Hi there, Daddies! As I’m sure you can tell from the title, this blog has a focus on your Mama counterparts. However, since today is Father’s Day and June is Men’s Health Month, I figured a Dad-specific article was in order.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much of an influence Dads play in their kids’ lives. But just in case you weren’t sure, having an involved father (whether under the same roof or not) has shown many benefits:
- Higher grades and test scores
- Fewer mental health problems and less trouble with the law
- Improved social skills
- Greater career success (if Dads are involved with their kids school work, it increases the chance of their child graduating from high school and attending a vocational school or college)
- Better communication skills
Fathers also play an important role, nutritionally speaking. There was a recent article from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showing positive relationships between a father’s body mass index, diet quality, and activity level and that of their children. “Diet quality” analyzed the healthful foods (fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and lean protein, among additional more specific categories) versus foods with empty calories (added sugar, solid fats, and alcohol). The “positive relationship” means that if a father was overweight, their child was likely to be heavy as well. The more healthy foods the father ate, the more healthfully the child ate, and the more active children had fathers who were more active as well.
Another study from 2011 noted a positive relationship between fathers’ intakes of fruit, cookies, and potato chips and their kids’ consumption of these foods. Interestingly, there wasn’t a significant relationship between father-and-kid intake of vegetables, ice cream, or fries.
Bottom line is: no matter how close or far you live from your kids, they will only benefit from your involvement in their lives. Socially, mentally, and as we’ve learned today: physically and nutritionally! So, enjoy your day, Dads! And don’t forget to get outside for a nice game of Wiffle ball, rounded out with a healthy lunch!
A note to Fathers (and other non-Mama caregivers):
RDN Mama focuses a lot on mothers, as they are the traditional shoppers and cooks in the families; however, RDN Mama completely supports and encourages non-traditional parental roles! Please feel free to use the Healthy Family Section (and even show your Mama-counter parts the other sections of the site that you might not get use out of, like Pregnancy or Breastfeeding). You do so much for your kids and for us! Thanks, Dads!