Eat, Laugh, Talk – Let’s Bring the Family Back to the Table

For many families mealtime has been lost in our overscheduled, hectic, busy, and hard to manage lives. School, whether online or in-person, work schedules, and extracurricular activities can make it difficult to find time to eat together. Some go days or weeks without sitting down as a family to share a meal. However, family meals are important and should be considered part of our daily requirements. In this blog, we will discuss some features of why it is important to bring the family back to the table.

Let’s Start of With Some Facts…

Researchers have found that families who share meals together on a regular basis, whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner reap many benefits.

Family meals tend to be more nutritious. A Harvard study found that families who eat together are twice as likely to eat their five servings of fruits and vegetables as families who don’t eat together. Let’s face it, when you do a grab-and-go meal, most of the prepared foods that are easy to take on the road with you are not focused on the food groups.

Kids who eat family meals tend to eat a wider variety of foods and become less picky eaters. Try to get the kids involved with choosing what is on the menu. Even get them involved with writing out the grocery list. Ask them to source the items in the store and to pick out the cut of meat at our meat counter. Perhaps they can even pair it with their choice of in-season vegetables. Make family mealtime more than just a few minutes around the table – enjoy the entire process of farm to table.

Come Together to Learn and Grow as a Family

Family meals provide an opportunity for family members to come together, strengthen ties and build better relationships. They build a sense of belonging which leads to better self-esteem. How often do you say “good morning” to a family member and then maybe have very little to no interaction with them for the entire day? Even though you are working or doing school within the same four walls? Setting time aside that works for everyone in the family to come to the table is very important for relationship building and mental health.

Family meals offer parents a chance to be role models. They can set an example of healthy eating and polite table manners. As parents, we don’t have to be drill sergeants but have some fun with the younger kids while teaching proper table manners. Perhaps even have role reversal meals where the kids can sit at the head of the table, say the grace, as well as clean up the dinnerware after the meal. Allow them to make mealtime what they will – it’s a learning adventure for everyone involved. For the older children, encourage the entire family to come to the table and to leave their phones in another room! Sitting at the table and eating while on a device just has no place in the home.

Serve Pork for Dinner from Hilltop Acres Poultry
Serve Pork for Dinner from Hilltop Acres Poultry

Health Advantages of Eating Together at the Table

Family meals help prevent obesity. Research shows that people tend to eat less during family meals because they eat more slowly, and talk more. Allow each person around the table to share something that they are learning or working on. Encourage questions to take place. Often times more learning can happen while at the dinner table than actually working on a school project.

Research shows that kids who eat family meals have a lower chance of engaging in high-risk behaviors such as substance use and violence. And even fewer psychological problems. Ensuring that the home is a safe place with nutritious food choices is important to people of all ages. From the very young to the aging – we all need healthy options to eat for meals and snacks as well as time to fellowship and be with others.

Try Some of These Recipies as a Family…

If you missed our blog on Cooking Chicken Breast in the oven, click here to get caught up on some tips and tricks for making a delicious chicken meal. We also provided a lot of great recipes to try in our blog titled Healthy Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less. Read the article here.

If you are looking to find out how other families are bringing the family back to the table, you may be interested in a book titled “Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook”. This book shares 52 weeks of ideas for achievable family dinners with great food, fun, and conversation.  Using real stories from families who have become a part of The Family Dinner Project over the years, they share tips to overcome common dinnertime obstacles, set goals, and get closer as a family. You’ll find chapters on picky eating, screen time, tension at the table, busy schedules, and more – plus hundreds of easy recipes and tons of ideas for engaging conversation and exciting dinner games.

Chicken Leg Dinner with Hilltop Acres Poultry
Chicken Leg Dinner with Hilltop Acres Poultry

Tips for Eating More Meals Together:

  • Make family meals a priority in your household. Focus on the importance of being together as a family more than on making an elaborate meal.
  • Start with small steps. Increase the number of family meals by one extra meal a week.
  • As a family, plan a menu for the week and make a grocery list.
  • Let the kids be involved. Let them help prepare food or set the table.
  • Ask that no cell phones or tablets come to the table.
  • Work as a family to clean up afterwards.
  • Turn off the TV or other distractions.

It’s worth a try. More family mealtime could mean some large rewards for your family. We know that it won’t be easy, but nothing worth achieving comes without a bit of work. Start small and set some time aside to find out and discuss as a family when meal times together can work and then schedule them into your calendar! Don’t forget to stop by our farm store and let us know what you are having for your family dinner. We’d love to hear your stories.


Ideas For Christmas Brunch

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is just around the corner. Have you finished your shopping? Have you planned your meal? The tasks never seem to end. However, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Let us help you plan a fantastic meal for your friends and family. In this month’s blog, we have some fabulous ideas for Christmas brunch. From food to decor, your guests will be singing your praises. Santa will be wishing he stuck around this year.

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The Healthiest and Most Delicious Produce for Winter Season

Ah, it’s winter season again. That time of year when the leaves have already changed color with most of them almost completely fallen away while the colder temperatures are becoming more constant. With the arrival of winter, some people have the impression that produce growing season has now come to a complete halt. We don’t agree with the notion of a halt, but do however think that the fall and winter season has some of the best tasting produce. The big question is which ones are the most delicious and most healthy? Luckily, we’ve curated a list of awesome fruits and vegetables that we know you’ll love, along with their health benefits.

