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Newsletter: April 2018

Growing with the Seasons at Family Dinner

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The Family Dinner Project is based in Massachusetts, and by this time of the year, we’re all eager for a change of season. As New England hangs onto the last bits of winter, we can’t help but think of Spring, warmth, fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of new growth all around us.

This is a perfect time to focus on growth at the family dinner table, too: As the seasons change, we can all take the opportunity to refresh our outlook and try a few new things. This month, we recommend putting a little extra attention into plant-based eating, as well as using food preparation and dinnertime as opportunities to introduce new skills. With these strategies, everyone is sure to grow this Spring!

“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” — Michael Pollan

You’ve probably heard of Michael Pollan’s famous quote by now, and you may have thought once or twice, This is easier said than done! Eating “mostly plants” can be tricky, especially if you’ve got selective eaters at home, but there’s no doubt that it’s good for all of us to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our plates. Try some of these unexpected options:

Grow Their Brains at the Table.

This month, we’re pleased to share a brain-building tip for families with young diners from our friends at Vroom! Look for tips and advice for older age brackets in upcoming newsletters.

Plant Some Seeds For Better Communication.

We can all get stuck in conversational ruts from time to time, and after a while, it’s easy to think that we know everything there is to know about our loved ones. Make a conscious effort to grow in your knowledge and understanding of each other this month with a few new tactics.

  • Stop asking “How Was Your Day?” Try some deeper, more specific alternatives with these choices for adults and older teens, and these suggestions for younger kids.
  • Make learning about one another fast and fun with a Two Minute Question Round.
  • Give each family member a turn to host a “favorites dinner.” The host chooses their favorite foods for the menu, plays their favorite songs and games during the meal, and so on. You can even have everyone wear the host’s favorite color, or ask questions like “What’s your favorite animal? Favorite movie? Favorite book?”

Speaking of Growth…

…Thank you for always helping us to grow and develop in new ways! Your feedback on our annual survey will help The Family Dinner Project better understand the families we serve, and continue to improve our offerings in the future.

2017 Survey Results

Family of the Month

Meet the Budheges family! Mom Sheri is the creator of Crate Your Phone, a product that helps her family — and others — remember to connect face-to-face at the dinner table.

Real Family Dinner Projects: The Budheges Family

Food

Make eating more plants fun and easy with a Do It Yourself Salad bar for dinner!

Do It Yourself Salad

Fun

Encourage exploration of new fruits and vegetables with the Mystery Foods activity.

Explore Mystery Foods

Conversation

Earth Day is coming up! Talk about it at your table with these conversation starters.

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