05/31/2013 05:49 pm ET Updated Jun 02, 2013

Table Talk: How 9-Year-Old Hannah Robertson Is Making A Big Impact

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

You definitely don’t have to be a grown-up to take a stand for what you believe in. Last week, 9-year-old Hannah Robertson spoke her mind to the head of McDonald’s, and now her message is making headlines on an international stage.

In a major company meeting last week, Robertson said she was troubled by the way the restaurant chain marketed its food to kids, explaining: "Something that I don't think is fair is when big companies try to trick kids into eating food that isn't good for them by using toys and cartoon characters." The CEO told her that McDonald’s doesn’t sell junk food -- but he also admitted recently that some healthy options are not very popular at the restaurants (salads, for example, make up only two to three percent of what people buy from McDonald’s in the United States). Healthy eating is an issue that means a lot to Hannah and her family; her mom writes about health and nutrition, and Hannah herself is an aspiring chef. They make how-to cooking videos together to show the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.

Tonight, let’s talk about standing by our beliefs -- and what we can do to be active and aware as consumers.

Questions for discussion:
  • Have you noticed chains like McDonald’s marketing specifically to kids?
  • What are the important things to think about when you see commercials for food or other products?
  • What’s one issue you’d be willing to stand up for, even in front of an international audience?

In her 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.



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