Nov 21, 2019
Just in time for holiday meals, Dr. Dan enthusiastically welcomes author and food writer Brianne DeRosa to discuss family dinners, family meals and the recently released book Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook.
Today’s episode will help parents and families hungry for meaningful meals come together at the table. Brianne explains how the new book proves the enduring importance of family meals and redefines the concept of family dinner for modern families so that we can all look forward to dinner (or breakfast or lunch). Dr. Dan and Bri discuss dining-related topics including what the research says about the benefits of family dinners, The Family Dinner Project organization’s mission, and the revelation that “Food + Fun + Conversation” are the three key ingredients to a meaningful family dinner (or meal).
Over 20 years of research has shown what parents have known for a long time: regular family meals lead to long-term benefits, including higher resilience, self-esteem, and grade-point-averages, and lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and depression.
Dr. Dan and Bri tackle common obstacles to gathering the whole family for a meal such as busy lives, stress, lack of time, picky eaters, and conflicting work schedules as well as how to follow the family rule “No One Eats Alone Rule” (even if it means Face-timing during dinner!).
Brianne DeRosa, MFA, is the Content Manager for The Family Dinner Project and co-author of Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook. As a freelance writer and consultant to nonprofit organizations, she has spent over a decade working in communications, program development and creative initiatives. Bri runs her own food blog, Red, Round or Green and has contributed to the Cooking with Trader Joe's: Easy Lunchboxes cookbook as well as the Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide. She has also written for numerous outlets including Motherwell Magazine, Yahoo! Parenting, HandPicked Nation, KidsNation Magazine, Real Mom Nutrition and The Lunch Tray. Bri has the opportunity to practice her family dinner skills every day with her husband and two young sons.
This episode ends with Bri’s thoughtful Parent Footprint moment. Bon appetit!
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About The Family Dinner Project: A nonprofit initiative started in 2010, The Family Dinner Project champions family dinner as an opportunity for family members to connect with each other through food, fun, and conversation about things that matter. More than 20 years of scientific research shows "why" family mealtimes are so important. The Family Dinner Project provides the "how" for today's busy families.
The Family Dinner Project team members come from varied personal and professional backgrounds. They are parents and non-parents, and their ages range from "young professional" to 'Medicare-eligible.' Their collective professional experience includes education, family therapy, research, food, social work, marketing and communication. With nonprofit partners and local champions, The Family Dinner Project team works online and at community events to help families increase the frequency, meaning, and long- term benefits of their shared meals. The Family Dinner Project is based in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital's Psychiatry Academy.
NOTE: All the authors’ proceeds will benefit The Family Dinner Project’s nonprofit community programs.
Anne K. Fishel, PhD