The B4FD Project features blog posts from guest writers that explore the far-reaching benefits of family dinner.

Family Dinner Month 2012: Sept 17 -- Oct 29, 2012


Family Food Rules: Parent Earth videos

produced by Parent Earth

Inspired by Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, Parent Earth asked different parents about their Family Food Rules. Here are two videos featuring Laurie David and Melora Hardin.

Laurie David, Parent Earth Expert, award-wining filmmaker and Author of “The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time”, has thought a lot about food and family. Eating dinner together has shaped her family and helped her develop open and intimate relationships with her two daughters — no small feat with tweens and teens. In this Parent Earth video, she shares her tried and true family food rules.

Laurie David’s 5 Family Food Rules:

1) No screens of any kind: cell phones, televisions, and computers
2) Everyone comes to the table, no excuses
3) Only serve filtered tap water in glasses at the table
4) Serve dessert to pace the meal: fruit, tea or a little square of chocolate
5) Cook for the family, not just for the kids


Melora Hardin, from The Office, plays the hysterical character Jan Levenson, but she is serious about healthy food for her 2 young girls. She wants mealtime to be fun and not a place for negotiation and power struggles. This is easier said than done. Through trial and error, she figured out what works for her family. She and her husband, Gildart Jackson, have a few simple strategies based on the basic idea of never saying “eat one more bite and you can have dessert.” Parent Earth interviewed Melora and filmed her family’s breakfast to see how she does it. Melora says that it was hard making the change, but that with patience and persistence she made it work, “the kids really took to it.” Her goal is for her kids to listen to their own bodies and make healthy choices for themselves. It requires a lot of talking with your children and in the video she shares handy phrases any parent can use.

Melora Hardin’s Family Food Rules:

  • Desserts are only served on the weekend
  • The kitchen is always stocked with fresh fruits that the kids can eat anytime
  • Kids decide when they are done eating and when they are full
  • Dessert comes after dinner
  • Special occasions, like birthdays, are exceptions to the rule
  • Kids get involved in the kitchen and make cooking fun – cook with kids

What are your family food rules? More Parent Earth Videos on Family Food Rules and more can be found at parentearth.com

Parent Earth creates short online videos on everything from cooking and gardening to nutrition and behavior, as part of a mission to answer parents’ questions about food and to help create a world that nurtures healthy, thriving children.

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