Guys can have a positive influence on the way a family eats. Here’s my latest blog post about how guys can model healthy eating for their family featured today on Meals Matter, a website and blog committed to healthy meal planning!
Times have changed. Long gone are the traditional roles that suggest only the man brings home “the bacon” and it’s the woman’s job to cook it. The same holds true for which parent is ultimately responsible for teaching their children the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating habits. Kids look to both mom and dad for this responsibility. So from one “man” eater to all of the others out there, here are my five tips on how guys can step up to the plate and model healthy eating for the entire family.
Man-sized appetite. So dad, are you a lumberjack or an office worker? Men can message to kids that a “man-sized” portion will vary depending on activity level. Best visual lessons include not overfilling your plate, slowing down the rate that you eat at and not being afraid to throw in the towel when you first become full –even if there is still food on the plate!
Real men eat fruit and vegetables (and not just potatoes!) Salad isn’t just for rabbits and “chicks”. They can be real filler-uppers and deliver much-needed fiber and antioxidants for guys and everyone one else at the table, too.
Macho milk mustache. Men are not impervious to weak bones. The number of cases of men diagnosed with osteoporosis grows each year. Low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese are great ways to meet much-needed calcium levels for healthy bones throughout the lifecycle, regardless of gender. Plus, milk and milk products are packed with protein!
Be a whole grain “roll” model. Guys can choose whole grain fiber and nutrient-rich cereals for breakfast, sandwich breads to pack in the family lunches and sides to round out the dinner meal. Whole grains do a better job in both satisfying a starving man or a hungry girl.
Lean your protein. There are very lean cuts of animal protein that are lower in cholesterol, saturated fat and calories that meet the needs of the entire family. Plant based proteins like beans and soy can also satisfy a hearty appetite while providing fiber and other important nutrients.
Shop, cook and clean like a man. Research suggests the more kids get involved in the procurement and preparation of food, the better food choices they make later on in life. Take the kids shopping with you and try your best to quench that man urge of saying “that’s okay…I’ll do that.” Kids want to help and will be more likely to try what they make if they’re involved. And don’t be afraid to ask them to clean up afterwards. The latest research study suggests that kids who participate in regular chores are happier. Who doesn’t love happy children?!