At Herren Project, we want to help families grow, heal and thrive together. We were excited to collaborate with The Family Dinner Project (TFDP) during Wellness Week With Herren (WWWH) to help families do just that! Through co-branded conversation starters, games and recipe cards we gave families the tools they needed to talk about wellness at the table (and have fun while doing it.). It was such a success, that we are excited to announce that we will continue to collaborate beyond WWWH through our Herren Project Clubs. New activities for students and families will be released in September, 2020. We share a mutual goal to help families find new, easy ways to strengthen communication and the ability to share with one another. The concept of the “family dinner table” help reach this goal through the many benefits of the coming together to eat — increased resiliency, decreased risk of substance abuse and healthier lifelong eating habits.
“Over the past 20 years, scientific research has shown that sharing a family meal is one of the most powerful activities that parents can do for the body, the brain, and the spirit of their kids. Studies link regular family meals to many outcomes that parents want for their children: higher-grades, resilience and better nutrition, as well as lower rates of depression, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and obesity. Many of these benefits derive from the finding that sharing a meal helps children feel more connected to their parents. More than 90 percent of all families want to have regular family dinners. But, on any given night, only between 30 and 50 percent are eating together. TFDP helps to make it easier for busy families to reap the many benefits of family dinner. Research tells us why family dinners are meaningful, and The Family Dinner Project shows families how to make it a fun and meaningful part of life.” – The Family Dinner Project
Keep the Conversation Going!
Check out our blog The Benefits of Dinner Discussions as well as The Family Dinner Project’s website! They have many incredible resources including tip sheets, recipes, games, activities and conversation starters to help transform eating dinner together into a reliable time of the day for connection. They offer a full range of evidence-based resources that families need to harness the power of family dinners: recipes for easy, nutritious meals; games to promote conversation and lighten the mood; and tips to stimulate meaningful conversation.
- The Family Dinner Project offers practical, easy-to-use tips, including:
- Dinner Tonight and Budget Dinner Tonight – a daily helping of a recipe, a game, and a conversation starter
- Conversation of the Week – a summary of a current events, along with thought-provoking questions to help your family have conversations about things that matter.
- A 4-week program to help families dive deeper into family dinners
- A monthly newsletter with stories from families and creative ideas around themes, like promoting courage, adjusting to an empty nest, or keeping dinner going during the summer
In addition to their website, The Family Dinner Project released a book last year, Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook! Filled with dozens of stories and recipes from real families that are sure to inspire, the book is organized in sections according to common mealtime obstacles and provides 52 weeks of food, fun and conversation for families of all kinds. You can order Eat, Laugh, Talk or buy it anywhere books are sold.
We encourage you to make “family dinner” a goal this week and beyond. Take this time to start (or continue!) a conversation about wellness, mental health, or a fun topic of your choice. It may not be easy at first, but we promise, the more you do it, the easier it will get. Consistency is key and eventually, you’ll create a habit that everyone will look forward to and start to open conversation beyond the dinner table.