Fathers have an enormous impact on their children's food
choices. So I reached out to four experts, dads who are registered
dietitian nutritionists, to find out how they do it.
"I make them think twice about how much they are eating;
asking if they are eating because they are hungry or bored and
making sure they get in as many fruits and veggies as possible,"
says David Grotto, RDN, author of
The Best Things You Can Eat and the father of
three teen girls.
Rick Hall, MS, RDN, senior lecturer of nutrition at
Arizona State University and the father of three elementary
school-aged children, focuses on moderation and variety. "We never
force them to eat foods they don't want to."
"They have to try everything and if they don't like it, it's
called a `no thank you' bite. They eat what we're eating. We're not
short order cooks," says Chris Mohr, PhD, RDN of MohrResults.com and the
father of a preschooler and a toddler.
D. Milton Stokes, PhD, MPH, RDN, assistant professor of
Nutrition at University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut, had to
learn to tolerate messiness as a father of two toddlers. "It's
especially true for meal times, and that's fine because kids need
to feel food, play with food and spit out food."
With everyone's schedules, eating together as a family
every day is very hard to accomplish, Grotto says.
"We find that we enjoy the eating experience much more
when we can eat together and often have our most deep and
meaningful conversations at that time."
Hall's family eats together at least once a day. "Meal
time is an opportunity to sit as a family with no
"We do not allow books or computer devices at the table.
Meal time is an opportunity to connect."
Stokes likes to offer a snack while putting the main
"For pre-dinner snacks, my daughter's really into diced
pears and baby carrots. My son is into kiwifruit."
Christine M. Palumbo, RD, is a nutritionist living in Naperville.
See more of Christine's stories here.
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