The third Sunday in June is the designated date that marks Father's Day. Though it was recognized in the early 20th century, it did not become an official holiday until 1972----58 years after Mother's Day was proclaimed in 1914!! I'm not sure why it took so long for the official proclamation, but we need to celebrate fathers and encourage Dad to make healthy meal choices.

If the Dad in your life moves from the man cave to manning the grill on Father's Day, there are plenty of choices for the menu. Though some of his faves may not make the hit list for healthy choices, you know my mantra is "it is all about moderation----there are no 100% good foods or 100% bad foods."

Great choices to grill with a focus on the healthy options include lean meats, poultry or fish. Lean meats include flank steak or tenderloin roast, pork loin chops or pork loin roast, chicken or turkey breasts, or fish such as tilapia or salmon. The key to the main course is portion size---we're not looking to super-size the serving-it should be 3-ozs. to 4-ozs. The correct portion should be about the size of a deck playing of cards.

Now I know there are a few fellas who may not be vegetable fans, but you do need vegetables to be healthy. Veggies add fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals to the diet---helping to create a strong body and good health. The more colorful the better-toss large chunks of red, yellow or green bell peppers in 2 tablespoons of bottled Italian dressing or seasoned olive oil, and place on the grill grate or in a grill basket, grilling until crisp-tender. If he falls into the hotter the better group, use jalapeno or his favorite chile pepper instead of the bell peppers. Believe me, you can grill most any veggie or fruit like pineapple, asparagus, summer squash, peaches, and even if he wants to really get out of his comfort zone, try some tofu!

Anti-oxidants -such as lycopene are thought to play a role in preventing cancer and heart disease. Lycopene consumption is important for men in promoting prostrate health. Foods rich in lycopene include asparagus, tomatoes (even better if they're cooked), red cabbage, pink grapefruit, and watermelon.

Choosing what to cook is just one part of manning the grill. Make sure your grill-daddy keeps the following safe food handling guidelines in mind:

• Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
• Do not use the same tongs and platters to remove cooked foods that were used to place the food on the grill.
• Cook over medium to low heat-low and slow will produce the best results.
• Let the meat or poultry rest about ten minutes before slicing it.
• Do not leave the grill unattended.
• Try to limit the amount of charring, when you cook dry meats at high temperatures, it can produce carcinogenic compounds.

Father's Day celebrates the Dads in our lives, and whether he chooses to chill or grill on this day, make sure the menu includes foods that are focused on his good health.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle J. Stewart MPH, RDLD/N, CDE is an experienced food and nutrition communication expert specializing in wellness with a holistic approach to living your best life. Michelle has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. She is zealous when it comes to wellness from the inside out and empowering whomever she comes in contact with to take charge of their health and wellbeing. Her motto is "EAT LESS MOVE MORE" Sign up for her Free Report 10 Weight Loss Tips for Life when you visit