Healthy Eating

What do you feed your own family?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: When it comes to diet and nutrition, I have a set of basic tenets that I’ve always followed with my own family, and I recommend them to my patients, as well. I think that it’s valuable to have a basic direction to guide your children and yourself, which would be: more fresh, whole, seasonal fruits and vegetables, less processed foods and animal products. And, you should encourage this direction.

That being stated, the more important variable is the quality of the setting during which your family eats. Ideally, you should sit down together regularly, and there should be an expression of gratitude to all that went into the meal, from the people who grow the food to the people (usually the parents) who work to provide it and prepare it. The dining experience needs to be pleasant and peaceful for food to be assimilated well and for the process of eating to be nourishing and sustaining well beyond the quantity of micronutrients in the food itself.

The opposite of this experience is what leads to the health “epidemics” we see all around. A peaceful experience while eating is not only the most skillful way to approach health, but the most important way to maintain the connection to the people around the table itself. These are the things that I’ve always done with my family, and as my children near adulthood, it’s certainly a practice that we have found successful!

Michael B. Finkelstein, MD, a dad of 20-, 16-, and 13-year-old children, a board-certified physician in internal medicine and integrative-holistic medicine, and the founder and director of SunRaven, a Center for Holistic and Skillful Living, in Bedford, NY