Although she’s an NPR contributor and food columnist, Betsy Block is also a typical wife and mother. Which is to say that her family of four, she realizes, is mired in unhealthy dining habits at the corner of Picky Eaters Street and Sugar Fiends Drive, and her earnest yet exasperated journey towards healthier meals that her family will deign to eat is chronicled in The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World.

If you want a volume filled with healthy recipes that everyone immediately loved, this is not the book for you. If you want an enjoyable real-life account of one family kicking and screaming towards culinary change — including a mom who lies to her kids about her love of chocolate, a dad who hates vegetables, and a kid who eats a handful of olives for dinner — this is definitely the book for you.

After the engaging tale of reluctant change there’s a section with tip charts (telling you which foods are high in which nutrients, for example) and honest recipes (she tells you exactly who likes what, including things her kids hate).

By the time I finished it, I wanted to invite Block’s kids over for a play date with my kids… and I was hoping she would stay and have a cup of coffee (and maybe sneak some chocolate) with me, too. –Mir