Tips to a Perfect (and Healthy) Father's Day

father and son on beachWhether your dad's ideal day involves 18 holes on the green or a BBQ in the backyard, there is no reason why he should not keep up his healthy routine -- or -- maybe it's the perfect day to start one. Sneaking some delicious and healthy treats into his special day is the perfect way to show him how much you really care.

The Golf Course

Many of us know fathers, if not our own, that would love nothing more than a Father's Day of peace and quiet on the golf course. Aside from the joy of being out on the green under the glowing sun, golf actually has some pretty great health benefits. Regularly playing golf will keep you fit, help improve muscle tone and endurance and even reduce body fat. However, all of that can be thrown out the window when the drink and snack carts roll around. Instead, why not pack some healthier options in his bag.

Snack bars and granola bars are perfect options for when that 9th hole hunger hits. A new favorite of mine is the Coconut Cashew Truebar by Bakery on Main. With under 200 calories this bar is filled with fiber, omega's and will not melt or perish throughout the day. Instead of a classic peanut butter sandwich mid-round, try something a little bit tastier. NutZo Power Fuel 7 Nut and Seed Butter and Wild Friends Chocolate Almond butter are both perfect spreads in between two pieces of high-fiber bread for a little zest beyond traditional nut butters. Now, lets just hope he plays as well as he's eating.

The Picnic Basket

A picnic in the park, in the backyard or even out in a boat on the lake is a classic, and always enjoyable, way to spend Father's Day. However, the pasta salads, chips, sandwiches and desserts can wreak havoc on our waistlines. Although it's ok to indulge every so often, why not choose items for your basket that are both delicious AND healthy. Instead of the same old bag of potato chips, try boosting the flavor and the health benefits with some better options. The Ocean's Halo Seaweed Chips or SeaSnax Chomperz are a great option. Not only are they delicious right out of the bag, but you can crumble them on your favorite salad instead of croutons for some extra crunch. 

If pasta salad and potato salad are staples at your Father's Day picnic, don't panic, there are plenty of easy swaps to lighten up these comfort foods. Swap your regular pasta for a high-fiber, whole-wheat option or a chickpea pasta like Banza. Instead of the creamy mayo dressings that are typical with these types of salads, try a simple vinaigrette instead. Or, if you really crave that creamy dressing, mix 1 cup Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt, pepper and some chopped dill.

The BBQ

What man would not want to spend his Father's Day eating meat slathered with BBQ sauce? Try swapping out steaks and fatty meats for healthier options like BBQ shrimp and chicken breast. The meat, however, is not the only unhealthy food hiding at your barbecue. Beware of the sauce. BBQ sauce can contain loads of sugar and calories. My suggestion: make your own! Add 2 tablespoons of molasses, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Season with freshly ground pepper and one-half teaspoon of garlic powder. You can also try experimenting with different spices such as curry or ginger powder.

BBQ's can also get messy, but that's part of the fun right? Instead of the traditional wet napkin, a great option I love to freshen everyone up (especially the kids) after a messy BBQ is Herban Essentials. These antibacterial wipes not only make your cleanup a breeze but it smells amazing as well. I actually keep these with me at all times.


Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN

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