At Paul Klein, DPM FACFAS we believe in educating our patients and helping them to be proactive in the health of their feet as well as the rest of their bodies. September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and we want to take this opportunity to encourage parents and families to take steps to make healthy eating a priority. Being overweight can have a negative impact on your feet. Stress fractures, metatarsalgia and flat feet are among the many podiatric disorders that can be caused or aggravated by carrying too much weight. Whether your children need to attain or maintain a healthy weight, try some of these suggestions to lighten favorite meals and make good eating habits part of your family’s way of life:
● Serve appropriately sized portions. A serving of protein (lean meat, poultry, fish, or plant protein) is normally about the size of deck of cards. Read labels to see what a portion size should be and weigh or measure food for a time until you get used to visually seeing what the correct portion should be.
- Consider using smaller plates, which will naturally downsize your portions.
- Switch from whole fat to low fat dairy products: milk, sour cream, yogurt and cheese.
- Reduce fat and calories in recipes by replacing higher fat ingredients with lower fat ones such as: ground beef with turkey, butter with margarine, etc.
- Feed a sweet tooth but lose the calories by choosing a frozen fruit bar with a dark chocolate drizzle instead of an ice cream bar, apple cinnamon rice cake with peanut butter instead of a doughnut, angel food cake instead of devil’s food cake.
- Increase the variety and quantity of fruits and vegetables that your family eats. Add a salad and an additional vegetable to lunch or dinner. Let children help pick out new vegetables and fruits to try at the grocery store.
Don’t try to change your family’s diet dramatically overnight. Make small changes gradually to put your children on the path to healthier eating, which hopefully will continue into adulthood. If you have any concerns about your child’s weight and its impact on his or her feet, contact our Wayne, NJ office for an appointment. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, will examine your child’s feet and determine if there are any foot problems.