Mealtimes: Opportunities for Raising Resilient Children
April 4, 2006
URBANA -- Families who make a commitment to sharing meals together on a regular basis are doing more good for the health and education of their children than they might realize. That's the topic of a lecture to be held Monday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Knight Auditorium in The Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

The lecture entitled "Vegetables, Vocabulary, and Love: Mealtimes as Opportunities for Raising Resilient Children" is free and open to the public.

The featured speakers will be Reed Larson, professor of family ecology, human and community development at the University of Illinois and Angela Wiley, assistant professor and University of Illinois Extension specialist.

Larson and Wiley, along with Kathryn Branscomb co-edited a recently published collection of articles entitled Family Mealtime as a Context of Development and Socialization.

"There has been a lot of research in different disciplines on the importance of family mealtime over the past few years," said Larson. "Angela and I will be drawing from the material presented in the book and our own research in the area for the presentation."

Sharing meals as a family isn't a cure all, but Larson said that, remarkably, it has been associated with influencing everything from a higher level of literacy in young children to better nutrition in teens.

The lecture is one in a series sponsored by The Pampered Chef® Family Resiliency Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Pampered Chef, Ltd. Larson holds The Pampered Chef, Ltd. Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency at the University of Illinois.

The lecture coincides with the opening of Doris Kelley Christopher Hall, a new building on the University of Illinois Urbana campus, which is home to The Pampered Chef® Family Resiliency Program and the Department of Human and Community Development. Christopher Hall was donated by Doris and Jay Christopher. Mrs. Christopher, a University of Illinois alumna, is founder and chairman of The Pampered Chef, Ltd.