Kids’ Tell-All Diaries Point To Lenient Dads Regarding Fast Food Time

[youtube=] A father’s use of restaurants and his perceptions of family meals carry more weight than mothers’, according to a Texas AgriLife Research study, published in The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

”Dads who think that dinner time is a special family time certainly do not see a fast-food restaurant as an appropriate place for that special family time, so this means that his kids are spending less time in those places. Dads who have no trouble eating food in a fast-food restaurant are going to be more likely to have kids who do so,” said Dr. Alex McIntosh, AgriLife Research sociologist.

The study basically looked at which restaurants children ate at when they ate out. Kids had pointed out which restaurants they’d eaten at and with which parent. To the researchers’ surprise, it was father’s time spent at fast-food restaurants — and not mother’s — that was associated with kids’ time spent in a fast food place. When mothers are more lax on the use of fast-food restaurants, they tend be more neglectful or highly committed to their work.

Mothers aren’t unimportant when it comes to eating choices, the researchers said, but fathers played a bigger role.

”Traditionally academics have blamed mothers for everything that goes wrong with children, especially when it comes to food,” he added. ”But I think it’s pretty clear that fathers have a substantial influence over what children are eating. And if that’s the case, then they need to be the target of education just like mothers.”

Interesting. It stands to reason that both mothers and fathers play key roles in raising their children to make healthy eating choices.

A friend told me recently that her husband calls vegetables “vegeterribles” and how this example has pretty much ruined the children’s culinary discipline. When Dad says such things, it’s a lot harder for children to clean their plates.

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