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When COVID first hit the U.S. last March and we were all at home a lot more, we found ourselves in the kitchen baking, cooking, having dinner, and sharing family meals together. Now, nearly a year later, and suffice to say, home cooking and family mealtimes are seeing a renaissance. 

Today on the show, we’re taking a look at how COVID-19 has changed the way we eat and feed our families, what the latest research shows about family meals, sharing practical ways to make mealtimes easier and more affordable, and how to connect with your family whether you’re in the dining room or on Zoom. In this episode, I spoke with Dr. Anne Fishel, the Executive Director and co-founder of The Family Dinner Project.

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Welcome 

1:34 What is The Family Dinner Project and what is its mission?
3:53 What does research tell us about the benefits of family meals? 
6:37 Do family meals help kids eat more fruits and vegetables? 
7:30  What does research show about the effects the pandemic has had on family meals?
11:28 Do all family meals have benefits, not only dinner?
12:41 In what ways can family meals help children better cope with the challenges, anxiety, and uncertainties of the pandemic? 
16:40 Are family meals an opportunity to help kids problem solve, especially because distance learning is so challenging? 
18:08 Are virtual meals an effective way to connect with family?
21:47 How can parents let go of perfection and still prioritize family meals?
27:00 When we return to the “new normal,” will families still be cooking and sharing meals as much as they do now?
29:00 Can baking together have the same positive impact on families and kids? 
31:28 What are ways families can connect at the dinner table? 
38:09 What are frugal ways families can get dinner on the table most nights of the week?
40:16 What are some ways to beat mealtime boredom?
42:29 How can people learn more about The Family Dinner Project?

LINKS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW

The Family Dinner Project 

Sign up for The Family Dinner Project’s newsletter and Dinner Tonight ideas

Budget-friendly recipes compatible with WIC and SNAP programs 

Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR

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Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.