Family Resiliency Center | Illinois


Mealtime Minutes

Mealtime Minutes are a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that provide real solutions to common family mealtime challenges. The 30-second PSAs help families create effective strategies to address these challenges and create quality shared time together. The PSAs are broadcast nationwide and reach 10s of millions of homes.

The Mealtime Minutes are funded by The Pampered Chef®. Since 2000, The Pampered Chef® has supported the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In 2006, Doris Kelley Christopher Hall opened at the University of Illinois to house the Family Resiliency Center. 

Mealtime Minutes Public Service Announcements

Control the Chaos
It's easy to have your attention diverted away from a meal. Things like answering the phone or door, leaving the table to retrieve something for the meal, or watching television serve as a deterrence to successful mealtime. It's important for families to develop strategies for overcoming or avoiding these distractions and enjoying meals together.

Cooking With Kids
Adults who develop cooking skills tend to enjoy cooking more. Children who learn cooking skills are more likely to increase their consumption of more nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables. Cooking together helps create family traditions and provides opportunities to share family stories.
Mealtime Minutes: Cooking With Kids (PDF)

Many parents report that meal preparation is stressful. Planning ahead can help reduce feelings of stress and fatigue and lead to a better overall experience.
Mealtime Minutes: Plan Ahead (PDF)

Managing Strong Emotions
Cranky children at the table rarely begins the moment the child(ren) sits down. Parents can start to recognize how they can change the patterns that set the stage for these unwanted behaviors.

Pester Power
Children between 2 and 11 years of age view over 12 food advertisements daily on television, more than 70% of which are for unhealthy food. A recent national survey reported that parents believe that the media has a negative influence on their children's eating habits. This can in turn lead to making grocery shopping a frustrating experience as over half of children's requests for food while shopping are for sweets and snacks. Parents yield to this pestering because they don't know what to do.
Mealtime Minutes: Pester Power (PDF)

Picky Eater
Picky eating behaviors have been identified as a major barrier to having shared family mealtimes. Parents serve as important role models in helping children develop healthy eating habits, which is especially important as food preferences are formed early and remain stable throughout childhood.
Mealtime Minutes: Picky Eating (PDF)

The average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours a day using some type of screen media, and teenagers are reported use screen media for more than 11 hours per day. Excessive screen media has been associated with an increased risk for obesity and poor sleep habits. Limiting the amount of screen-time entertainment can lead to healthier habits.
Mealtime Minutes: Screen Time and Mealtime (PDF)

Out of the Mouths of Babes
Positive communications is a crucial part of successful mealtime strategies. Positive communication includes statements that share information among participants, such as including discussion of one’s feelings or emotions, discussion of beliefs or interests outside of the food being served, friendly joking, and discussion of life and family events. This PSA will concern the importance of positive communication and strategies for fostering positive communication.

Sibling Conflict
While it is expected that siblings have some sort of disagreement up to 4 times an hour, families frequently identify this as a real barrier to family mealtimes. The solutions provided draw from the research work of Dr. Laurie Kramer’s More Fun with Sisters and Brothers Program

Work/Life Stress
Managing work/life stress has become an increasing challenge for parents. All too often, stress from the work day spills over into family time and this can adversely impact the physical and emotional health of family members. Parents report that not being able to balance work/life stress is a major barrier to shared family mealtimes.
Mealtime Minutes: Work/Life Stress (PDF)


Picky Eating


Work/Life Stress


Sibling Conflict


Managing Strong Emotions