In case you missed it, we’ve also written this lovely post on the impact of the seasons on what we eat. Feel free to give that one a read as well!

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The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy & Stress Free Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingIt’s that time of year when we celebrate one of our most treasured holidays, Thanksgiving. Last year, we shared some tips on simple ways to improve your Thanksgiving meals. This time around, we’ll be sharing a mix of meal ideas that could help you have a stress free and healthy Thanksgiving holiday overall.

We know that holidays like these only come a hand full of times a year in Canada and as such, they can be very stressful to plan. As with many things in life, stress can ruin good times but a little planning can go a very long way. Here are our top tips for keeping things generally stress free. Continue reading


How to Identify & Control Common Lawn Weeds

Lawn Weeds

The presence of annual and perennial weeds is the least favourite part of gardening. Imagine taking the time to make your garden or backyard look beautiful only to have pesky weeds destroy the beauty and affect the quality of your plants. Simply put, weeds are unwanted and have very harmful effects on any natural environment if they aren’t properly controlled. Major weed invasions have been known to threaten the survival of plants and animals because they compete directly (and at times indirectly) for the same resources, nutrients and sunlight. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common garden weeds along with tips on how you can fight them too. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Common Misconceptions about Farmers & Farming

Farming is one of the most productive and impactful professions in the world, and as such, there are a lot of

misconceptions surrounding the industry and the people who work in it, farmers. Many consumer misconceptions arise as a result of mistrust and a general lack of information. There are many misunderstandings and

confusions surrounding the industry and while some of them are hard to debunk, we’ll do our best to bring more clarity and challenge some of these common misconceptions as well as  provide an explanation for why they don’t hold that much weight. Happy reading! Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Healthy Summer Food Essentials

It’s safe to say it’s officially summer for us here in Canada. We know that summer’s the perfect time to head outdoors and get some fun in the sun, but did you know it’s also the perfect time to switch up your diet? Because we’re outdoors more often in the summer, there’s more risk of health issues like dehydration, skin irritations, and vitamin deficiencies. This is where healthy summer food choices come in and it also certainly doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy tasty summer barbecues and desserts. With this post, we’ll share some great food essentials that’ll keep you looking and feeling healthy throughout the summer. If you haven’t already, read our previous post on the impact of seasons on what we eat. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Farm Stores & Farmers’ Markets – A Unique Shopping Experience

What would you define as a unique shopping experience? We define it as one where the shopper is in an environment where they’re able to enjoy a rich variety of specialty items and products that are specific to that region as well as being in a place where the people are genuinely interested in sharing their passion for locally made products. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Impact of Seasons on What We Eat

Fruits in SeasonWe’re finally beginning to see signs of spring with the return of rain and increased sunlight. As we transition to much warmer weather, there are a variety of interesting activities to look forward to like spending more time outdoors, saying hello to longer days and enjoying the fresh produce that’s available this season. As the seasons change, so do the foods that are available. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Technology and Farming: A Help or Hindrance?

silo-2022754_1920Farming is still highly regarded as one of the world’s most important practices and industries, but in recent times,with the growth of technology, the industry has gone through a host of drastic changes. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing but like everything related to technology, no one speaks too much about its negative impacts when it comes to farming. We’ve become so focused on getting quick yields regardless of possible negative consequences. People have also become very accustomed to convenience that they only look at the surface and not think deeply about the processes behind the production of the foods we eat. We’ll examine a few categories to determine whether technology has become a help or a hindrance to farming. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

‘Tis The Season for Stress Free Christmas Meal Prep

ChristmasAh…It’s that time of the year when the air is filled with joy and excitement! Many of us certainly don’t want to spoil the excitement with the stress of making complicated Christmas dishes. Sometimes, we try too hard to make things perfect but end up putting immense pressure on ourselves by making complicated dishes that end up ruining the moment. You can still impress your guests with simple delights and take the stress out of Christmas while savoring the moments with friends and family. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Benefits of Having Regular Family Meals

Family MealsFor many of us, life moves very fast with our busy schedules, and always-on lifestyles. This can make planning family mealtimes a difficult exercise, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s also the feeling that family meals should mostly occur on special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, but sitting down together and having a family meal shouldn’t be limited to these events. This mealtime is an opportunity for families to share conversations and enjoy each other’s company. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Thanksgiving Meal This Year

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is one of the most treasured holidays in Canada and it only comes once a year.

As such, it’s important to take time to prepare the most delicious Thanksgiving meal in order to have a truly memorable time with friends and family. If you’re looking for ways to improve your typical Thanksgiving meals or you’re simply looking for more ways to make your meals exciting, you’ve come to the right place! Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

What Does 100% Natural Really Mean?

100% natural

There are growing concerns about the actual ingredients in our food. With this, many people are beginning to turn to organic and locally grown foods. These days when you walk into grocery stores you’ll notice many food products plastered with stickers and labels like “farm fresh”, “GMO free”, “100% natural” and “all natural”. Continue reading Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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Hilltop Acres Poultry Products
1501 Maple Bend Road
Bloomingdale, Ontario
N0B 1M0, Canada


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