Living off of pizza and Chinese takeout is one of the easiest ways to end up on the toilet, and eventually in the hospital. Once you have a child to raise, it's time to start thinking about your health and the health of your family. Perhaps the best way for dads (and moms) to take control of their children's diets is by regularly cooking wholesome homemade meals.
Being in control of what goes into your body is a fundamental right. When cooking a meal for your family, take pride in the fact that you decide what sort of water to use, which species of tomato to puree. Do you want organic or conventional chicken, canola or olive oil? It's your call. You may generally tend to migrate to healthier ingredients simply by noticing how your body reacts to certain foods. On the other hand, when you dine out, you are essentially forfeiting your right to know what you’re eating, which can create tremendously negative effects (i.e. food poisoning and allergies).
Secondly, cooking the majority of your food yourself will save you money. When you pay for food from a restaurant, you're paying for the service, too. You're paying for the overhead, the utilities, the mystery ingredients, the owner's son's college tuition and the next payment on his mortgage – a truly noble contribution. However, when you cook for your family, all you pay for are the raw ingredients of your meal and the pennies it costs to light the stove.
The third – and perhaps most important – reason to learn how to cook is that it brings your family together. While anyone can order takeout and sit in front of the TV, it takes a fair amount of effort to make a quality meal. Involving the kids in the process won’t only teach them about healthy eating and encourage independence, but will also make them more eager to sit at the table and enjoy the fruits of their labor – something many families these days are sorely missing.
Learning how to cook isn’t just a fashionable trend, it's a survival skill. In a world dominated by the on-the-go attitude, a little "slow" food can be just what the doctor ordered to keep a family sane, healthy and happy.