner table are significant: Childhood obesity rates drop; children learn moderation in eating; and they begin to set the stage for good nutrition that will last a lifetime. My own beliefs around food, which have slowly morphed into “One Family One Meal,” center on this one concept: Children can and will eat the same meals grown-ups eat. “But,’’ I hear you saying, “My child is so picky. He would never sit down for a real meal. He only eats chicken nuggets/pizza/ fill in the blank. He would never eat broccoli/green beans/fill in the blank.” I love showing parents that if given the chance, their kids will eat things other than processed foods. Beginning on page 13 of this book, I will teach you that cooking doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming, or difficult.

Let’s get cooking!”

-Amanda Haas

The One Family One Meal Plan 

“Giving your family a chance to connect around good food is something I believe is more important than anything else you can give them. To achieve that, I created the One Family One Meal Plan, which focuses on the following key attributes: menu planning, budgeting, making a grocery shopping list, and ultimately, creating simple meals. I know I can’t get rid of soccer practice in the middle of the dinner hour, but I do hope I can give you the next best thing—bringing joy into your kitchen and around your family table when possible.”

-Amanda Haas

Continue to Page 2 to see Amanda's tips on meal planning, budgeting, and creating meals for your family.