A MALE MEAL – The NUTRITION STEAL FOR FATHER’S DAY

Ever notice that that words male and meal are almost the same. For all the new dads, experienced dads, brothers, uncles and granddads in your lives I want to serve up some sane, helpful and healthful advice for Father’s Day.

Volume is not usually the problem, but the contribution of nutrients and distribution of eating over the day may not be the most protective and preventive. The “check” look of the day- little throughout breakfast to afternoon and then shoveling food in from dinner on may actually increase the risk of heart attack and stroke as well as increasing blood fats ( triglycerides) and blood glucose not to mention the indigestion that may accompany mass quantities of food followed by a chaser of a snooze on the couch.

Many men ( and women) consume a diet that falls short of the necessary nutrients. In particular: the vitamins A,D,E.C, and folate; the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Getting creative with produce on the plate, in the bowl and the glass can help dads go to the top of the nutrition class. Here are some stealthy strategies to healthy up the meals on Father’s Day.

Color it:
If Dad’s breakfast is typically bacon and eggs- it’s time to take it to the next level. How about a spinach, pepper, broccoli, avocado, red onion omelet with a side of sweet potato home fries, a whole wheat English muffin and a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. This meal provides Vitamins E, A, C, folate, magnesium, potassium and fiber.

Dip it:
Dads love to dip, but it is time to think beyond queso and tortilla chips. Enter the macho nacho: black bean tortilla chips, with salsa, black beans, jalapenos, and plain Greek yogurt flavored with taco seasoning. Or you can make your own black bean dip with a can of black beans, drained and rinsed, ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup of salsa, and taco seasoning and serve with tortilla chips. Either way, dad gets fiber, calcium, potassium, folate and magnesium.

Grill it: Let’s add some thrill to the grill with taste and substance.
To tenderize that steak, burger or chicken, the necessary ingredient is acid, not oil. There are some wonderful flavored vinegars- smoky bacon, hickory smoke to add the taste without widening the waist. Rubs also provide flavor as do any combo of herbs. The grill is also not just meant for meat. Veggie kebabs, Portobello mushrooms, grilled corn, add the produce to the plate and also taste great. Grilled broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussel sprouts are amazing. And how about grilled pineapple or grilled watermelon to add some sweet and tart to the plate.
And let’s not forget about the art of the blend: Instead of a 100% beef or turkey burger, try a blend of 1 pound extra lean ground beef and ½ pound of finely chopped mushrooms to add flavor, Vitamin D and selenium.

Sip it:
It’s time to rethink the drink. Calories from alcohol, sweet tea, flavored coffee drinks and soda add up quickly. So here are some ways to score with the pour. Brew green tea and add chopped pineapple and mint. Tomato or Vegetable juice with a splash of Tabasco puts the produce in the glass. What about lickers instead of liquors? Think about popsicles made with pureed cantaloupe and added blueberries, or frozen iced coffee, or coconut water, pineapple and bananas as a way to find relief from the heat with a frozen treat. And the fact that these are booze free makes them lower in calories.

So when it comes to feeding dad on his special day , raise the bar to create a meal that is a great taste and health deal.