We all make mistakes, but what is important is to recognize the mistake and learn from it, and hopefully stop repeating it. The following is a handful of common mistakes that fat dads make that stand in the way of good health.
1. Okay, we can hit the drive-thru.
It’s been a long day and everyone is hungry and moody. You don’t have anything planned for dinner and you don’t really feel like cooking or cleaning up afterwards.
The kids (and maybe the grow-ups) start whining and the easy answer becomes clear: burgers and fries, tacos, fried chicken, or whatever else you can get through your car window.
It’s a strange cliché that men cannot cook yet working as a chef has, until recently, been a traditionally masculine occupation. Preparing a more wholesome meal than you would get at a drive-thru window is not difficult.
The internet is full of resources to help you get started. A few of my favorite sites include: Jamie Oliver’s site, The Food Network, Simple Bites, The Pioneer Woman and The Gumbo Pages. You can usually put together a healthy (and tasty) meal in the same or less time than it takes to make a drive-thru run.
2. You gonna finish that?
Kids don’t always clean their plates. I’m not sure that is a bad thing. At least one study has shown that there are negative consequences of belonging to the clean plate club.
But what about all of that food left? Food that you spent your hard earned money on. It’s wrong to just throw it away, right? So you eat your meal plus what is left of theirs.
At home, the answer seems obvious. Serve less food; they can get more if they want. But next time you are at a restaurant, where you cannot control portion size, plan ahead.
Why not let the kids eat from your plate? Then you end up eating less as well. Or consider ordering a smaller meal yourself with the plan of helping junior polish off his meal.
3. Whatcha watchin’?
There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it, at least according to Phineas and Ferb. Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy watching this show with my kids; sometimes even without the kids around.
It is ironic that the kids are vegged out watching a show that always focuses on the the young characters using their imagination and playing outside in extraordinary ways.
There is a healthy balance. Watching some television probably won’t really rot your brain and reading a book is great. But kids, and parents, need to get up and get active.
Aside from the many activities parents and kids can engage in outdoors, one inside activity that can get the blood flowing is the Wiior its new competitors, the PS3 Move or Xbox 360 Kinect. Amazon has a Motion Gaming 101 page to explain the systems in more detail.
While it is possible to cheat, if you really get up and get into it, playing these types of games can provide some valuable physical activity and quality bonding time with the kids.
4. Do as I say….
Ah, yes, the old adage to do as I say, not as I do. The problem is, kids are more into monkey see, monkey do. You have to walk the walk.
According to one study, obese dads are six times more likely to have obese sons. Genetics may play a role, but your behavior is a strong indicator of your child’s future health. If you want your kids to grow up healthy, you have to start reflecting a healthy lifestyle.
5. I’ll start tomorrow.
Life is uncertain. And real change is going to take some time to accomplish. While we cannot go back five years, we can start now. And when we inevitably slip up, rather than letting it throw us off track for days, we can start again right then.
Your kids are not getting any younger. The longer you wait to make progress toward a healthier life, the longer they miss out on all that they could experience with a healthy, active dad. Or worse, the shorter time they get to spend with any kind of dad at all.
What are some other mistakes that you seem to make that keep you from having a healthy life? Please contribute through your comments below.