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Food For Thought

Hungry for family dinner advice? Dr. Anne Fishel draws on her experience as a family therapist, associate professor of psychology, and mother of two sons to bring you helpful dinnertime observations and tips.

‘That’s Disgusting!’ – Encouraging Picky Eaters

April 4th, 2012

Does nature or nurture create picky eaters? Plus tips for taming even the pickiest among us

Meeting Your Child’s Sweetheart: 12 Tips for a Successful Meal

February 14th, 2012

It’s hard to be our best, most authentic selves when our children bring a significant other home to dinner.

Sweet Potato Puddings

Thanksgiving Story Telling

November 23rd, 2011

‘We learn about our families from the stories that we tell, and our brains are wired to understand each other through stories.’ Plus questions to inspire story sharing

Citizen Cane

The Where of Family Dinners

October 31st, 2011

Considering the spatial “ingredients” of family dinners

On Strike

Why I Went on Strike

August 31st, 2011

When my sons were 12 and 14, I went on strike. To demand more respect for my nightly dinners, I hung up my apron and just stopped cooking.

Adding Competence and Rules into the Mix: Dinner with School-aged Kids

July 27th, 2011

(The third in a 3-part series): When it comes to dinner, harness your elementary school-aged child’s wish to be more competent and to play by the rules

Comforting the Sick: What Dinner Do You Want When You’re Under the Weather?

April 4th, 2011

A curious look at what we crave when we’re ill- and why

How to Make your Toddler an Adventurous Eater and Cooperative Diner

March 3rd, 2011

(Part two in a series) Young kids are not the most civilized dinner companions. Dinnertime can feel like sitting with a group of monkeys…But, this is a critical time for developing family meals as a ritual

Slow Food

Fast Slow Food

February 11th, 2011

“Fast food” doesn’t have to mean unhealthy, oversized meals with high fat and sugar content served in Styrofoam containers.

Play with Your Food, Not Your Video Games

December 21st, 2010

‘The kitchen isn’t just the workstation for family dinners; it can also be the “play station” for many fun and creative projects.’

Baby boy drinking milk bottle

The Very First Family Dinners

December 11th, 2010

(Note: This is the first post in a series.)

Far more important than developing a robust eater, and regardless of whether your baby is bottle- or breast-fed, the feeding relationship is the first crucial task of parenting.

Family Dinner From Above

The Power of Table Talk

November 12th, 2010

From building vocabulary to building resistance, conversations at the dinner offers benefits for kids – and families.


by Dr. Anne K. Fishel

Anne FishelAnne Fishel is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at the Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Family and Couples Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has lectured and written about the benefits of family meals.

Her book about family dinners, Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun and Conversation for Happier Families and Healthier Kids, is available through Amazon.