Today’s episode is about The Family Dinner Project – a growing movement of food, fun and conversation about things that matter. FDP is a nonprofit organization based at Harvard University.
Over the past 15 years, research has shown what parents have known for a long time: Sharing a fun family meal is good for the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience and self-esteem. Additionally, family meals are linked to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression.
Lynn Barendsen is the Executive Director of The Family Dinner Project, and one of its founding members. Since 1997, she has been a part of the Good Project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where The Family Dinner Project is housed. Lynn is also a mom – she and her husband have two teenage boys. Family dinner is a big part of her life, both professionally and personally.
Here are the resources we mentioned on the show.
- The Family Dinner Project on Facebook and Twitter and Lynn on Twitter
- The Family Dinner Project website
- The Family Dinner Project Resource Page
- Catch up on or sign up for the FDP Newsletters
- Melissa’s Do MORE with Dinner initiative
- Fun Family Dinner Videos from FDP
- What Can Children Do to Help Out in the Kitchen? See what two, four and five year olds can do to help out, learn and have fun, too!
- Book: Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids by Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D.
- Teaching Kids How to Cook – Lessons from Registered Dietitians
- Blue Star Families
- Make Dinnertime Matter video: Who would you most like to have dinner with?