Follow Here To Purchase Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids

Author: Anne K. Fishel, PhD.

Publisher: AMACOM

ISBN: 978-0-81144-3370-6

Dr. Fishel cofounded the Family Dinner Project and NPO that works with families to ensure they can make dinners special. (2014, inside back cover) Fishel was Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University where she sat for her doctorate and she is a graduate of University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Currently Dr. Fishel works as an Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and Director of Family and Couples Therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. She has many noteworthy prizes from her residents and interns. She has been a guest blogger for NPR and PBS and blogs regularly for This is Dr. Fishel’s second book. Fishel and her family reside outside of Boston.

In Welcome to the Table Dr. Fishel invites each reader to “…think about your dinnertime—both the one that you have with your current family and the one that you had with the family you grew up with.” (2014, p.7) I had not done that in quite a while and it was a fun and memorable exercise personally. I know that growing up our kitchen table was a place where we and friends gathered for more than food and Dr. Fishel thinks this is “…an excuse to bring family together.” (p.8) I agree.

Recent studies link frequent family dinners with a host of teenage behaviors that parents pray for; lower rates of substance abuse, pregnancy, and depression, as well as, higher grade-point averages, and self-esteem.” (2014, p.12) Furthermore, “Evidence shows that family dinners enhance children’s intellectual functioning, mental health, and improve physical health and nutrition.” (p.13) This positive correlation is all good family news.

Chapters in Home for Dinner tackle children of various age groups learning and interest levels to help parents to figure how best to include their children in meal planning and healthy nutritional learning. There are recipes that can help cement these family-based activities and make that time together fun and engaging for all involved. Dr. Fishel offers some common-sense rules for better dinnertime interactions, i.e. no technology at the dinner table, especially helpful for teens; asking questions that can be replied to in one word, etc.. She tenders hints for how to help children overcome picky appetites and learn about new food stuffs. Depending on what your child likes, or how your child learns, you can find a ritual or routine that can bring you together and make meals more memorable with Home for Dinner. I enjoyed it an believe you will too.