If your children constantly beg for cookies or sugary fruit juices, it can be hard to figure out how to get them to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It all begins with you and the things you show them about diet and exercise that will help them grow into healthy adults, and the great news is that keeping your kids healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are three ways that you can help your kids make healthy choices when you’re budget-minded.
Be a role model
As a parent, you lead by example, especially when it comes to a healthy diet. That’s why you have to be a role model. When your children are growing up, it’s very important for them to consume healthy foods that have the nutrients they need to develop properly. So, make sure you are eating healthy as well. Instead of cutting out certain foods, try to focus on an overall healthy diet. Limit processed foods like packaged crackers and chips, as well as sugary drinks like soda. Try to incorporate more healthy snacks that complement your dietary needs, whether your family avoids meat or you’re looking for high-protein foods. Apples with nut butter, popcorn, and avocado toast are just a few ideas that are not only healthy, but are also easy to make!
It’s also important to be a role model for everyday healthy habits, from washing your hands to brushing your teeth. All parents know that regular hand washing helps prevent the spread of illness, but did you know that your oral health can affect everything from your heart health to your mental well-being? Help them connect their newfound healthy-eating habits to these two routine tasks so they stick with them. For example, tell them how much more they’ll savor every bite of their carrot sticks if they’re eating them with clean hands, and that brushing their pearlies twice a day ensures there are no old, yucky food bits standing in the way of every delicious bite!
Know how to shop on a budget
When it comes to shopping on a budget for the whole family, it can become challenging to eat healthfully. It might be tempting to simply grab frozen dinners to try to stick to your budget. However, there are plenty of ways that you can shop healthy while sticking to a budget. Many food bloggers have struggled with this very topic and provide resources for parents who are in need. There are also many healthy and inexpensive recipes available online.
Help them develop an exercise routine
These days, it can be hard to get your child outside for exercise. It seems like video games and computers have taken the place of playgrounds and other outside activities. Try to make it fun for you and your whole family. If you’re on a tight budget, go to your local park and throw a Frisbee around with your children, or take the bikes out of the garage and go on a trail ride. If you don’t have time to do these kinds of activities with your children and have some money set aside for recreation, sign them up for an after-school sport. Whether they’re interested in soccer, baseball, tennis, flag football, or gymnastics, an after-school sport will help them get the regular exercise they need to lead a healthy life. It will also help them make new friends and get them used to regularly working out, which is a good habit for them to learn early on.
It doesn’t take a lot of work to impart healthy habits, but practice always makes it easier to help them stick. By being a role model for your children and keeping communication open about everything from how much something costs to why it’s good for you, you can lay the foundation for them to live a healthy life into adulthood.
Kids Need Both is a non-profit that offers resources, courses and services for families that are experiencing high-conflict relationships.