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! 

RELATED: See more of the family together

14 PHOTOS
Neil Patrick Harris with his kids
See Gallery
Neil Patrick Harris with his kids
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Actor Neil Patrick Harris (2nd-L), David Burtka (2nd-R), Harper Grace Burtka-Harris (L), and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris (R) attends the premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Smurfs 2' at Regency Village Theatre on July 28, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Actor Neil Patrick Harris (2nd-L), David Burtka (2nd-R), Harper Grace Burtka-Harris (L), and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris (R) attend the premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Smurfs 2' at Regency Village Theatre on July 28, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Actor Neil Patrick Harris, Harper Burtka-Harris, Gideon Burtka-Harris and David Burtka attend The World Premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios' 'Frozen' at El Capitan Theatre on November 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Actor Neil Patrick Harris (2nd-L), David Burtka (2nd-R), Harper Grace Burtka-Harris (L), and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris (R) attend the premiere Of Columbia Pictures' 'Smurfs 2' at Regency Village Theatre on July 28, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Actor Neil Patrick Harris (2nd-L), David Burtka (2nd-R), Harper Grace Burtka-Harris (L), and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris (R) attend the premiere Of Columbia Pictures' 'Smurfs 2' at Regency Village Theatre on July 28, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Actor Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka and kids Harper Grace and Gideon Scott arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Smurfs 2' at Regency Village Theatre on July 28, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 21: (L-R) Chef David Burtka, son Gideon Scott, partner actor Neil Patrick Harris, daughter Harper Grace and Cirque Du Soleil performer attend opening night of Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem' at the Santa Monica Pier on January 21, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: David Burtka, Harper Grace Burtka-Harris, Neil Patrick Harris and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris attend the Cinema Society Screening Of 'Moana' at Metrograph on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by J. Kempin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: Host David Burtka, actor Neil Patrick Harris and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris and Harper Grace Burtka-Harris attend the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By Coca-Cola - Coca-Cola Backyard BBQ presented by National Beef hosted by Andrew Zimmern and Pat LaFrieda at Pier 92 Rooftop on October 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: David Burtka, Harper Grace Burtka-Harris, Neil Patrick Harris and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris attend the Cinema Society Screening of Disney's 'Moana' at Metrograph on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) David Burtka, Harper Grace Burtka-Harris, Neil Patrick Harris and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris attend Disney & The Cinema Society Host a Special Screening of 'Moana' at Metrograph on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) David Burtka, Harper Grace Burtka-Harris, Neil Patrick Harris and Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris attend Disney & The Cinema Society Host a Special Screening of 'Moana' at Metrograph on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Neil Patrick Harris, Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris, Harper Grace Burtka-Harris and David Burtka attend the 2017 Saks Fifth Avenue & Disney 'Once Upon a Holiday' Windows Unveiling at Saks Fifth Avenue on November 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Actor Neil Patrick Harris, Gideon Scott Burtka-Harris, Harper Grace Burtka-Harris, and actor David Burtka attend the 2017 Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Window Unveiling And Light Show at Saks Fifth Avenue on November 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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.

Read Full Story