Dads can have a significant impact on their kid’s nutrition. In honor of Father’s Day, let’s celebrate the great health habits dads can model.
Seek a Balanced Diet
Kids look to see if dad chooses to eat a balanced diet when he’s on his own or if he just does it when the family is together (i.e. the kids are watching). If dad grabs take-out on the way home from work or goes for an extra scoop of ice cream, then kids will view see these habits and want to mimic them. On the flip side, if dad eats a balanced diet with moderate portions, kids will want to mimic that too.
Make Use of Leftovers
Decreasing waste by using leftovers is a family habit worth developing. This begins with parents choosing to make use of what’s on hand or close to expiring to decrease the amount of food that ends up in the garbage instead of being turned into a nourishing meal. When kids see parents making this a priority, they grow to view its importance too.
Eat More Veggies
When dads make sure veggies are part of the family meal it highlights the importance of eating them.
Avoid Food Rewards
When dad celebrates accomplishments by going out for ice cream or a special meal, then kids develop an emotional connection to food. Likewise, if food is used to cheer a mood or bribe a child, an unsafe relationship with food can develop. There are many ways to celebrate or cope, but food should be used for nourishing.
Give Dad a Go-to Recipe
When a parent has a go-to recipe it takes on new meaning. It can be as simple as a marinade that flavors a great grilled dish or perfect pancakes that kids look forward to on a slow morning. No longer will the dish be just “pancakes” but “Dad’s Pancakes”, which is far more meaningful.