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February 23, 2021 45 min
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. New episodes post on Tuesday. Subscribe today so you never miss the latest news and practical insight for raising healthy families and creating change in the U.S.  Be sure to sign up for the free video course, Turn Your Picky Eaters Into Little Foodies: 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 ideasBudget-friendly recipes compatible with WIC and SNAP programs Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook ABOUT OUR SPONSOR The Dinner Daily is a one-of-a-kind, weekly, personalized dinner planning service that makes getting dinner on the table every night easy and affordable for busy families.  Founded by a working mom of 3, The Dinner Daily answers the “what’s for dinner” question, helps families eat healthy, and save money and time.  Members receive complete meal plans and an organized grocery shopping list customized according to their food preferences, dietary needs, family size, and weekly specials at more than 16,000 grocery stores across the U.S. to help them save money.  Meal plans can be customized for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, heart-healthy, and more. The service also provides one-click ordering at Kroger stores nationwide and select Stop & Shop stores in the Northeast.  The Dinner Daily has been featured in Rachael Ray Every Day and Working Mother magazines.  Memberships are as low as $4/a month and new members get a free, 2-week trial. Go to and use code “HEALTH15” to receive 15% off. 
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