10/28/2011 02:45 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2012

Food Day: A Family Dinner Table Talk

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

Yes, we all know it's Halloween -- a weekend of costumes, fake spiderwebs, huge (as in, ginormous) amounts of candy. But another special day came and went this week that you might have missed. Food Day. On Oct. 24, exactly one week before the night when it is acceptable to indulge in excessive sugary goodness, Food Day was introduced to "push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way."

The plan, made by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is to make Food Day a lot like Earth Day already is -- an event that is recognized and celebrated every year. A day when people who may be doing good all the time, or may need a little reminder about how to start, can focus on how to help make our world better, healthier, brighter... For this first Food Day, public officials from the government and health organizations went to gatherings all over the country to talk about issues like how junk food is marketed toward children and where the things we eat actually come from. They also decided on "10 of the Best and Worst Aspects of America's Food Scene." On the good side: First Lady Michelle Obama, New York City's health department -- and breastfeeding. Bad: Coca-Cola, Kellogg's Froot Loops, and white flour.

Because Food Day's goal "is nothing less than to transform the American diet," and because we are all taking part in that diet every single day, it's especially appropriate to discuss this week's topic while sitting down for dinner together.

Questions for discussion:
  • Why give "Food" its own day?
  • How can we celebrate Food Day in our own homes?
  • What makes you want to eat certain foods and not others?
  • What's on Food Day's "Terrific 10" list that you didn't know about before?
  • And just for fun... If you had to eat only one food for the rest of the week, which would you choose?

Plus, new on Family Dinner Table Talk: Each week, we give you something to talk about at dinner time, but now, something to eat too! This week's recipes come to us from The Family Dinner book: Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Apples and Butterfly Pasta with Kale as a vegetarian option.

In her new cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.

To see last week's Family Dinner Download, click here.

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For more tips and recipes, check out The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt (