What happens when you ask a regular Dad to watch what his child is eating? And I don’t mean those lead-laden toys, or his thumb… I mean his diet.
He squints his eyes to read the print-out you got from your internet research. “Okay, let’s see….McDonald’s Happy Meals… Chicken McNuggets (4pc), Small French Fries, 1% Low Fat White Milk Jug (8 fl oz)…total fat content 25 g. Uh-huh…” “Whatever he meant by that “uh-huh” escapes you.
“And… KFC! (you see a slight glint in his eyes)… chicken thigh fat content 24 g., double crunch sandwich with ordinary strip – fat content 27 g., Uh-huh…” He then looks at you. Blankly.
“So?” You ask.
“So… umm….what?” He responds, totally clueless about the whole exercise. “Argh!” You roll your eyes in exasperation and turn to your child to ask what he likes to eat. Your husband butts in, “ Let’s call KFC….a large chicken bucket would be great.” And your child gives out a “Yay!”
Family food habits
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While there are changes in how the man of the house participates in parenting exercises and in the way he treats (and helps in) household chores, he remains basically the same person as his ancestors were. He’s your alpha male who, like his caveman ancestors, likes to sit around campfires and barbecue pits. He likes to be rough so he engages in physical sports (or at least sit out for hours in his favourite couch watching it on TV).
I don’t know much about human psychology but it seems clear that we men, have more muscle than fat in our body compared to women. This leads us to not mind about over-eating more than women do. And counting calories? It’s something like other people do… not us. And we tend to rub this off on our children.
You see, when Moms cook that oily pork “adobo” and that lovely chicken curry or our favorite belly pork stew, we men, are just absolutely pleased as we help ourselves and the kids to huge portions. And…uhm, we never count calories and fat contents at home.
Kids need the extra energy
Besides, kids are an energetic lot. They’re growing. They need a lot of the energy from the calories and fat they can get from ice cream and sweet and sour pork. It’s not like they’re going to retain much of these around their waist and thighs. Children metabolize quickly. How else would you explain the boundless energy that children have?
The next time the family goes out and has fun dining, please don’t spoil the day for us Dads and the kids by nit-picking on calories and fat contents. Besides, we don’t eat out every day, do we?
Here’s our take: serve more veggies and fruits. We won’t mind if you blend them (wink-wink). And let us (the kids and I) rough-house longer so we can burn more calories and fats from our bodies (sorry about your grandma’s vase). And yes, we love your homemade pasta, cookies, fried rice and pork menus, just the same. We’ll be healthy enough with that!