All moms and dads want to see their children grow up to be happy, healthy adults. However, wanting it and figuring out how to encourage them in that direction can often feel like a puzzle. Thankfully, there are some surprisingly simple answers to that conundrum and some terrific, budget-savvy strategies for incorporating those concepts into your lifestyle.
Fitness for Now and Later
Chances are, you’re well aware of many of the benefits of physical fitness. Exercise can be a key to reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and bone disease. It can help you feel more energetic, maintain your strength, and sharpen your mind, as well.
It turns out that exercise can also lay a foundation in youth for a healthy adulthood. According to the Guardian, some studies indicate children who exercise lower their risk for health problems later in life — not only things like heart disease and diabetes but also cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. Kids who exercise are also more inclined to be professionally successful, so encouraging youngsters to exercise is wise in all regards. However, sports gear can get expensive, so when you’re shopping, look for coupons and promo codes from retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods. It’s a great way to make the most of your budget, and you can take advantage of their broad selection and even get gear for yourself, too!
Model Great Behavior
For many adults, it can be easy to tell kids how to behave, but when push comes to shove, we tend to fall into habits that aren’t healthy ourselves. Oftentimes, we don’t even notice when this happens, but as Verywell Family explains, we accidentally model behaviors we don’t want our kids to develop. With that in mind, make an assessment of your basic health habits, such as whether you’re exercising regularly. You might have trouble getting to the gym or squeezing it into your budget, but chains like 24 Hour Fitness allow members round-the-clock access, and they have special offers on memberships for the whole family. Working out can be a great way to not only model great behavior but also snag quality time with the kids.
Sit Down to Meals Together
Modeling healthy eating habits is important in shaping young people, and it’s all too easy to fall short when we’re busy or tired. However, proper nutrition is considered a key to maintaining health throughout life, and without consuming a broad variety of vitamins and minerals, we risk reduced energy, illness, and poor weight control. Achieving a balanced diet can be challenging, so one idea is to fill your dinner plate halfway with veggies, then splitting the remainder between lean proteins and whole grains. Shopping for what’s in season can help you stay on budget, especially when you hit discount stores.
To be an effective role model, why not make it a point to enjoy family meals every night? Some studies indicate children in families who eat dinner together at least five times a week are less likely to try drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. What’s more, PopSci notes that America’s life expectancy is declining, not only due to disease, but also to drug overdose. Family meals are a chance to set your kids up for good health in crucial ways. Be sure to make extra, since leftovers can be packed for lunches or frozen, so nothing goes to waste.
If you have picky eaters, explore kid-friendly recipes that are not only healthy, but they are also interesting and yummy for adults, too. Too busy to shop? Walmart offers free grocery pickup, so you can place your order on their website and have your groceries delivered to your car when you’re on your way by. You can take advantage of their low prices and wide selection, and enjoy the convenience of shopping online at the same time.
Raising children to become healthy adults is challenging, but there are some simple ways to go about it and stay on budget at the same time. Encourage kids to exercise and eat right, model the behavior you want to see, and sit down to meals together. Seeing them grow up to be happy and healthy adults will be an amazing and satisfying journey!
By Anya Willis
Photo by Pexels