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Dad Bod.

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Crisps. Everywhere. It never used to be like this. I had almost forgotten the taste. It's been years since I'd purchased crisps in a shop. Decades perhaps. I'm ignoring a festive gathering Pringles purchase or a big bag of Thai flavour crackers to kick off a Thai night. Times have changed. There's a half eaten packet of deliciously cheesy Cheddars in my glove box and a multi bag of Hula Hoops in the secret cupboard by the sink. This morning I used Noah's leftovers to make a crisp sandwich. It was on sourdough, so it’s all good.

I'm exaggerating for the purposes of creative writing, of course. We're pretty stingy when it comes to treating him with naughty foods. Ever since he weaned we've been very much of the mentality that he eats what we do. Obviously we give him the odd treat, but generally his diet is a pretty clean one. And he enjoys it, that's the main thing. It's not that he doesn't know the dark side either. He has two Grandparent days a week so he knows the taste of sugar. Did he eat much today Mum? Yes, lots. He had a cookie and some cake at lunch, because he didn't really want his chips. Thanks, Mum. Good to know. He has been a bit moody though. Thanks, Mum.

The truth of the matter is that weekly food shops are that teeny bit more exciting when I take Noah. Once we've whizzed through the veg section, it's time to dive into the diary. Now, pre kids, this would be a straightforward green milk, big pot of Greek yoghurt and maybe some creme fraiche, for a treat. Auto pilot. 10 seconds max. Not now. Now, I take a little longer. Perusing. Perusing the pots. Because there are some pretty tasty looking little goodies in the yoghurt section.

I'm experienced enough to know that there is no green full house on the nutritional value section of all the available brands, so my eyes skim for orange. A moderate amount of sugar, but not excessive. Such considerations are necessary when factoring in the Grandparent treat days mentioned above. I want him to love Petit Filous, just like I did. Just like I still do, it seems.

We move on, to the snack aisle. Crazy to think that before the little guy was on the scene I would have waltzed through this section of the shop, not even looking up. Perhaps I wouldn't have eaten walked this way. Now he's 3, I have no chance.

The days of those veggie straw crisps feel long gone, as he reaches out for a Monster Munch multibag. I think they're a bit spicy, I say, contemplating the stench of his breath after a pickled onion flavour feast flashback from my own childhood. Had them at Nana's, he replies. Excellent. My mind drifts to a Real McCoy. I don't know if they even sell them anymore. Beefy. Or a Brannigan's crisp, in its ultra high quality glossy packet. Beef and mustard springs to mind. My nostrils tingle with memory.

Frankie, our red fox lab, put on 5kgs while Noah was weaning. Through the tired haze, we turned a blind eye to his floor binging. It actually did us a favour. Now Noah is a little older, I'm the binger. The hoover. I sit there, my plate clean, eyes fixed on his. He'll leave that sausage. He can't eat all that lamb. Quick Noah, or Daddy will eat it, Mummy says. Whose side is she on.

The temptation is everywhere, and I love it. Foods from my past, new brands that I get to watch him crave, (Mmm...Krave...cereal could be another post on its own.) I love that food is such an important and exciting aspect of his young life. And so I continue to fight the good fight and conjure all my willpower to defeat the Dad bod.

As I edge that little bit closer to 40, I'm approaching that danger zone I've heard wise elders complain about throughout my life. Just you wait, you'll see. Now, I'm sure there is a world of metabolism-based science out there to prove that I should heed the warnings. But, you know what, I'll stay committed/addicted to my workouts, keeping it clean 90% of the time and maybe just throw in a little extra post workout cardio on crisp sandwich days. Unless it’s on sourdough. That doesn’t even count.

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