Father’s Day is just around the corner and we know that Fitbit smartwatches and trackers make the perfect gift for Dad. Maybe you’ve already gotten him a new smartwatch (Fitbit Sense, anyone?), or helped him upgrade his tracker game with the Charge 4. If you want to make him feel extra special this Father’s Day, another way to his heart, and his stomach, is the perfect snack basket—a basket filled with all of his favorite things! Because honestly, what dad doesn’t love a gift he can eat?
When it comes to building the perfect edible gift basket for Dad, show him how much you love and care for him by filling it with foods he not only craves, but ones that are good for him as well. To help, we turned to the experts—dietitian dads to be exact—to share their top picks for healthy snack ideas every dad will love.
The Savory Gift Basket
“As a savory food fan, I’d love a gift basket filled with a variety of nuts,” shares dietitian dad Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD of MohrResults.com, “from pistachios to walnuts, peanuts to Brazil nuts—I love them all from a taste and health perspective, plus that crunch satisfies any cravings I might have.”
In addition to providing a great-tasting snack, nuts can also offer a variety of health benefits. Adding nuts to the diet has been associated with a positive impact on heart health. Research has found regular walnut consumption may provide cardioprotective effects, which is great news since one in every three adult men in the United States has some form of cardiovascular disease.
The Dad-Friendly Charcuterie Board
Whether he’s a fan of cheese, meats, or plant-based options, you can build a board that matches his preferences while boosting his health. “I’m a huge fan of taste, balance, and cheese boards,” shares dietitian dad Dezi Abeyta, RDN. And balance is exactly what you want to focus on when building a charcuterie board that not only looks and tastes great, but is good for you, too.
If you plan to add meats to your board, Abeyta offers a few suggestions as alternatives to processed meats which can be high in saturated fat and sodium. “Salmon jerky, canned anchovies, or even some canned smoked mussels all provide a good punch of almost 20 grams of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.” And that’s great news, since a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to reducing the symptoms of metabolic syndrome including blood pressure levels and insulin resistance—two factors that may increase the risk of both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
A Rainbow of Colors
Building an edible gift basket for Dad can also be a great way to help him add more color to his plate. “Never forget about colorful fruits and veggies,” shares Abeyta. “Anything from berries, apples, pears, or even some cut-up watermelon can provide volume to feel full longer as well as provide a nice sweet taste to compliment other savory foods.” And since only one in ten adults meet the daily recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake, with men generally consuming less than women, finding ways to get Dad to eat more produce may be beneficial to his health.
Research has found a diet rich in vegetables and fruit may aid in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease and even reducing the risk of certain cancers.
The Crunch Factor
Dads everywhere, including dietitian dads, love a good crunch when it comes to snacking. But what you choose to crunch on can make all the difference. “I love me some popcorn with a little salt and pepper,” shares Mohr who points out this satisfying snack provides “a nice, simple whole grain food.”
And popcorn isn’t the only crunchy whole grain in town. “I am always game for a really great fiber-rich cracker that can provide me with a variety of textures and crunch and a good fiber source,” shares Abeyta. Whether you’re adding whole-grain crackers to your charcuterie board or gifting Dad with a bucket of popcorn in a variety of flavors, you’ll be helping him increase his intake of whole grains and fiber—two nutrients that many of us fall short on each day. And increasing your daily fiber intake from foods such as whole grains may help to reduce cholesterol levels and even have a positive impact on body weight.
Sweet Tooth Satisfaction
And we can’t forget about all those dads with a sweet tooth out there. So why not add some dark chocolate to your edible gift giving as well?
In addition to curbing sweet cravings, dark chocolate may provide protective benefits to the heart. Research has found that dark chocolate may help to lower blood pressure while another study found eating dark chocolate five times per week may be associated with reducing the risk of heart disease by as much as 57 percent!
Although these findings are exciting, just make sure if Dad adds more chocolate to his diet, he chooses the right type. Aim to choose dark chocolate containing 60 percent cacao or higher to gain the most benefits.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.