Dependable. Determined. Downright awesome. If these adjectives don’t describe Dad, I don’t know what does. Father’s Day is near, and while most men spend more time following their favorite sports team rather than caring about the foods they eat, a game plan in the kitchen is necessary.

This Father’s Day, encourage Dad to reflect on his health and remind him that his love for grilling can be a good thing. This year, tackle a salmon and veggie foil pack dinner together, as you can both reap the nutrition benefits of the meal and the quality time of cooking side by side.

Vitamin D and Dad: He lifted you up on his shoulders as a kid and opened any container that you couldn’t get to budge — so it’s confirmed, he’s Superman. However, as he ages, he needs to ensure he’s getting enough vitamin D, which works together with calcium to keep bones strong. Vitamin D’s best-known source is the sun. However, encourage Dad to eat food sources of vitamin D, too, such as fatty fish.

Omega-3s A new kind of fishing: If you tell Dad to go fish, he may just grab his pole and hit the nearest lake. Better reel him back in and encourage him to add at least 2 servings of fish per week to his diet to keep his ticker in tip-top shape. Hook him up with some flavorful fish recipes found on, as he’ll find an ocean of options to enjoy.

Your father = fabulous. And fiberlicious?: Fiber aids in a healthy digestive system, while keeping bathroom visits more regular. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, fruit and veggies — so anytime you and Dad fire up the grill, think about what vegetable would grill well with your entrée.

Beta-carotene My dad is ‘beta’ than the rest: Beta-carotene is the pigment found in orange and yellow produce that's converted into vitamin A in the body. This particular vitamin is responsible for a strong immune system and maintaining good eye health. And, let’s be real, fathers need awesome eyesight to maximize their dad duties (and their golf game). Add some color to the flames with peppers and carrots to complete your sizzling meal and boost your beta-carotene levels.

Protein Pop’s most popular food: It’s no secret that dads like their meat. But it’s important to select lean protein sources. Sirloin, chicken, fish and turkey provide us with a good source of protein for strong muscles, as well as vitamins and minerals that support optimal health. Just like the kiddos like to be connected to Dad’s hip, protein deserves some companionship, too, so complete the meal with a grain and a green.

Foil-Pack Salmon and Veggies

1 package steam bag broccoli florets

1 cup julienne bell pepper strips

1/2 cup petite baby carrots

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 (4-ounce each) skinless salmon fillets


Ground black pepper

2 tablespoons teriyaki wing sauce, plus additional for serving

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Green onions, sliced, for garnish

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Cut 4 (12-by-15-inch-each) pieces of heavy foil. Stack 2 sheets together; fold and crimp edges to form 7-by-5-inch foil "pans." Spray each pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Steam broccoli in microwave according to package directions; set aside. Combine bell pepper, carrots and 2 tablespoons water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes; drain; toss with steamed broccoli. Stir in canola and sesame oils. Divide mixture between pans.

Pat salmon dry; place fillets on top of veggies. Season with salt and black pepper. Brush with teriyaki wing sauce. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until salmon flakes with a fork (145 degrees). Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired. Serve with additional teriyaki wing sauce, if desired.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 430 calories, 31g fat, 6g saturated, 790mg sodium, 12g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 8g total sugars, 26g protein.

Recipe source:

Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.