Sitting down for a family meal is a time honored tradition that still exists — even in Tinseltown! We recently chatted with Lori Loughlin, the actress best known for her role as Becky Donaldson on Full House and more recently, as Debbie Wilson on 90210, about her partnership with Barilla pasta.

Loughlin and Barilla are encouraging families to involve tots in mealtime planning and preparation through the use of their Piccolini line of miniature classic pasta shapes. The mother of two daughters — Isabella, 10, and Olivia Jade, 9, — has long been a proponent of the family meal. She said:

"Dinner is a really important meal in our household, it is a time that we make a real effort, my husband and I, to be home. We have dinner every night with our kids. My mom cooked every night, his mom cooked every night and now I cook every night for my family. We do eat a lot of pasta in our family. Their favorite shape pasta is penne - we do penne with vegetables, broccoli, diced chicken. We also do turkey meatballs and penne, we do traditional marinara and penne and Bolognese sauce and penne. My kids love the lasagna that I make."

On both Full House and 90210, the actress' characters have made the family dinner central to facilitating conversation about the children's activities.

"At the time when Full House was on, family dinner was more common in America. As your kids are getting older and have their own lives like the teenagers on 90210 — where and when do you have the time to reconnect with your kids? Well, it's over dinner.

To see what Loughlin had to say about how she handles body image issues with her daughters amid rumors of eating disorders in her 90210 costars, read more.

The waif-like stars of the 90210 cast have led to rumors about eating disorders on the set. To instill healthy body images in her two tween daughters, Loughlin focuses on health over diet.

"I say to my kids that you have to really think about what you put in your body because it's your fuel. I always take the approach of health, not weight. We want to start eating healthy now to take care of our heart and our internal organs so we can be strong, so our brains can develop.

One thing I will say that I disagree with in LA, or some of the diets that are [out there] is people cutting out carbs. I don't think you should cut out carbs. I think you need to have that in your system. You can't just be protein and just vegetables. It’s not good for you.

The Piccolini Smiles contest invites parents to send photos of their kids preparing, or eating, their pasta as part of a meal, to see all the details, and learn how to win $25,000 in tuition money, visit www.piccolinismiles.com.