Neil Patrick Harris on parenting and the one meal he would eat every day of his life


He may play womanizer Barney in the beloved series 'How I Met Your Mother,' and villain Count Olaf in Netflix's take on 'A Series of Unfortunate Events,' but at home, Neil Patrick Harris is *all* about family.

As a dad to Gideon and Harper, 7, NPH seems to make fatherhood look easy. We got the Tony and Emmy-award winning actor to open up about his parenthood tips and tricks, what's always in his snack bag and the one meal he could eat for the rest of his life.

First of all, happy belated Father’s Day! How did you guys spend it?

We hung out with the kids, had some dinner and before that saw the Incredibles 2 on an IMAX screen. It was fantastic -- the Incredibles is probably my favorite Pixar movie.

The original or the new one?

The original, so my expectations were quite high and they exceeded my expectations. I loved it. And watching that kind of movie with your kids who are Dash's age -- watching them laugh at unique content makes you laugh in a different way. So, it was a fun day.

Are you or David more the discipliner?

I think we're strict in different ways. I come from a family of attornies, so I'm much more of a mental chess player. So I need justification for things. I'm constantly talking to them about ramifications and making good choices. So, in many ways I'm probably more stern because I think with my head more. They have to explain themselves to me specifically.

David tends to be more animated and more emotional in speaking from his heart. So they can tell when he's rattled easier than when I am. I'm sensing that first graders -- almost second graders -- know how to push who's buttons more. So, my quasi-calm demeanor I think frightens more than David's at the moment.

But that'll change!

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Are either of you more lenient when it comes to unhealthy food?

I think David's a little more lenient in the food department only because he's a chef. So I think he's more aware of that than I am. We're just not fast food people, really. They've never been to McDonald's before -- if they want a burger he can make them a burger that's way more delicious.

So, they're eating healthy foods. Their palates are adventurous and with that said they love desserts. Dessert tends to be barter more than anything. If their manners and behaviors well during dinner, then dessert will be a guarantee. And if there is a lot of push and pull, and begging for attention and focus, then dessert will probably be the first thing to go away.

But as long as they understand those are the rules, it's in their best interest to have good manners.

Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty

What are some of your favorite summer snacks for you guys and your kids?

You know what I love about the Jif Power Ups is they're an easy thing to toss in a backpack or in a bag. We're always on the move. New York City is a town where you don't do one single thing in a day. You do four things in a morning -- so going from the park to the museum, or going from gymnastics to a playdate, you need things to eat.

And our kids love peanuts and we've always had Jif in our house, so these things have been a blessing. They've been great, the kids love them!

If you had to choose one meal to eat every single day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I do love chicken enchiladas. I'm from New Mexico, so chips and guacamole are probably my go-to favorite. There's a great place Toloache, that's in the Theater District [in NYC]... They have good enchiladas, good steak, good tacos. That's sort of our pre-theater routine.

Maybe after [the show] for a nightcap. I should have said nightcap!

This interview has been edited and condensed.