We can fuel ourselves and our families with foods ranging from low-grade processed junk to nutrient-rich wholesome goodness. Fathers can truly “set the table” for the family. Rather than dig our own graves with a fork and a knife, let’s choose healthy foods that empower us to live long lives, filled with vitality.
Fried and fast foods leave us undernourished and prone to health problems such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and dozens of others. Alternatively, we can choose a balanced diet to support cardiovascular, muscular, skin, and eye health, strengthen bones and teeth, and help us live healthier, fuller, and longer lives. Indian artist, Subodh Gupta, wrote, “Eating healthy nutritious food is the simple and the right solution to get rid of excess body weight effortlessly and become slim and healthy forever.” Let’s support smart, healthy eating habits.
In today’s hectic world, one of the best ways for family to remain connected is to routinely break bread together. Every day, we have a special time reserved for camaraderie together. While the coolest, busiest, most independent teenagers may not admit it, deep down, they’re grateful when dad is interested in what’s going on in their lives.
Family meals allow dads to introduce a wider variety of foods, expand our children’s palate, and discourage picky eating habits. The pace is often slower, affording more time to recognize fullness and reduce the likelihood of overeating.
Stock Up on Healthy Foods
Parents control the supply chain; food choices are limited to the snacks and meals we bring into the house. By keeping fresh fruits and vegetables in stock, we promote healthy choices. Choose healthier ways to cook; broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming. Fathers can make it easy for children to choose healthy foods by suppressing the availability of unhealthy ones. By limiting access to greasy fast food, soda, chips, and candy, we promote health and nutrition.
Be a Role Model
As with anything we teach, we get better results when we lead by example. By eating fruits and vegetables, by not overindulging, dad’s choices prove the belief that good nutrition is part of a healthy life journey.
If we’re on a diet and children hear us complaining about limited food options, they’re likely to adopt negative feelings about self-discipline with food. When kids witness their parent’s positive mental attitude toward wholesome food choices, along with the vitality and exuberance so commonly associated with eating healthy, they’re more likely to recognize the importance of good nutrition. American nutritionist, Ann Wigmore, wrote, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
Get Children Involved
From shopping for ingredients to preparing the meal, many children enjoy being involved with one or more parts of preparing dinner for the family. When we’re at the grocery store, we can teach them to read the labels and learn about the nutritional values of different foods. When preparing meals, assign age-appropriate tasks to get kids involved. If they do help, they’ll feel a healthy sense of pride when we acknowledge their efforts when we say grace—before diving into the hard-earned fruits of their labor.
The mealtime habits we co-create with children can lead to a lifetime of healthier choices. When it comes to portion control, consider saying things like, “This meal is delicious, but I’m full, and overeating isn’t healthy, so I’m going to stop eating.” Instead of asking children, “Are you full?” ask, “Are you still hungry?”
The foods we consume empower every fundamental mechanism of the human body, including our ability to breathe, grow, move, reproduce, and excrete waste. Left to their own devices, children gravitate towards sugary snacks and other foods of sub-standard nutritional value. By introducing healthy foods, sharing rationale for healthy choices, and honoring healthy recommendations consistently in our own lives, dad establishes the pillar of nutrition as a foundational building block for living a healthy life.
“A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.”
—Proverbs 15:17 NLT
Lola is a very fussy eater. Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.
In addition to showing which foods help prevent and treat the top fifteen causes of death, How Not to Die includes a checklist of the twelve foods we should consume every day. Full of practical, actionable advice and surprising, cutting edge nutritional science, these doctor’s orders are just what we need to live longer, healthier lives.
Understanding Nutrition dispels students’ misconceptions and empowers them to make better nutrition choices and enact lasting behavior change.
Good Enough to Eat is the only guide to kids’ nutrition written especially for kids. A practical, hands-on tool for families who want to eat a healthy diet, this book does a great job explaining nutrition.
Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy provides solid recommendations for eating healthfully and living better and longer.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.