Healthy Snacking Starts With Dad
For fathers or soon-to-be dads, snacking habits change once the little ones are around. While junk food on occasion can be a break from healthy eating, the older a father gets also translates into becoming a more responsible eater. Children are going to be watching and modeling their behavior after dad and mom from infancy into adulthood, so it is a father’s job to help instill good habits early. Not only will this benefit a child as they age, but it’s a good incentive for dads to get healthy as well. Following are just a few ways fathers can implement good eating habits in the home.
- Buy Healthy, Eat Healthy: Supermarkets and grocery stores have shelves packed with nothing but processed and refined foods. A lot of these foods do not have much nutritional value and are high in calories, fat and sugar and even chemicals. Instead, buy fresh veggies like carrots, celery and even broccoli. Try to cut out “quick fix” meal bars and similar items in the home. Buying more fruits like bananas, grapes and oranges is another welcome addition to a healthy snack – but watch the sugar! Fruits can be high in those as well.
- Go Baked: If you must have chips in the home, try the many variety of baked snack foods. A lot of these items are much lower in fat and salt than their fried predecessors and can be welcome reprieve for dads and families hanging out on the couch watching a movie or other event on television. A fun activity for families is to make their own baked goods. With adult supervision, children could slice up some potatoes into chips and bake them. Here’s a link for an easy recipe.
- Get Nutty: Provided that a father and his child aren’t allergic to the many variety of nuts available, having a can or bowl nearby for a quick snack is a great idea. Almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews and walnuts all provide ample amounts of protein and energy, especially if you and your children are more active sorts. Try to avoid the pre-flavored or salted varieties as they have higher levels of sodium per package.
With all snacking, fathers should monitor how much their child is eating. If packing a lunch for school or a long road trip, prepare the portions for your child prior to encourage patience and to be mindful of overeating. Anyone can go overboard with snacking, especially children, so it becomes equally important dads set the tone early on. Dads should also follow the same rules they’ve set for their child when it comes to snacking. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Return To Featured Articles >>