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Real Family Dinner Projects: The Jourden Family

Posted on: January 29th, 2018 by Bri DeRosa

Meet the Jourdens! Brynna Jourden originally reached out to The Family Dinner Project for advice on bringing information about family dinners to her son’s school community. Now we’re pleased to feature her family and share their dinnertime challenges and successes!

The Family:

Brynna and Albert Jourden and kids Jack (5) and Felix (2), of Los Angeles, CA.

The Goal:

Currently, Brynna shares that her biggest goal to help stay on top of dinnertime is improving her meal planning skills. She wants to work on prepping ahead of time, as well as trying one new recipe every week. “I haven’t made a lot of progress towards getting this achieved yet….”

The Challenge:

As with many families with young children, the Jourdens find it challenging to come up with recipes that everyone will happily eat, especially given their goal of trying a new recipe each week! Brynna also shares that getting everyone to the table at the same time can be difficult as they try to keep up with busy work and volunteer schedules along with the demands of raising a young family.

The Strategies:

Getting Jack and Felix involved in dinner — from simply choosing parts of the meal to helping prep ingredients — is an essential part of making dinners go more smoothly. Although having young children in the kitchen can be messy and slow down the cooking process, giving them responsibilities related to dinnertime can also help encourage them to try new foods and to be more willing participants at the table! Even little ones like Felix can get involved — Brynna shares that he helps to choose ingredients at the grocery store.

The Jourdens have also participated in our 4 Week Program for families, and Brynna often refers to The Family Dinner Project for dinnertime inspiration. Last week their “new recipe” was our Carrot Top Pesto, which Brynna says was “Yummy!”

The Food:

Kindergartener Jack: “Lasagna and pizza and milk!”
2-year-old Felix: “Pizza!”
Albert: “Lasagna.”
Brynna: “Salmon, rice and broccoli.”
Albert: “Oh, that’s my second favorite!”
Jack: “I want that too!”

Looking for recipes for Jourden family favorites? Try our versions: Turkey Lasagna, Homemade Pizza and Salmon with Pesto!

The Takeaway:

As the family grows and continues their dinners together, Brynna looks forward to trying more conversation starters and ideas for “steering away from the potty talk that inevitably starts!” She also hopes to continue building healthy eating habits in her boys and “being together and nourishing our bodies.”

The Best Part:

Albert and Brynna enjoy getting to see everyone at the end of the day, and talking about how the day has gone. Jack likes “All of it.” As for Felix….

“I love eating with my family!” — Felix Jourden, Age 2