Homemade family dinners are often a luxury sacrificed in the name of time pressures, extra-curricular activities and conflicting schedules. It can be difficult to come together and make those quality connections that ultimately strengthen the family unit.
Harvard Medical School professor and family therapist Dr. Anne Fishel says research shows how children benefit from eating dinner together as a family at home: lower rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders; increased self-esteem and resiliency; healthier eating habits, reduced obesity and stronger vocabulary skills as a result of dinnertime conversations. She’s also seen the benefits firsthand as a mother of two sons who are now young adults.
Dr. Fishel’s new book, Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids, aims to “stock pantries” with the tools they need to make dinnertime a truly valuable experience that everyone in the family can enjoy. It marries her own personal experiences as a clinical psychologist and mother with the learnings she’s acquired as co-founder of The Family Dinner Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to bring families in a community together to learn and share insights that will help them make home-cooked family dinners a regular occurrence.
Read Five Ways to Make Eating Dinner Together as a Family a Regular Ritual on Johnson and Johnson Parents.