Know what you're putting in your body


As a Fit Dad and personal trainer, I get more questions about food and diet changes than I do questions on workouts and exercises.

Which is interesting, because as I begin to answer questions and also ask questions of my own, I find that for the most part, people already know what constitutes a good, healthy diet and what does not.

That's because it's not a hard concept: Eat more fresh, whole foods and less processed, packaged foods.

But there is a disconnect between knowing what foods are best to eat and how they actually come to end up on your dinner plate.

If you want to eat healthier, I truly believe that you not only have to know what you're putting in your body, but how it first got to your plate.

I am a huge advocate that dads learn to cook. Go grocery shopping. Read nutritional labels.

You never truly appreciate the value of something quite the same way unless you are involved in its creation. And so when you are involved in the preparation of your meals - from picking out the ingredients at the store and examining the nutrition labels to actually combining the ingredients at home to produce the meals that you consume - you come to better appreciate and understand exactly what you are putting into your body, how it makes you feel and how it affects your physical and mental performance.

And, it's a fantastic way to involve your children and teach them the value of a healthy diet. Bring your kids into the kitchen and involve them in cooking meals. For one, they love it, because so much of preparing a meal is multi-sensory in nature, and children thrive in that type of environment. But an added benefit is that as children help prepare meals, they come to understand and appreciate the real ingredients and they gain an understand of what a healthy diet looks like.

An no, cooking is not opening up a box of frozen chicken patties, turning on the oven to 375, and waiting 20-25 minutes. Cooking is as easy as following a recipe. Just like you follow the directions to build, say, your daughter's Barbie Dream House Castle, do the same with a recipe in the kitchen, and watch as your family delights in your creation.