Govt. Web Site Gives Dads Tips on Teaching Kids Hygiene, How to Eat

By Penny Starr | June 15, 2012 | 4:13pm EDT

FILE - In this March 21, 2011, file photo President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia arrive in Santiago, Chile. In an interview Obama concedes he's nervous about his daughter Malia turning 13 in July. Asked how he would feel about Malia starting to date, the president quipped, in a reference to the Secret Service, that "I have men with guns who surround them all the time ... and it means they never get in a car with a boy who had a beer." He said he might ask Malia's date "what his GPA is" and what his intentions and career plans are. But he quickly adds that if the girls are watching the interview, "I'm just joking." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

( – The federal government Web site offers a wide range of “tips” and resources for teaching men how to be a father, including “father-child” videos on healthy eating, teeth brushing and hand washing.

The taxpayer-funded website, launched during the Clinton administration, is a project of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, which is a part of Health and Human Services’ Office of Family Assistance. The site links to the videos on the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Psychiatric Research Institute’s Web site.

“Parents are the best teachers of healthy eating habits,” the narration states in the healthy eating video. “The parent and the child each have important jobs.”

The graphic in the video states that the father’s job is to “provide a variety of healthy foods” and “eat healthy meals together.” The child’s job is to “decide whether to eat” and “decide how much to eat.”

“The best way to teach your child this healthy habit is to do it together over and over,” the narration on the hand washing video states.

The hand washing instructions are: Wet hands under running water, add soap, and rub all parts of hands and fingers for 15 seconds.”

“Children need help with tooth brushing until they are 6 to 8 years old,” another video states. The video shows a father and son brushing their teeth together. It advises that children should brush their teeth twice daily – “before bedtime” and “in the morning.”

There are also videos on reading and “constructive play.”

The project was most recently funded by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 for “the development, promotion, and distribution of a media campaign to encourage the appropriate involvement of parents in the life of any child and specifically the issue of responsible fatherhood, and the development of a national clearinghouse to assist states and communities in efforts to promote and support marriage and responsible fatherhood,” according to the website.

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