Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies! Today is a time to appreciate the male figure in the household. Whether it’s a loving grandfather, uncle, and older brother, their presence make a world of difference in a home. A male role model is essential in a child’s life. It not only builds healthy, emotional development but enhances behavioral, academic and physical well-being.
A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend First 5 LA’s Father’s Day celebration. In an effort to relay the importance of a Father in a child’s life, the organization organized a day full of “daddy and me” activities. From soccer clinics, to story time, to creating a meal together. Any moment with dad is a special moment that enhances the life of a child.
First 5 LA is a Los Angeles organization that is dedicated to increasing the number of physically and emotionally healthy Los Angeles County children ages 0 to 5. The organization has served as a catalyst in bringing communities together and uniting organizations, businesses, and schools to provide resources and services for families and their children.
Family activities such as a household chore, tossing a ball, reading, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk and even a staring contest can build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment and pride for your child. Asking questions such as “how was school today?” or “which is your favorite?” is a great way to help grow your little one’s vocabulary and mental abilities.
Playing hoops with Pops.
I love to use cooking as an educational platform. That’s why I was so happy when I saw that First 5 LA included some healthy recipes developed by Chef Aaron Perez for First 5 LA’s bilingual resource page, Ready, Set Grow! These recipes are easy, fun and healthy for an afternoon of “daddy and me” time.
- 1 Cup Brussels Sprouts
- 1 Cup Baby Tomatoes
- 1 Bag Pre-Grated Cheese Blend (Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan) *you can substitute with Mozzarella
- 2 Bundles Fresh Basil
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Black Pepper
- ¼ Cup Grape seed Oil
- 4 Premade Pita Bread
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Rinse Brussels sprouts and tomatoes. Cut Brussels sprouts in half, down the middle and separate leaves, place in bowl. Cut baby tomatoes in half, down the middle and place in bowl.
- Add half a tablespoon of grape seed oil to bowl with vegetables. Add salt and black pepper and toss in bowl.
- Put vegetables on baking sheet. Put in oven for 15-20 minutes (until vegetables get toasty and crispy).
- While vegetables are in the oven, chop basil. Put in small bowl and pour grape seed oil (if you set aside for 10 minutes you will get more flavor).
- Take vegetables out of oven, set aside to cool down.
- Brush both sides of the pita bread with grape seed oil. Put grated cheese and vegetables on top.
- Put flat pita bread in oven for 5-6 minutes.
- Take out of oven and slowly pour basil/grape seed oil mixture on top.