*This post was originally posted at http://www.nycdadsgroup.com/2013/06/dads-teach-your-children-good-eating.html

food fight symbolAre dads taking a backseat when it comes to ensuring our kids are eating healthy?

That thought came to me as I attended a fundraiser to benefit FoodFight, a 4-year-old organization aiming to change how  people eat and think about food in effort to stop rising childhood obesity rates.

During the May 30 event at Brooklyn Brewery, I heard many success stories about FoodFight and its classroom curriculum to teach children about the importance of being healthy and eating well through portion control, reading labels and good nutrition among others. One Edward R. Murrow High School student, for example, talked about how she lost 50 pounds and improved her overall health by making lifestyle changes based on what she learned from the organization.

Several women spoke throughout the evening, making me wonder: Where are all the men? More and more men are active in their children’s lives, but this might be one area where we’re not doing enough.

So how can we dads help?

One way is to push for a better health curriculum in our schools. It’s easier for kids to be healthy when their entire peer group is healthy. Getting a nutritional curriculum in schools is no easy task, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Over the years, I’ve asked for more gym time, more music time and more recess time. It wouldn’t hurt to ask for more educational instruction about what goes into our kids’ bodies.

Most importantly, dads — and all parents – should set an example to embrace good nutrition and health practices at home. I tell other parents all the time that I try not to set my kids up for failure. This conversation usually is about homework or something similar, but the same goes for eating and living healthy. Now is the time to teach your children good eating and exercise habits or else you are setting them up for a lifetime struggle.

To learn more about FoodFight, go to www.foodfight.org.

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