September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and at North Jersey Podiatry we believe this is an important issue for our families. Overweight children tend to become overweight adults and carrying excess pounds has negative consequences for the health of your feet and the rest of your body. Below are 8 ways to help your children develop healthy eating habits that will lower the risk of obesity and serve them well throughout their lives:
- Add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your child’s diet. There are plenty to choose from. Enlisting your child’s help in choosing these foods at the grocery store will make it more likely that they will eat them.
- Switch from full fat to low- or non-fat milk and dairy products.
- Get everyone to drink more water in place of sugary sports drinks, sodas, and juices.
- Save sweets as special treats. It’s unrealistic to think children will never have cake, cookies or ice cream but save them for special occasions. If these items are not available at home, children will naturally be eating less of them.
- Go for 100. Calories in snacks, that is. Teach your children what a 100-calorie snack looks like: 1 cup of blueberries or grapes, 1 cup of veggies with 2 Tbsp of hummus, etc. Buy granola bars and snack packs that are 100 calories or less.
- Control portions. Consider using smaller plates for an automatic portion downsize. Eating more slowly gives the brain time to register that you’re full. Make meals a time for family conversation. Eliminate television, phones, and other distractions.
- Limit screen time. Sedentary activities such as video games, television, computer time, and cell phones decrease the calories your child burns. Making it less available will encourage more active pursuits.
- Get active together. Children should have 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Taking a walk or bike ride, having a dance party or jumping rope together will make exercise fun and beneficial for the whole family.
If your child is currently experiencing foot or ankle discomfort, make an appointment at our Wayne, New Jersey office so that our podiatrist, Dr. Paul Klein, can determine the cause and proper treatment for the problem. Contact us today at (973) 595-1555.